With the rapid technological advances of modern America, the laptop battery charger has become an indispensable device in almost every household. Many people need laptops for work or school, and since most batteries can withstand only a few hours of continual use, a charger is absolutely necessary when your laptop cord cannot be used or you need to be able to move your laptop.
Every laptop is different; therefore, not every laptop can use the same charger. Some chargers can only be used for a certain brand of laptop, while a growing number of them are compatible with as many as nine or ten brands. Whichever way you choose to go, make sure the charger carries your laptop brand. Another extremely crucial consideration is the voltage of the laptop battery. If the voltages do no match you run the risk of undercharging the battery when the volts are too low; and the battery could be severely damaged or even catch fire if the voltage is too high. Always be sure that the voltage on the battery and charger are the same within two or three numbers.
More and more stores are beginning to sell universal battery chargers. These are especially convenient for people with several laptops, cellular phones, and MP3 players or iPods. They generally have a plug or plugs for laptop tips and a USB port on one end and a wall socket plug on the other. Most universal chargers you will find have up to nine laptop tips for different brands and often a USB adapter for many cell phones. They will usually run from $50 to $100, depending on how many laptop brands and other devices it can support. Anything over $100 is probably not worth the money for most people.
Along with battery charging, there are ways to make a battery last. Always turn off the laptop when it is not in use. Screen brightness can be a battery drain, as well as programs that require a lot of memory. Any programs that are not being used should not be on your laptop. To avoid the memory affect – the idea that a battery loses charge capability if it is recharged unnecessarily – do not charge your battery unless it is needed, or consider using a lithium-ion battery if your laptop does not already have one. By preserving the life of your battery, you help prolong the life of the charger as well.
Laptop battery charger shopping does not have to be a difficult process. Decide ahead of time what is right for you, if you have to; write down the brand and voltage of your battery or batteries to make sure your new charger will match. Set aside the amount of money you want to spend based on whether or you want a universal charger or a one or two brand charger, which you can usually find for under $30. Finally, take care of the battery and charger so you will not have to buy another one soon.
It is common for heavy laptop users to experience problems the battery. Often it seems that a battery drains far quicker than it should, or takes longer to recharge. Since one of the main benefits of a laptop is the fact that it is portable, it is annoying if you have to keep it plugged in all the time in order to use it. This can also cause the battery to deteriorate further. Before you replace your laptop battery, try to refurbish it. If this is successful, it will save you a significant amount of money. It is common for laptop batteries to start to lose their charge after a few years of regular use. The lithium ion batteries used for laptops contain circuitry, which can be reset and then the batteries may be recharged.
The first step is to let your laptop completely run down, discharging the lithium ion battery. Then put the battery on a charger that is specifically for lithium ion batteries. Charge it to full capacity to recalibrate the battery’s circuitry and take it back to its maximum operating capacity. If this does not work, however, it is likely that your battery is damaged and you will need to replace it.
When shopping for replacement laptop batteries, it is important to find the right model. You can find the model number for your battery on your laptop by clicking on the control panel, selecting Power Options, then Power Meter, and clicking on the icon of the battery. It should then be clear what make and model number your battery has.
Go online to find the website for your laptop manufacturer. There should be a facility to allow you to search for a new battery using the model number. This new battery is likely to cost at least $100. A cheaper option is to search for aftermarket replacement laptop batteries. Simply type the model number into your regular search engine and you should get a list of companies selling after market batteries. There are a couple of things to bear in mind; check that you are buying from a reputable company by researching the company’s background and reading consumer reviews. Be aware that you are taking some risks when you buy a battery that has not come directly from the manufacturer. Potential dangers include batteries catching fire and failing to charge.
Another option is to take your laptop and battery to a computer repair store; they may be able to sell you a replacement and give your laptop a quick inspection at the same time to make sure you have no other problems with it that could be affecting the battery life. Be prepared to pay higher prices than you would for a battery bought online, and to wait for them to order the correct model for you, as it is unlikely they will have all models in stock.
Finally, do not throw your old laptop battery in the trash; take it to an electrical recycling center as an environmentally friendly alternative.
Everyone who has owned a laptop for a year or two has encountered their frustrating tendency of quickly running out of power. Most laptop batteries are rated for between 300 and 1000 charges, or between one and four years of use. After that time, they can hold a charge for only minutes or not at all, meaning that the laptop must be plugged into the wall when you use it. Many people wonder if laptop battery repair is an option. The answer is yes, but it might be more than the average user wants to get involved with.
