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Laptops And Battery Life  
User currently offlineDlx737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1954 posts, RR: 19
Posted (9 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1390 times:

I recently bought the Toshiba Satellite L25-S1194 Laptop and I was just curious how long the battery should be lasting.

Mine currently lasts about an hour to and hour and half depending on what I'm doing. Is this normal?

The last laptop I had was 4 years ago and it lasted less but not much less than this one does. Maybe I expected after 4 years for the batteries at least to last 3 hours or more. Maybe I'm wrong.

-Justin

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePilot kaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1381 times:

The Battery life on mine started at 2 hours....

A year later and it will only last 5 mins.....


User currently offlineDrDeke From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 830 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1376 times:

Unfortunately, battery technology has not even come close to keeping pace with technology that uses battery power.

Faster processors, faster system busses, faster and more memory, faster and larger hard drives, faster video chipsets, faster DVD/CD-ROM drives, and larger and brighter LCD displays all take more battery power. Unfortunately, in the realm of battery technology, it is considered an above-average gain if researchers are able to increase the capacity of a Li-ion battery of a given size by 5% in a year.

As this is an aviation forum, I will throw this out: Perhaps micro-scale gas turbine engines will be the solution to the battery problem:

http://fhapgood.fastmail.fm/microturbine.htm

-DrDeke



If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.
User currently offlineDlx737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1954 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1366 times:

But should I be concerned about it only lasting a little more than an hour? I mean, from what I see it should last at least 2.

User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1362 times:

Before I replaced my battery, I could use it for about a half-hour, or until it got down to 60%.

Then the battery died completely, and I replaced it.

Thinking I could use the laptop for a lot longer with the replacement, I was quite surprised that I'm still having the same situation happen, that is, the laptop shutting down after 30 minutes at 60% battery level. Even stranger yet is the fact I went in to the power management menu and turned off hibernation, and everything else.

So, I don't know what's going on. I have an HP Pavillion XF235, which is about 3 years old now.

Ideas?


User currently offlineStuckinMAF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1355 times:

A lot of it depends on what you are doing with it. If you have several large spreadsheets open and are doing cut-and-paste operations between them, doing something hard drive intensive or watching a DVD on it, it won't last nearly as long as doing something like posting messages on A.net.

My Compaq/HP Evo800 lasts a little over 2 hours when continuously doing internet or VPN stuff. Check your settings in Control Panel->Power Options to make sure they're optimized for a laptop. Have the hard drive power down after about 1 minute (you can always change it if it gets annoying).


User currently offlineLogan22L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1346 times:

The main aspect of maximizing battery charge holding time and battery life lies in treating it correctly right off the bat and maintaining proper use patterns. When you first get the computer, you should drain the battery, and then give it a full charge (computer powered down): anywhere from 3 - 12 hours, depending on the make. Then, make sure you fully discharge the battery for the first 2 - 3 cycles, making sure that you give the battery a full charge each cycle (usually less time required relative to the initial charge). From thereon out, you should use the laptop without the power pack plugged in, or else you will constantly be charging the battery which will kill it within a year or so. Only use the power charger when the battery power is low, and, best case scenario, only when the unit is powered down.

User currently offlineIRelayer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1073 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1340 times:

Some tips to extend the life of your laptop battery:

#1: Most laptops come with battery conditioning software so that you can set at what point your battery recharges. Set this to something reasonable, like 60% so that if you use battery power for a couple of minutes your battery doesn't recharge until it is only 60%. Batteries are based on chemical power and they have a shelf life. A good way to extend this shelf life is to not constantly recharge them when you don't have to.

#2: Turn your computer OFF if it isn't on AC power and your not using it. A lot of people leave their laptops in hibernate with battery power and this really screws the battery up.

#3: Be mindful of how much power you are using. The screen is the ultimate power sucker in a laptop, so reduce the brightness to a reasonable level. Wireless network cards also increase battery usage substansially. Any application that requires constant hard-disk and memory access should not be run on a laptop under batery power for a long period of time (e.g. Photoshop).
More powerful laptops = less battery time (generally).

#4: Assume when you buy a laptop that your battery should have to be replaced in a 2-3 year timespan.

-IR


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 day ago) and read 1307 times:

Thanks everyone...I'll give it a shot and see if I can make it last.

I got this laptop to use in my classes. Sometimes I have easy access to AC power, but a lot of times I don't. I want to be able to rely on it for longer than a half-hour each time.


User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (9 years 23 hours ago) and read 1304 times:

I typically get ~ 3.5 hours from my main battery on an HP NC8240. Double that if I hang a travel battery on the bottom of the unit. If I really wanted to be sick I could pop out my DVD drive and put a battery in there too and run over 10 hours without charging!

If I'm using my GPRS card then battery life drops to about 2.5 hours, maybe a bit less.

Most newer business class laptops have advanced chargers that will automatically do what is required to condition the battery as required. I've had this machine for about 9 months now and have seen absolutely no degradation of battery capacity.

That said, there's a reason that batteries generally carry only a 1 year warranty even on a 3 year warranty laptop.

