Laptop computers have been pretty darn great since they made their arrival and offered the portable alternative to a desktop. Being able to fold open a 13 or 15” workstation and hop onto a network has been an advantage that nearly all of us take advantage of on a very regular basis, and it’s quite possible you’re reading this on a notebook or laptop right now. Whatever you want to call them, they’re a huge part of our working and private lives, but one of the realities with a laptop is that you don’t dare travel very far or long from home base without the charging cable in tow.
We’ve yet to meet a laptop that has an impressive battery, and one of the things about them – whether Mac OR PC – is that that they tend to hold charges even less well as they get older. The basics of that is understandable, as nothing works as well as it did when it was younger and computing hardware is no exception. Older smartphones have their battery dies very quickly too, but in all fairness here iPhones are MUCH worse than Android phones in that way, and don’t think for a moment that isn’t intentional on Apple’s part.
But today we’re talking about laptops only, and looking more deeply into the why and how of laptop batteries being such a disappointment. This is a topic of interest here at 4GoodHosting in the same way it would be for any reliable Canadian web hosting provider because so many of us are on our laptops daily in the same way you are, and quite often they’re not plugged in – either by necessity or the fact we don’t want to be cabled up for whatever reason.
We are web hosting experts in Canada, but we’re not tech experts to the same extent. In the last little while we’ve learned a little bit about why laptop batteries die so quickly, so that’s what we’re going to look at here with this week’s entry.
Faster All the Time
Sure, laptop and CPU makers do urge you to upgrade your PC as the performance can’t keep up with the latest hardware. But the biggest reason someone would make that move is because the device’s battery life is probably exponentially worse than when they first bought it. There are a number of primary factors that go into this, but all that most people will need to know is that on average a laptop’s battery life capacity will go down by around 16% every year.
That is based on average real-world use, and of course some people will be putting their laptop through its paces much more emphatically. For most their charge-discharge cycles is much more uneven than they’d like, although newer laptops do charge more quickly than older models.
Reality is that charging and discharging your laptop’s battery reduces its lifespan, but using your device in the way most people do means that is unavoidable. Never letting it discharge fully, and never letting it charge fully to 100% is best and a lot of people won’t be aware of that. One thing that is interesting these days is how many manufacturers are including applications that prevent you from charging your PC to 100 percent, and the Surface Laptop Studio is a good example via the Surface app.
Smart Charge if Possible
The battery sub menu in Windows 11 Settings is where you’ll want to look to see if this is a possibility with your device. Between it and the Surface app you should be able to turn on smart charging. Microsoft has a number of tools to learn about battery life, but even if you don’t have a surface the Settings menu can be used on all Windows 11 PCs.
Look for your Windows battery report tool too to learn more about how much battery power is available to a PC, and even though it is not easy to find it’s a quick and effective reference. The Windows battery capacity history often reveals a steep drop in battery life over time.
Windows also estimates actual battery lifetimes. It isn’t entirely accurate with the fact how people use laptops will change over time. There’s been studies that have shown that from an active battery life of 9 hours 56 minutes in October 2021, Windows’ current estimate came in at just 7 hours 31 minutes for the Surface Laptop Studio’s battery life.
This works out to the laptop’s battery falling by nearly 2:30 over just one year’s time, and that works out to an estimated 24% decrease in actual battery life.
Not much to be done there, but you can learn how to use the Windows battery report tool. The Windows 11 Settings control (System > Power & battery) will only show the battery state of your laptop for the past 7 days, and without the details you need to really determine how well your laptop battery is retaining its vitality.