Laptop batteries can cost a hundred dollars or more. This expense is a hassle after only a year or three of use, and often ends up being an unwelcome nuisance for laptop users. Most models are lithium ion batteries, and they run down because of cell oxidation, which causes increased resistance in the battery. Although technology is improving, this remains a fact of life for laptop technology. Often, batteries that do not function well usually still have stored energy; they just cannot deliver the required energy to the computer. One interesting fact is that heating a worn down battery may temporarily cause it to function again.
Yes, it is possible to replace worn out energy cells in lithium ion batteries. This is rarely done on a personal consumer level, however, because the chemistry is a little bit complicated. Assembling pieces that do not match can cause fire or explosion. There is also a digital element to understand about these batteries, and if correct protocols are not followed, loss of information or malfunction will result. For this reason, most lithium ion laptop batteries are sold preassembled for specific computers. Although it is expensive to replace them, it certainly is less complicated than fixing them yourself.
Someone who wants to get involved in laptop battery repair will probably need to have special equipment like a battery analyzer and re-conditioner. Because battery technology is not standardized, results will vary depending on battery type, and some expertise will be required. Complications may arise even if cell recharge is accomplished. The digital circuit may be scrambled or lose information, for example. The more complex these batteries get, of course, the more complicated become the repairs.
It is possible to buy the specific cells for your computer using the model number from the battery pack. Most computers use six cells. By prying off the back of the pack, slicing the used batteries out of their casing, and replacing them with the new ones, it is possible to rejuvenate a used up battery. In most cases, this will save you some money over buying a completely new battery, but beware, as it will most likely void your warranty.
There are a few small-scale services that specialize in battery repair. Because of warranty issues and convenience, however, the prevailing consumer trend is to replace the entire battery pack every few years. Rapidly evolving technology is improving battery life, but also making it less competitive for small operators to get into battery repair. The bottom line is that laptop battery repair is a real option and can save money. The downside is added complication and the risk of something going wrong.
Laptops of old featured Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries, which were not environmentally friendly–especially when improperly disposed. They had very little up time compared to today’s notebook battery, and had debilitating issues with battery memory. Each time they were used they would only recharge to the point at which the user turned it off previously. Following the Ni-Cad was the Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) battery with no memory troubles, longer life, and better efficiency. Although it was a step forward, the Lithium-Ion battery improved the shelf life of a charged battery at rest and performs with greater efficiency while in use. Fortunately, battery technology will continue to improve along with the electronic devices they are made to power.
When selecting a new laptop, the battery is an important factor; they are not all created equal. Depending upon the type and amount of programs you typically run simultaneously while working, surfing the Internet, or playing games, the battery can drain very quickly. Add to that, powering a 17″ screen on full brightness and running the DVD drive will suck the life out of it before you have even gotten started.
CNET Labs perform notebook battery tests on all laptops they review. The same exact programs are set to run on a fully charged battery in each. The ThinkPad X60s by Lenovo has come in as the longest lasting to date with 8 hours and 16 minutes. The Fujitsu model number Q2010 can power through for up to seven and a halfhours when set up with a battery that has an extended life. Coming in at seven hours and twenty-one minutes is a Dell Inspiron E1405; the ToughBook 74 by Panasonic lasted 7 hours and 18 minutes, followed by a Lenovo ThinkPad R60 at 6 hours and 25 minutes. An HP Compaq nc2400, on the inexpensive side, lasted 6 hours and 6 minutes.
Frequent travelers away from power outlets for extended periods of time may want to invest in an extra battery or two. Some laptop models have an add-on battery feature, which can gain a few more hours of running time. From expansion slots to battery plates installed on the bottom, there are options that will give you the extra power you need. Bear in mind, extra batteries can be quite expensive depending on the particular notebook computer, but on-line comparison-shopping can save quite a bit of money.
If you and your laptop are often moving from one location to another and need more time to work or play than your current notebook battery can provide, popping out the DVD drive (requires no tools) and inserting an extra add-on battery in its place is one of the easiest ways to increase the running time. Also, dimming the display will save battery life and running no more than one or two programs at a time. A new battery will perform to its maximum when the manufacturer’s instructions are followed precisely. If it is recommended to fully drain and fully charge it a specific number of times, then doing so will certainly extend its life. Never store your battery on a conductive, grounded surface. It will eventually drain the cells to 0% and ruin the battery.