I'm not familiar with your model but the only ones I've run across that have that short lived of a battery when new are P4 based laptops and they're not exactly mainstream. Another reason they suck is that they'll scorch your lap with the heat.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 23 hours ago) and read 1302 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 9):
Another reason they suck is that they'll scorch your lap with the heat.

This is a 2002 or 2003 model (I think...my parents bought it around that time) and it definitely gets warm on the bottom of it.

I changed some of the settings, and a half hour later, instead of being at 60%, I'm at 87%...so something worked. I turned on the screen saver option and had the monitor switch off after 5 minutes, so that appears to be doing the trick.

The idea is to keep this baby for another 2-3 years to get me through school. By then, I'll reassess my needs, and then get a much newer one, possibly to replace my desktop.


User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5109 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (9 years 12 hours ago) and read 1280 times:

There are laptops that give great battery life but obviously they tend to be more costly.

Sony VIAOs give great battery life from what i have heard, in the 4-5 hour range.

My friend has an Acer he gets 3 hours approx.

I have an Apple iBook G4, I get 4-4.5 hours.

But as mentioned you have to condition your battery. On my computer when it was bought i was told to allow it to discharge then recharge it full, then allow it to discharge one more time and i would get better batter performance.

You also have to take into consideration the processor, cause mobile processers generally give you better battery life, while the standards make your laptop a portable desktop.



There is something special about planes....
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 12 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

I have an HP laptop with a Celeron chip (around 1.8 Ghz, I think) and a standard graphics processor with a 14 inch screen, and it lasts about 3 hours or more.

I also have an Alienware laptop with a 3.6 Ghz Pentium 4 processor and a 256 MB graphics processor and a 17 inch screen, and it only lasts an hour. I actually suspect that the graphics card is the part that sucks the most energy, as it gives off quite a bit of heat, compared to the CPU.

If you want a powerful laptop, it's gonna use plenty of power. There's no way around that.


User currently offlineCasInterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4792 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (9 years 12 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

So just for all you wondering out there.
There is technology in the pipeline for up to 10-20 hour batteries.
However these are based on Fuel Cell Technology. Using Methanol as a fuel source.
I am still not sure how they will get this past airport security though.....
Fuel Cells



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (9 years 12 hours ago) and read 1272 times:

I have a 2002 Dell 8200 with 1.6Ghz P4-M and the 15 inch UXGA+ screen (which can't be dimmed anymore, for some reason). I bought a second battery about six months after I got it, so one battery is 3.5 years old and the other is 3 years old. It used to last 4.5 hours on both, now it barely lasts 45 minutes. I've got to get a new battery soon.

In fact, I wonder if the computer is telling me to replace the battery, since my battery charging light is now blinking three short orange blinks, and then one longer green flash....over and over and over.

I was under the impression that using AC power didn't affect the batteries, although I've heard conflicting statements about that.

Cfalk, how do you like that Alienware? I almost bought one, but in the summer of 2002 Alienware had only been shipping laptops for about a month when I ordered mine, so I got a Dell, since they had much more experience building them.

[Edited 2005-12-22 18:08:18]

User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 12 hours ago) and read 1266 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 14):
Cfalk, how do you like that Alienware? I almost bought one, but in the summer of 2002 Alienware had only been shipping laptops for about a month when I ordered mine, so I got a Dell, since they had much more experience building them.

It is bloody fast. I have 2 GB of RAM and 120 GB on the HD, and it processes heavy applications, including games and AutoCAD renderings like they simply aren't there. In fact, the architects at my office refuse to do any renderings of their projects unless I bring my laptop!

The only downside is that the processor and graphics card generate quite a bit of heat.


User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 hours ago) and read 1240 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 14):

I was under the impression that using AC power didn't affect the batteries, although I've heard conflicting statements about that.

Depends on the mfg and model - Dell doesn't tend to do things like this as it adds to cost and they're a lot more worried about that than anything else. Kind of like their servers without heat sensors for the fans, they just run them full bore continuously; horrible to listen to if you put 20 or 30 in a rack.

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 10):

I changed some of the settings, and a half hour later, instead of being at 60%, I'm at 87%...so something worked. I turned on the screen saver option and had the monitor switch off after 5 minutes, so that appears to be doing the trick.

Look at your disk and processor settings as well, you can probably get some additional improvement in these areas.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineOD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1925 posts, RR: 32
Reply 17, posted (8 years 12 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1216 times:

I have a P4 2.4 Ghz (not M) Sattelite laptop which is exactly 2 years old now. When I first bought it, it used to last between 1.5 to 2 hours. But since I always used to plug the AC power, the battery died like 2 months ago and now it only lasts 5 to 10 mins.

Quoting Dlx737200 (Thread starter):
Mine currently lasts about an hour to and hour and half depending on what I'm doing. Is this normal?

That sounds a little weak to me but try to read it's design performance, it could be it's normal endurance.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (8 years 12 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

Modern batteries should be fully charged and then FULLY discharged again several times to get their best performance.
This performance will then slowly degrade again over time, which can to a degree be countered to repeating that initial procedure.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2477 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (8 years 12 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1207 times:

I have an HP dv1010ca. It was cheap but not a gaming pc at all. I use it for work only as it only has a 1,4 ghz celeron processor and 512 mb ddr ram. It is great for work even though the battery lasts no more than an hour and a half.

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