One distinct parameter for judging the overall efficiency of the laptop is its battery life. For the laptop to stand to its purpose, it has to remain mobile for prolonged times as well as be power efficient. Well, I wouldn’t emphasize more on the fact that the whole utility of the laptop device lies in its battery. So, let’s understand more about batteries instead.
Notebook batteries are composed of various materials, mainly NiCD (Nickel Cadmium), NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) and Lithium Ion Batteries. The third one (Lithium Ion) is better than the former two in these following respects:-
* Lithium Ion ones are lightweight and compact, thereby allowing optimum mobility for your device.
* They have a higher energy density.
* In comparison to NiCD and NiMH ones, Lithium Ion batteries don’t experience memory effect, due to which they only get refilled to the quantity discharged in the last cycle. This leads to incomplete charging. Moreover, when they don’t get discharged fully, they suffer a voltage drop. This makes the laptop inform the user as its battery being discharged before it actually discharges.
Lithium Ion ones are the most efficient, but like any other power storage device, they age. Thus, they require correct storage conditions to utilize maximum performance and for longevity. High temperatures destroy such batteries. Very cool surroundings do equivalent harm. So room temperature is most conducive. Also, the quality degrades whether you use it or not, since the ions keep corroding the electrode. Make sure that if you intend to store them for a longer time, they better be discharged enough about 50% and then store it in a moderate temperature.
Prefer to use them regularly. Plug them off and use their power for the operation until a low percentage. The life depends on the life cycles. One life cycle means fully charging the battery and then discharging it. If you discharge your battery to a percentage that doesn’t touch the bottom, around 30%, your charging cycle is bound to improve leading to the battery’s long life.
Batteries are available as per various capacities in MAh (Mega Ampere- Hour)- 2400 MAh, 4400MAh and so on. Some may have these values in Watt-Hour as well. To understand how much MAh this is equivalent to, use the formula
MAh= (Wh/volt) x 1000
The greater this value, the greater the energy storage capacity and the heavier and larger the battery is. The size also depends on the no of cells it contains. Cells are independent voltage devices and their number may vary from 3 to 12 in a battery.
It is always recommended to choose an original battery. No name batteries may promise the same power, but may not stand to its promise. A used battery may also be a viable option, but make sure that it hasn’t aged beyond three years. The manufacturing date is sufficient information to determine the age of a battery.
Now, why to buy a new battery? Is it feasible to have an extra battery in your possession? It may be in cases of prolonged journeys where power points may not be found, but as you have to use the battery to make the most out of it, one is enough. If you feel that your laptop doesn’t charge well, even after being plugged in for long, it’s time to buy a new one.
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