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6 Ways to Prolong Laptop Battery Life

6 Ways to Prolong Laptop Battery Life

For all that batteries do to power the devices we use every day that make our lives easier, most people don’t know a lot about the technology. Laptop batteries in particular are annoying and expensive to replace: here are 6 ways you can prolong the life of your laptop battery.

1. Don’t let your laptop overheat

If you can feel the heat from your laptop on your skin as you lie on the couch, you have a bit of a problem. That’s especially true if your computer is shutting down unexpectedly, as noted by PCWorld. It’s a little trickier to cool down a laptop than a desktop computer, but it is doable. You’ll need either a laptop cooler or a small PC vacuum that sucks up the dirt in the vents.

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2. Don’t remove or insert the laptop battery while the laptop is running

This is a pretty obvious one, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Among other suggestions, PCWorld recommends, among other suggestions, that users should always shut down your computer completely before removing the laptop battery, or you risk some serious damage.

3. Use the 80/20 method

Your results will vary, but the well-known 80/20 method will assist you in prolonging the life of your laptop battery. If you’re not familiar with it, the main principle is that a laptop battery should never (or at least seldom) go below 20% or rise above 80%. It’s not easy to stick to that rule all the time, but if you’re able to then your battery will probably last a little longer because of it.

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4. Don’t leave your computer fully charged

Even if you don’t use the 80/20 method all the time (and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t) do your best to not leave your laptop battery 100% of the way charged. Try to stay in that ideal 20% to 80% range (or better yet, 40% to 60%) when you’re away from your computer. That typically means not leaving your your computer plugged in overnight or for any extended period for the sake of your battery health. There’s a good chance you’ll occasionally forget to unplug, though. You can avoid having to remember by using a product like the Belkin Conserve Socket that prohibits your computer from fully charging. One could argue, though, that the money spent on a Conserve Socket would be better spent on a replacement battery…

5. Never let your laptop battery run out

This is one of the worst things for both your laptop battery and for your computer itself. As frustrating as it is when your computer goes to sleep before you can reach a charger, the harm of letting that happen is even more severe than you first realize. To avoid damaging the hardware (including the battery) be very wary of letting your laptop battery reach zero percent.

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6. Do not use Google Chrome

This very enlightening Forbes article reveals that the Google Chrome web browser may be reducing the life of your laptop battery if you’re using a Windows computer. As the browser stays open it eats up more and more energy, causing your computer to shut down sooner and your laptop battery to wear down faster. This is unfortunate news, especially since Chrome is considered by many to be the most powerful and effective browser. If you’re really, really concerned with replacing your laptop battery, you can switch to Firefox. But, like many of the other steps on this list, that might not be worth it for you. The convenience of using an arguably superior web browser and not having to keep a constant eye on your computer’s every function may triumph over the money you’ll save holding on to your laptop battery a little longer. Ultimately, though, that’s for you to decide.

Featured photo credit: digitaljp via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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