Laptops have revolutionized the way we use computers. Instead of being chained to a desk, we can now access digital information from a lawn chair on the beach, a campground in the mountains, or from the couch at the coffee shop. We have succeeded in becoming unplugged from the wall in dramatic fashion. But the drama really begins when we run out of battery power.
You’ve probably experienced it … a power loss at the most inopportune time. It’ll happen as you’re reaching the most suspenseful part of a movie, sending an e-mail to your boss stating that you are “sick” and won’t be in tomorrow, or on the verge of reading some juicy gossip on Facebook. Battery failure is unacceptable.
When a power outlet isn’t available, you need a strong battery to get you through to the finish. Here are a few tips to maximize your battery power:
Dim your screen. If you aren’t watching a movie or operating in broad daylight, there’s probably no reason to keep your screen on the brightest level. Turn it down a few notches to maximize power consumption.
Minimize programs running in the background. When you aren’t using a program, shut it down. The CPU will be able to handle the load much easier and won’t rely on so much battery power.
Take it easy with the CD/DVD drive. When possible, run programs or movies from your hard drive. CD/DVD drives pull a lot of power (as evidenced by the increased noise).
Hibernate. Instead of using standby, consider hibernating to conserve power. Hibernating will save your laptop’s current settings and shut itself down completely.
Keep it cool. Clean out vents and elevate your laptop when possible. It will run much more efficiently if it is properly cooled.
Defragment your hard drive. The faster your hard drive can operate, the more you’ll get out of each battery. When you run a defragmentation, however, be sure you are plugged into external power.
Keep it clean. Clean the battery contacts every quarter or so with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.
Use it. Don’t let a charged battery sit dormant for long periods. If you aren’t using your laptop regularly, be sure to fire it up every couple of weeks to preserve the battery’s integrity.
These tips will help you maximize your battery life. If you are experiencing abnormal battery failure, contact Computer Problem Specialists at (928) 468-0000 for a free diagnosis.
We want you to enjoy the freedom that comes from a wireless laptop system. Plus, we want you to be able to send that e-mail to your boss extending your vacation due to sudden “sickness.” Enjoy the summer!
Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.