This guest post is by Chris Adams who is a technology consultant, specializing primarily in portable computer systems and wireless communication technologies. He currently provides consulting for notebooks, prepaid 4G cards and Wi-Fi communication systems.
It’s always frustrating to run out of battery power when you need it the most. Laptop computers are infamous for their short battery lifespans and can quickly lose their charm when you’re constantly looking for a power outlet to recharge.
Below we’ve put together some instructions that will help you make the most of your notebook battery lifespan. So if you’re going on a long trip or just to your local coffee shop, make sure that you apply these methods in order to make the most of your battery life.
Disable Unnecessary Power Consumption
These next few tips may seem obvious; however you’ll be surprised how much battery life you can save if you put them into practice. You may have many unused hardware appliances that are using up unnecessary battery consumption. By disabling them you are not only prolonging your battery life but increasing your notebook performance.
- Dim your screen. If you’re using your laptop outside, or in a brightly lit room, make sure to reduce unnecessary brightness on your display screen. This can be done through Windows in your notebook configuration software
- Try not to use your CD-ROM / DVD drive. These devices require much more power than hard drives. As an alternative, you make use of a virtual optical drives by using software such as Alcohol 120%.
- Disable your wireless card and/or Bluetooth adapter. Most notebooks will include a button on the chassis to apply this function. This point can tremendously reduce battery consumption.
- Disable any unused ports. This includes unused USB, VGA, SmartCard and PCMCIA ports. This can be done through the Windows Device Manager found in the Control Panel
You can create different hardware profiles for the various scenarios’s where you will be using your notebook. For example, you can configure your laptop for use at the library, on a plane, at work and so on. The different profiles will provide a unique set of energy saving settings for each scenario.
You can configure hardware profiles by using your notebook software that came installed with Windows. Since Windows XP, Microsoft has removed the Hardware Profiles feature from their operating system. If your notebook software doesn’t provide this feature, simply set your screen saver to display a blank screen as an alternative.
Extending Overall Battery Life
You can extend your overall battery life if you apply some of the following…
- Stop your cooling functionality from overworking by making use of a laptop cooling pad. Alternatively, avoid dusty surfaces or propping your notebook up against a soft surface such as a blanket or pillow.
- Run a defrag on your hard disk drive. Remember that you’re hard drive will need to work harder the more fragmented it becomes.
- Avoid performance intensive applications such as games, internet servers and design applications
Picking a Notebook for Battery Longevity
If you’re in the market for a new notebook, and your primary concern is battery longevity, then you may want to pay attention to the following suggestions…
- Consider a notebook with an ultra-low-voltage processor such as the Intel Penryn.
- Get a notebook with an LED display. LED’s use a lot less power than LCD displays.
- A solid-state hard disk drive will require much less power consumption and contains no moving parts.