Laptops are by definition, portable computers. In order to secure this portability, the laptop battery is crucial. Unfortunately, most laptop batteries die young, sometimes even in the first year of life.
The “Memory Effect” of a laptop battery
“Memory Effect” is a condition of reduced battery performance, or failure, due to a battery only using those cells that are fully discharged and charged on a regular basis. If on a regular basis a NiCd or NiMH battery is only partially discharged before being recharged, it “forgets” that it has usable capacity to further discharge all the way down. The result is loss of performance and shorter battery life because the battery is using less than its true full capacity.
NiMH batteries, while considerably better than their NiCd counterparts, are prone to developing “memory effect.” However, proper care and conditioning over the life of a NiMH battery will significantly reduce the potential negative impacts.
Li-ion batteries do not develop the “memory effect”. Nevertheless, there are a few laptop battery tips that you should follow, in order to maintain it fully operational as long as possible.
What to do with the battery when using the laptop as a desktop?
If this is your case, it’s better not to keep the battery in place for a long time, as the laptop will then discharge the battery over time. Don’t store the laptop battery for long periods either. Use it at least once in 3-4 weeks.
Tips for extending you laptop battery’s life
Everyone wants longer battery life, within reason there are some tricks to help get the most out of your laptop’s battery. For instance, make sure that you disable wireless networking when not using it, as it consumes power on continuously searching for wireless networks available (it does increase the usage time with only a few minutes, but at the end of the day, all these small things add up). It might die too soon anyway, but at least you will know that you did your best to keep it as long as possible. You can use additional devices for extending a laptop battery life. For instance, Electrovaya PowerPad is a device that can extend your battery duration up to 16 hours of use without recharging.
All tips and tricks on using less power while operating on battery are good to be known and applied if they fit your needs.
One more thing: when you buy a laptop, always ask for info on its battery type, characteristics and warranty period. Some shops give only 6 months warranty for the laptop battery, but this is written so small in the contract that you see only that the laptop has one year warranty (this happened to my laptop battery, which died in the 7th month of its life, too late to be replaced on warranty).