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FAQ's About Laptop Batteries

Question: How long will my laptop battery power my computer for?
This is the most famous consumer question, and is the hardest one to answer. This answer depends on the exact laptop model that you have. Some laptops can run for 5 hours or more off of their battery, while others may last less than 2 hours before they need to recharge the battery. Generally, you should contact the manufacturer of the laptop in question, and they should be able to give you an estimate. Remember that the size of the screen, the power of your processor (PIII, P4, etc), your hard drive, and many other things such as the programs you are running (DVD, CD-Burning, Word Processing) will all effect your time away from the wall, making this a very hard question to answer.

Question: What do I do when the power runs out?
Recharge the battery. All laptop batteries are rechargeable. To recharge them, simply plug in your AC power adapter. This will charge the battery even while the laptop is still on (you can also turn the laptop off to charge the battery faster). You can literally keep your laptop on all the time, and use it on battery too if you just recharge it when the battery runs low.

Question: What do I need to do to get the most out of my battery?
There are several ways of increasing the battery life and getting the most out of your investment. It is recommended to charge your battery up to 100%, each time you charge it. Then, when you use it, do not plug it back in until the power is very low (usually between 5%-15%). Though Li-Ion, Li-Poly, and newer Ni-MH batteries do not require this step, we have found that it does usually help extend the life of the battery.

Question: How do I increase my run time (the length I can use my laptop on battery power)?
Run time can be increased or decreased depending on the applications and tasks that you have your laptop doing. For example, if you are playing a DVD movie, much power is being used. If you are burning a CD-R/CD-RW or playing a full screen 3D video game, much power is being used. All these things take more power and in effect lessen the amount of time that you have in "portable" mode. It is best to try to plug the laptop into the wall if possible in these situations. Remember that you can also get car power adapters for your laptop; this will charge your battery and power your laptop while you are on the road. Programs that take little power (giving you longer battery life) include word processing programs like Microsoft Word or Corel Word Perfect, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Outlook Express, Internet Explorer, AOL, CompuServe, or any similar programs. Even the colors displayed on your screen can affect your battery life. Lighter colors take more power to produce. External connections such as USB Mice, USB Scanners, Memory Cards, Zip Drives, etc. all take more power from your precious battery life. Keep these things in mind when power is of the essence.

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