"Good to the Last Drop!" - Get More Time From Your Tablet PC / Notebook Battery

Discussion in 'News Headlines' started by WatermelonMan, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    "Good to the Last Drop!"
    - Get More Time From Your Tablet PC / Notebook Battery

    So you got a fancy Tablet PC with Intel's Pentium M or Celeron M chip. Or at least you went for AMD's Athlon M chip. You got built-in Wi-Fi. Maybe even Bluetooth for your peripherals. You are cutting the cord once and for all right? Making it through a longflight orthe most or yourday without "plugging in" is a goal most mobile professionals and enthusiasts wish to accomplish. Whether you are a long time user of Tablet PC's or Notebook computers, we have a 7 tips that just might help you squeeze out someextra time out of your battery per charge.

    [​IMG]
    Don't do it! We can help you.


    Tip 1: Starting Off Right

    Our fist tip is to get you off to a good start. When you purchase a new Tablet PC or Notebook it is essential to calibrate and break in your new battery properly. When you first unbox your new machine, the first place it belongs (after installing the battery)is connected to an AC outlet. Even if the battery indicator shows a full or near full charge, it is a good idea to keep the unit plugged in for a minimum of 5-7 hours. After this initial and absolute full charge, unplug it and have your way with it! Drain that battery until you "force it to shut down" (save your work upon the low battery alert). Then proceed to charge it up again to 100% (this time just charge it to "full"). Go ahead and repeat the drain to zero. After 3 full charge and discharge cycles, your battery is ready for the road.

    This process does 2 things. First off, it breaks in your new battery right. Second it calibrates it with your computer to give you a more accurate measurement of charge statusfrom the software's indicator. Over time your battery will slip away from calibration, so it is suggested that you repeat one "full charge" and "discharge" every 3 months. Refer to yourowner's manual if you wish as some manufacturers mayrecommend a slightly different calibration technique.

    Tip 2: How Many Times Do We Have to Tell You toTurn off the Light!

    The biggest culprit of battery drainage is hands down - the display. Want more time per charge? Turn that sucker down to a tolerable, but comfortable level.

    Tip 3:Turn offUnnecessary Hardware

    You heard the flight attendant. "Turn off your cell phones during the duration of the flight". Use that as your cue to remember to shut off your WiFi, Bluetooth radio and to remove unneeded PCMCIA cards from the slot if you are not using them. These devices all drain your battery.

    Tip 4: Tame Windows

    Did you know that you have programs "checking for updates", scanning files and running tasks that you don't know about? All of this unnecessary activity accesses your hard drive and over time makes an impact on your battery's charge. You can easily disable these services while on DC power. Here's how:

    Click "Start", "All Programs", "Accessories", "System Tools", andfinally on"Scheduled Tasks". Right-click on any scheduled task in the listyou wish to disableand click "Properties". Select the Settings tab. Under "Power Management", choose "Don't start the task if the computer is running on batteries" and "Stop the task if battery mode begins." Click OK on each selection to save your changes. You are bound to find several "culprits" that you could care less about while you are out and aboutrunning your Tablet PC orNotebookon batteries.

    Tip 5: Choose the Right Power Setting

    In the Control Panel go to "Power Options". In the "Powerschemes"drop down list, be sure to select either the "Portable/Laptop" or "Max Battery" option.

    Tip 6: Add More RAM!

    Shhh. This one is a secret of the pros! If you have only 256MB of RAM, your machine is sure to write temporary information to the hard drive constantly. Boost that up to 512MB or even better 768MB+ and you will be sure to minimize this issue, thereby keeping hard drive access to a minimum. No matter what kind of "power saving technology" your processor has, yourhard drive is a leech on your battery.

    Tip 7: Only Run DVD's and CD's Unless you Have to

    Gamers, if you must game on the plane - get a "virtual CD drive" application. There are many out there which allow you to copy an image of your CD to the hard drive, which spares power to run your optical drive. Movie buffs - your bound to drain that battery watching DVD's. The solution: umm well... none at this time.

    We hope you find these tips helpful. If any readers have more to add please be sure to post under the "discuss this story" link. We would be glad to learn more!


    Barry

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Just a Guy Staff Member

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    hey Barry, these are all really great tips. One thing I'll add is that if you happen to store a battery make sure it is stored in a cool and dry place. Also, Li-Ion batteries will lose life over time even if they're not used....so if you store a battery for two years the chemical compounds inside will have changed/deteoriated enough so that the battery will not have the same life as it did on day 1, even if it's never used. So there's a bit of a use it or lose it factor to it too.
     
  3. arclite

    arclite Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This article is a very good read. I thought i was pretty knowledable with the workings of a portable device, but pointers like "Add More RAM!" makes lot of new sense.

    However, i always wondered, which setup would conserve more battery?

    1) 2 Stick of 512MB ram

    or

    2) 1 Stick of 1GB ram?
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Tough question. I'd say one stick unless your machine supports dual channel, which is faster and requires two sticks. The cost of one stick is certainly not worth any battery conservation savings alone though.

    Brian

    www.BargainPDA.com | www.DigitalCameraReview.com | www.NotebookReview.com | www.SpotStop.com
     
  5. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The old school of thought would dictate 1 stick of RAM. That was in the days when in was critical to performance to add the larger stick in slot 0, etc. Now the transfer rate between the DIMMs is so fast, they say it doesn't matter. Even if it did make a bit of difference, I agree with Brian's comment. A one gig stick is close to 4 times the price per megabyte (vs. a 512). Not worth it!

    Barry J. Doyle
    Editor in Chief
    TabletPCReviewSpot.com
     
  6. WatermelonMan

    WatermelonMan Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Ha Ha, I don't own an oil refinery so I'll stick with the 512 sticks.

    I know the twins, now I'm cool!
     
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