How To Extend Ultrabook Battery Life?

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Is your ultrabook battery life disappointing? Unless you have one of these ultrabooks known for their good battery life, there is a good chance that you get just 2-3 hours of unplugged time from it. The fact that most Ultrabooks come with non-removable batteries means that you don’t have the liberty to simply use two sets of batteries to not worry about battery life.

However, the heartening news is that almost any ultrabook’s battery life can be extended, extended by even as much as 30% to 40%, if you are willing to take some effort to make it happen. This post below will discuss exactly that, tips that will show you how to increase ultrabook battery life.

Reduce wireless connectivity exposure

Your ultrabook will usually have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity but just having these features doesn’t mean that you should leave them on all the time. What sense does it make to always have your Wi-Fi receiver search for wireless connections when you are using internet through a wired cable or if you aren’t using the Internet at all, like maybe when watching a movie for a couple of hours. The same goes for Bluetooth. Unless you plan on transferring data on your Bluetooth, turn it off.

If your Wi-Fi connects to your network automatically, you can easily disable this option by un-checking the auto connect button in your network and sharing center in control panel. Read through your ultrabook’s user manual to find keyboard shortcuts that will quickly turn off and turn on your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Most times, ultrabooks will even have convenient hardware switches to turn these devices on and off, somewhere on your keyboard layout. Make it a habit to start using them and you will enjoy maybe even an hour of extra battery life on some occasions!

Screen brightness is a major drain on your ultrabook’s battery

Your ultrabook’s screen usually consumes the most amount of juice provided by your ultrabook batteries. Most ultrabook manufacturers are well aware of this and often release models with automatic screen dimming settings, a feature that will dim your ultrabook screen after a certain number of seconds or minutes of idle time.

Usually, this setting can be tweaked and modified quite a bit, to help you get a lot more life from your ultrabook batteries.

Avoid using your screen at full brightness. Besides saving battery life, it can also reduce eye strain for you. Don’t however reduce brightness down all the way to maximize battery saving as your eyes will strain just as much as when looking at a bright screen when it looks at a screen that doesn’t have sufficient brightness.

Be aggressively conservative when it comes to choosing how you want your ultrabook’s screen’s power settings to respond when it is running on battery power. As an example, you can choose aggressive settings like “Dim the display” after just 1 minute and “Turn off the display” after just 2 minutes. You will see that your ultrabook has two sets of screen settings for when it is plugged in and when running on battery power.

Use your Ultrabook’s energy saving power plan

Navigate through your Ultrabook settings to find a Energy-Saving or Balanced Power utilization option. Choosing this will prompt the ultrabook to automatically deploy a number of power saving options like turning off the Wi-Fi, turning of Bluetooth and by dimming the screen to battery saving optimal levels. It may not give you a full-fledged experience but it will ensure that your ultrabook has some juice left when you want to send off an important email late in the day, with no charger in sight.

Avoid bad charging mistakes

If your Ultrabook battery was OK or even good when you first started using it but has deteriorated over time, it is probably you who is at fault. A vast majority of ultrabook and laptop owners out there abuse their laptop or ultrabook’s battery by improperly charging it.

As a general rule of thumb, one should put their ultrabook battery on charge before battery life goes down below 30%. Letting the charge go to less than 10% is the worst thing you can do to your ultrabook battery.

Another tip that might rather surprise you is that it is always better to stop charging when your ultrabook battery life has reached about 80%. Though the extra 20% of battery can obviously make your ultrabook battery last longer, repeated tests and studies have showed that disconnecting your ultrabook’s charger when battery power has reached 80% significantly improves the durability of the battery, allowing it to last for a larger number of charge cycles.

Another very common ultrabook charging mistake is when people leave their charger plugged in even after battery has reached 100% charge. Doing so can heat up the battery, cause crystallization* and several other problems that will slowly but surely start making your ultrabook battery drain faster and conk out sooner rather than later.

*Crystallization is not a problem that affects modern day batteries as they cut off charging when 100% charge is reached. However, it is still true that constantly charging beyond 80% reduces the durability of the battery.

No Sleep! Shut down your ultrabook when you don’t use it

What do you usually do when you don’t plan on using your Ultrabook for a couple of hours? You probably put it on sleep or standby, right? Unless you plan on returning to your ultrabook in just 15-30 minutes, it is always a good idea to completely shut down the system, giving your batteries some well needed shut eye.

The problem with sleep or standby mode is that your battery is still being consumed, as it powers your ultrabook’s processor that is always on the lookout for when you will come back to use your ultrabook. Sleep mode also means that your ultrabook battery will continue to power hard drives, external disks and some other components. Also, hibernate is a much better battery saving option than sleep, if you don’t want to shut down your ultrabook for whatever reason.

Temperature control

When the room temperature is uncomfortably cold or hot, your ultrabook battery will usually suffer. This is because it usually has to work harder to power your ultrabook’s cooling fans to keep your processor, another component whose performance is related to temperature, cool and running smoothly.

Sometimes, even if your room temperature is optimal, placing your ultrabook on a mattress or a cushion or even your lap for that matter can suffocate the cooling fans, resulting in overheating that can really drain your ultrabook.

Invest in a good ultrabook cooling fan if you use your ultrabook by keeping it on soft surfaces most of the time. Remember that many ultrabook cooling fans are usually powered through your ultrabook’s USB port. Using such cooling fans to increase your ultrabook’s battery life is counter productive. Instead, choose cooling fans that are powered by their own batteries, even if it means spending a little extra for them.

Invest in more RAM or go easy on how you easy on how you use your ultrabook

What does the amount of RAM in your ultrabook have to do with battery life? Quite a lot actually! When you do a lot of multitasking on your ultrabook, the processor can run out of RAM. When it runs out of RAM, it reaches out to your ultrabook’s hard disk to use free disk space as virtual memory.

However, for this to happen, your hard disk needs to start spinning and that will require battery life.

These days, having 4 GB of RAM has become quite essential. 2 GB is the bare essential but anything lower than that will probably mean that you can’t expect much from your ultrabook battery.

If you can’t afford a RAM upgrade, you can try to extend battery life by simply going easy on your ultrabook, doing one thing at a time instead of having 10 different programs running in the background.

Further emphasizing on how your hard disk usage affects your ultrabook’s battery consumption, remember that a hard disk with a lot of free disk space can also be a friend to your ultrabook’s battery life. It is also a good idea to keep your hard disk clean and defragmented as a defragmented hard disk requires less power to be accessed than a hard disk that has never been defragmented or a hard disk that has very little free disk space.

Disconnect external devices connected to your ultrabook’s USB ports

Do you always seem to have an external hard drive, a reading light or some similar accessory connected to your ultrabook? Well, keep them connected only when you use them. Otherwise, pull them out of your ultrabook’s USB ports and you will see at least a little improvement in battery life.

There you go, tips that will hopefully allow you to increase your ultrabook battery life. If you have any other tips that you want to share or think differently about our tips, please check in with a comment and we will be happy to discuss it!

About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
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