Other Gadgets

Keep those juices flowing!

Ketaki Bhojnagarwala | Updated on August 18, 2011 Published on August 18, 2011

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You know that annoying moment when you're watching the last few minutes of a movie or finishing up a PowerPoint presentation, and your laptop starts flashing low battery warnings? For those of you who aren't ready to upgrade to a powerhorse that'll give you 8 hours of juice, here are some tips on how to extend your lappy's battery life.

Close all unwanted programs

If you're running iTunes in the background, intermittently checking your Facebook and working on that important Word document, you need to prioritise. Close any unwanted or unnecessary applications, which will cut down on your laptop's processing power.

Flick the dimmer switch

Besides being romantic, dimming the screen on your laptop actually conserves battery power. Reduce the screen's brightness as much as is comfortable, and rely on an external light source to help you finish your work.

Bye, bye optical drive

Whether you're using your DVD drive or have just left a CD inside, the spinning motion inside your optical drive consumes loads of unnecessary power. Remember to take out CDs when you're not using them, and if you must watch a movie or transfer content, use your hard drive or download it from the internet instead.

Disconnect

Although they consume less power than CDs, all USB devices, including your mouse, camera cable and phone's charging cable, drain your laptop's battery. The same goes for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, both of which are major battery killers.

Defrag your hard drive

Regularly defragging your hard drives not only helps you to keep your drive healthy, but also makes your laptop more efficient, resulting in less power wastage.

Be power efficient

Most laptops nowadays come with power saver features. Simply go to the ‘Power Options' feature in Control Panel to activate it on a Windows laptop, or tweak Energy Saver settings in a Macbook.

Clean up

Keeping your battery clean can actually improve your laptop's overall battery life, by increasing power delivery. Remove the battery from the laptop, and wipe the metal connecters with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Ensure the battery is completely dry before reinserting, and repeat every couple of months.

RAM it up

If you use your laptop for power intensive tasks, increasing your device's RAM will actually extend battery life. Low RAM means the laptop relies on virtual memory, which is less power efficient.

Maintain your battery

If you're using an old laptop, it's important to let your battery discharge completely before recharging it. This doesn't apply to newer laptops which utilise Li-ion batteries though.

Turn off scheduled tasks

If you're laptop automatically schedules virus scans or defrag exercises, turn it off so it doesn't happen when you're running on battery. These are important tasks though, so make sure you keep them up to date when you're connected to a supply source.

Published on August 18, 2011
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