Laptops and Netbooks are better for mobile computing where you depend so much on their battery life and backup. If your laptop is having a 6 cell battery, then you can expect around 2.5 – 3.5 hours of backup for laptops and 4.5 to 6 hours for netbooks. But if you are not using it properly, then you may get around 1 or 1.5 hours battery backup only for laptops and 3 – 4 hours for netbooks. There are some small but important practices through which you can increase the battery backup by more than 35% i.e. if you laptop battery gives backup of 1.5 hours then after practicing following points, it will definitely increase to more than 2 hours.
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Battery power consumption is very much dependent up on data processing, hardware movement, signal check, huge application handling, display and sound. So here are some simple check points to increase battery life and backup for laptops and netbooks:
On most of the laptops and netbooks, you can choose power plan and adjust brightness of the display. You power plan should be such that, if you are not using your laptop for 3 – 5 minutes, display screen should turn off. Display should dim in first 2 minutes of stand by time. Generally these values are set to 10 minutes but you will have to change it to 2 – 3 minutes to get more backup from current battery.
If you are not using Bluetooth on your laptop, you should turn that off. When your laptop keep searching for bluetooth devices, it consumes so much battery power. Same is the condition with Wi-Fi as well. If you are not using Wi-Fi on your laptop, turn off that option.
Go to the Start => Accessories => System Tools => Disk Defragmenter in Windows OS to defragment your hard disk.
If the data is not properly places on the disk, it takes so much time and power to get and process that. If you hard disk is defragmented, it takes less time for processor to find and get that data and that definitely increase your battery backup and life.
Windows is having option to hibernate your system rather than keeping that running in sleep mode. If you have opened lot many important applications, and you don’t want to close them, you keep your laptop in sleep mode so that when you come back, you can get you laptop in same situation. But even in sleep mode, laptop or netbook keep consuming power. You can use Hibernate option to shutdown your laptop. In case of Hibernate, your laptop saves the current session (list of opened programs) on hard disk and when you will start your laptop next time, it will open all your last time running programs as well.
To use Hibernate in Windows XP, you will have to enable that option from the Power option of control panel. Then you can choose Hibernate from “Start” option to hibernate your laptop.
If you are using Windows 7, go to “Power Options” under “Control Panel” => Click on “Choose what the power button does” option on the left panel. => Now select “Hibernate” for “When I press the power button” or “When I press sleep button”.
There are few programs which start running when your laptop or computer starts. Whether you want them or not, they keep running in the background and consumes battery life and power. You should keep and eye on them and if you don’t need them , turn them off. To see which applications are running in the background, you can go to “Task manager” in windows by right-clicking on the Taskbar and choosing “Start Task Manager”. In task manager, under Processes, you can all the programs running on your laptop. You can turn them off from task manager or you can control them by using MSCONFIG command on Run window.
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There are few more tips to increase battery backup and life for laptops and netbooks. For example, you should not open bulky applications like games when your laptop is on battery power. You can get more backup from current battery by keeping the sound volume of your laptop at low.
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What do you think about above tips for getting more backup from current battery? Are you planning for battery upgrade for your laptop or netbook? You can have 12 cell battery (two 6 cell batteries back to back) as well but that may disturb the balancing of your laptop.