Laptop battery: Understand and pamper it to extend your laptop autonomy

It is important to know the battery type of battery is your laptop equipped with. Their maintenance and ways to maximize their efficiency and lifespan varies according to the technology used for that battery.

What you need to know about the different types of batteries

Most laptops use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries or nickel metal hydrure (NiMH). The latter ones are older and more and more frequently replaced with lithium-ion batteries because of their good performances / price ratio. These batteries also have the benefit of not to suffering from the memory degradation effect (degradation of performances if a charge cycle is launched on a battery that was not fully discharged). In a close future, this technology should yield its place to Ion Polymere batteries. The chemical combination of this new type of battery offers the best compromise weight/power, but these batteries are also more expensive (that should decrease over time). To obtain the best possible efficiency and delay their wear, it is highly recommended to follow the guidelines listed below.

Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries

  • To obtain the best performances, when the battery is new (and only then), carry out two to three complete cycles of charge/discharge.
  • Avoid using or to leave your computer in an environment that is too cold (less than 45F/10°) or too hot (more of 85F/35°).
  • While in a regular use, avoid discharging your battery totally.
  • Withdraw the battery if the computer is not used for an extended period.
  • If you use constantly your laptop while the plugged in, withdraw the battery (after it has been fully charged).
  • It is useless to wait for the battery to be totally discharged to launch a charge cycle.
  • Carry out a minimum of one complete charge every month.
  • These batteries do not suffer from memory degradation.

Nickel hydrure (NiMH) batteries

  • Before starting a charge cycle, the battery must be totally emptied.
  • Space to the maximum the frequency of charges.
  • After a certain amount of time, memory degradation is going to happen.
  • Every other month, it is best to discharge completely the battery, then to refill it totally.

Cadmium (NiCd) batteries

  • This technology is the oldest one. It is being used less and less these days.
  • These batteries suffer from the memory degradation.
  • Before starting a charge, the battery will have to be emptied totally.
  • Never leave this battery in your laptop when your laptop is plugged in.

Lithium-polymere (Li-po) batteries

  • These batteries have the best performance but they are also the most expensive ones.
  • These batteries offer an excellent compromise weight/power.
  • The charging time is long compared to the other types of batteries.
  • It is essential to respect to follow the manufacturer recommendations to avoid battery overheating.
  • These batteries do not suffer from memory degradation.
  • Do not refill a lithium-polymere battery immediately after usage; it is best to wait at least fifteen minutes.
  • Avoid completely emptying the battery or you run the risk to damage the battery.
  • The length of life of a battery Li-po is relatively short.

Click here to read part one of extending your laptop autonomy.

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