Always charge the laptop or use the battery?

Rolf says plug in a laptop, 100% “absolutely safe and very normal” all the time, from Lenovo to BBC Mundo. Photo: Archive

A common question about using laptops is how to extend battery life (or at the very least, avoid shortening beyond normal). Although all batteries deteriorate over time, many users question whether the usage we give them will have an impact – even slightly – on their ability to retain energy and run our devices longer.

If so, how to use the batteries?

I.e., Do you need to charge them 100% at all times or disconnect them according to their power level?

The various experts he spoke to BBC Mundo They often suggested how to use batteries made of lithium (lithium ion or lithium-polymer).

Battery life

“Battery technology is getting better and better for every generation. Ten years ago, the performance of laptop batteries began to decline after two hundred charging cycles, ”Ashley Rolf, Lenovo’s chief technology officer in Ireland and the United Kingdom, told BBC Mundo.

Now Laptop batteries typically have a lifespan of three to five years, in which they can complete 500 to 1,000 charging cycles.

“You want the battery to give you as much power as possible for every charge and last for three to five years,” Kent Griffith, an energy technology researcher at Northwestern University, told the BBC World.

How to achieve that balance?

Insert a laptop 100% all the time “completely safe and very normal”, Lenovo’s Rolf says, BBC Mundo.

He explains that laptops from Lenovo and other brands “use sensors and control logic to ensure that the battery does not overcharge or overheat.”

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However, “having a 100% battery at all times will shorten its life.”

His colleague Bill Jax, Lenovo’s strategic technology director and chief engineer, agrees: “With the high energy density chemistry adopted in recent years, we have found that batteries decompose very quickly, especially at high temperatures, when fully charged.” BBC Mundo.

The reason is, “The greatest level your battery can have is 100% charge, because the voltage is too high,” explains Kent Griffith of Northwestern University.

This is exactly what the manufacturer HP says to the BBC Mundo: “HP does not recommend laptops that are connected to alternating current at all times.”

“Most batteries today have the technology to prevent overcharging once it reaches 100%”, but this technology does not prevent “overcharging the battery, which can accelerate its deterioration over time.” HP explains.

So “if you keep the battery 100% off, the battery will definitely last longer,” says Griffith.

The recommendation of these experts is to limit the time when the laptop is fully charged or instead of charging it up to 100%, charge only up to 80% each time you plug it in.

Technically, batteries are ‘happy’ at 50% charge, while at 0% or 100% tension, so technicians say it’s best to keep them at 20 to 80%”, Commanda Rolf.

Controlling loads to 80% “gives maximum benefit, while there is still significant benefit in reducing the maximum load point to 90 or 95%,” says Jax.

Microsoft warns on its website that in the case of its surface laptops (not for other brands) “having too much battery will quickly lose capacity”.

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“You can help prevent this rapid deterioration by leaving your laptop (surface) unconnected for a long time. If you need to continue plugging into the laptop, we recommend using battery charge limit mode, ”says Microsoft.

Many brands such as Microsoft, Lenovo and HP offer the option of limiting the maximum amount of laptop load in their configurations.

For example, HP allows you to define 80% in “enhance my battery health” mode.

In general, Griffith says, “If you want the battery to last longer, each cycle can give you a little less power (80% instead of 100%), but the battery may end up with more charge cycles.”

In other words, throughout its lifespan it “creates a balance between how much time the battery can charge and how many cycles you can complete each time you charge” and it continues.

How are you going to use the laptop?

But these recommendations do not mean that the laptop should be disconnected immediately every time it reaches 100%.

“All laptops have control circuits to protect the batteries and prevent overcharging. But leaving them at 80% can increase battery life, ”says Lenovo’s Rolf.

But at the same time, he clarifies, “batteries last longer these days, which many users don’t have to worry about.”

Today, he says, “batteries are so special that they usually last longer than the life of a laptop.”

Rolf’s final recommendation is that you think about how you will use the laptop. That is, evaluate whether you are going to have constant access to an insert or have not been able to connect to power for a long time. In the latter case, it is better to take it with full charge.

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“If you’re mostly at your desk, set a load limit,” he says. “But if you’ve traveling too much, leave it at 100% and don’t worry about it!”

See also:

How to disinfect cell phones, computers and other electronic devices? (+ Video)

Video tips to increase battery life

(Taken BBC Mundo)

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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