Laptop Battery Information
Like any electronics, laptop batteries have a finite life cycle and it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of the degradation of your laptop batteries. Information is the key to understanding exactly what is happening, if you can fix the problem yourself, and when to go out and buy a new laptop battery. Normally, a battery will last for around one or two years before they begin to give out. With normal use, this will give you about 400 charges. The following tips will let you know a bit more about your laptop battery and give you information on how to check the symptoms that may indicate that it is nearing the end of its life cycle.
Significantly Lower Runtime
A shortened amount of time on one charge may not be an indication of a battery that is ending its life cycle. It may simply be that the laptop is using a lot of power due to programs running in the background or intensive programs, like games or multimedia, running in the foreground. Try cleaning up your computer, clearing caches, and stopping any unnecessary programs from running on startup. If, after this is done, the battery is still draining quickly, it may be time to get a new battery. It’s also important to time your battery during normal use, not intensive use. For instance, if you are usually a normal user, primarily using the Internet, e-mail, or office programs, but play video games from time to time, then keep track of the length of the charge during your less intensive use to gauge the charge accurately.
Many Charges in a Short Period
If you are a heavy laptop user and recharge your laptop between 250 and 350 times within 12 or 18 months, you may be wearing out your battery significantly. This is completely normal for heavy use and you may want to invest in a new battery if any other symptoms begin to occur.
While it is normal for laptops to heat up, especially during intensive use, it is not normal for them to become uncomfortably hot. If this happens frequently then the first step should be to check if the battery is installed properly. If not, the battery is expending a lot of energy in trying to power your laptop. If it is properly installed then you may have a faulty battery or, especially if you notice other symptoms, your battery is nearing the end of its life cycle.
Battery Check Utility
Some computer OSs come with a utility that will give you laptop battery information. Specifically, Windows 7 will display a red “X” on the battery and indicate a capacity level for the battery. In other words, it will tell you how many hours of use are in a full charge. If the utility tells you to replace your battery, it may be time to.