You love your tablet because you watch movies and play songs from any room in the house. You rely on your smartphone to search the Web and send e-mail messages while you’re running from one meeting to the next. And you’re constantly toting your laptop computer to the library, bookstore or coffee shop to do your work on the go.
But you’re running into a problem: Your device’s batteries are fading quicker than ever.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to extend the battery life of your smartphone, tablet and laptop. Take them, and you won’t have to worry about your laptop shutting down as you’re putting the finishing touches on that report.
Slate Magazine recently ran an interesting feature on ways to boost the battery life of your laptop. The best advice? You can keep your laptop battery running at top power by not punishing it too much.
This means that you should never undercharge or overcharge your battery. Slate recommends that you keep your battery charged from 20 percent to 80 percent at all times. You will have to remember, of course, to unplug your computer before the battery charges to 100 percent capacity.
Slate recommends, too, that you never let your battery’s charge run all the way to zero.
Moreover, here’s a battery-drainer that few of us think about: heat. Laptops can run hot, and that can be devastating to a battery. Slate recommends that when your laptop is turned on and plugged in that you take out the battery. The magazine also advises users to charge their batteries only when their laptops are turned off.
Yes, that seems inconvenient. Nevertheless, these actions can dramatically boost the lifespan of your computer’s battery.
Your smartphone, tablet and other devices
The advice is similar for boosting the battery life of your other devices, devices such as your smartphone and tablet. Again, keep the batteries in these devices charged in the range of 20 percent to 80 percent. And do what you can to keep these devices cool.
If you make the mistake of leaving your iPad or Nook on your patio table during a sunny, 90-degree summer day, you’re just asking for a drained battery.
It’s important, too, to remember that digital cameras are notorious for running out of battery life. Make sure, then, to store your digital camera in a cool place when you’re not using it. You would hate for its battery to go kaput during your daughter’s first birthday party.
The app solution
The New York Times recently ran a blog post on several apps that can help boost the life of your smartphone, tablet and laptop batteries.
One of the best? The Times recommends Battery Doctor Pro, which costs $1 on iTunes. This app not only tells you how much time you have left on your battery, it also gives you advice on how to boost that time. For instance, it might tell you to disable Wi-Fi to extend your iPad’s battery life.
The app also comes with a “Maintain” submenu that will lead you through a process to boost the performance of your lithium batteries. Basically, this means letting your device’s battery run down to less than 20 percent power and then re-charging it to 100 percent.
Battery Boost Magic, which is free on iTunes, is another app recommended by the New York Times. The Times says that the app works in much the same way as Battery Doctor Pro, though it is designed more for less experienced device and smartphone users.
The Times also gives a positive review to the Easy Battery Saver app, which is also free on iTunes. This app allows users with just one tap to turn off such battery-draining features as Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. Users can also lower their screen’s brightness level with just one tap with this app.
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