When buying a new laptop, we rarely pay special attention to the battery life, especially since it always works satisfactorily for a long time at the beginning. We usually admire the speed of operation, the clarity of the matrix and we are glad that we can finally play something other than a sapper and solitaire-panel. And the battery? Well, there it is. But time passes and with every month the battery loses its strength to a minimum until we finally realize that the battery no longer works for four hours, only two. Today, we’re going to answer the question if this is a natural progression, and actually – how long should the battery last in your laptop?
Battery consumption in the laptop
The batteries we have in our laptops are susceptible to the same laws of physics as all others and therefore they wear out. Each charge and discharge minimizes the total capacity of the cells and as a result, our laptop will run these few minutes less every month. All batteries have an estimate of the number of charging cycles they can run before their endurance drops. The time but also the frequency with which we use the batteries plays a role here. In short, the more often we use our laptop, the faster our battery we use up.
However, the use of the battery itself is not the only factor that affects its lifetime. If we do not use it properly, we can significantly accelerate the degeneration of the cells. Harmful to the battery will be such habits as:
-discharging the battery up to 0% and leaving it discharged (you should completely avoid discharging the battery up to 0% – this may cause damage)
-continuous recharging to 100% maintaining such a level for a longer period of time (permanent connection to the power supply)
-working or even storing at very high or low temperatures
These errors should be particularly noted, as their frequent occurrence can definitely contribute to a rapid loss of strength or, in extreme cases, even damage to the battery.
Battery life in a laptop
How long our laptop will last from 100% to 0% depends on several factors, which we will now replace in turn.
The basic factor is of course the capacity, i.e. how many cells inside the battery we have and how much energy they are able to store. The most popular original capacity on the market is 4400 mAh, but this does not mean that only such a battery fits to a given model of laptop. If we want to work for as long as possible, we can buy a new battery with even twice the capacity. Take under the magnifying glass the popular HP “MU06” laptop battery model, which in its standard version has 4400 mAh, and its price in our shop is £24,95. Many of us when looking for a laptop battery will usually decide on a model with the same capacity, but this is not necessary at all.
We have larger capacity batteries at our disposal, which will allow us to obtain even twice as long working time. There are two ways to increase battery capacity.
1) Additional cells in the battery.
This way is to add a pack of cells to the battery and as a result increase it physically. This means that the battery will either stand out behind the laptop or have a foot underneath to lift the laptop by about 1.5 cm. The computer will be slightly heavier, but the advantage of this solution is the fact that by lifting the laptop we improve air circulation, i.e. cooling. For example, the aforementioned MU06 model with a doubled capacity of 8800 mAh you will get for £33,95. The price of the battery increased by 50% in turn (6600 mAh) is £30,95. Batteries with such capacities without any problem instead of 4 hours of work provide 6 or even 8 hours, so we are able to work practically all day without worrying about access to the socket.
2. Use of cells with higher capacity
Another solution offered by Green Cell brand are batteries with Samsung or Panasonic cells, which exceed the capacity used in the original models. Thanks to this, the laptop is still lightweight and the working time can be increased by up to 50%. So let’s come back to the MU06 model.
The standard size MU06 Green Cell PRO battery, containing Samsung SDI cells, has a capacity of 5200 mAh and its price is £36,95. In the case of this model there is also an option of increased by 50% PRO battery, which has a capacity of 7800 mAh and its price is £46,95.
Even greater performance is achieved by models from the Green Cell ULTRA series, which thanks to the elite class of Panasonic cells store more than 50% more energy than the original batteries and provide even twice the life span. And all this while maintaining the size and weight of the original battery. The price of the ULTRA MU06 version is £50,96, so it is slightly higher than the other models, but we have to admit that taking into account its advantages it is worth the price.
Power consumption of a laptop
Of course, the way we use our laptop also affects battery life. Charge percentages will drop much slower when writing a document in your Word than when playing the latest, graphically challenging games. The use of components such as the graphics card, CPU and cooling plays a key role here, but the brightness of the screen is also important. So if there’s a lot of work ahead of us and we don’t know when we’ll have access to the socket, it’s worth limiting the load on your laptop as much as possible.
The increased battery consumption can also be influenced by the contamination inside the laptop and the age of the components. The older the notebook, unfortunately, the more often it will need to be cooled, and this will affect power consumption.
Author: Krzysztof Wołongiewicz