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  • Laptop batteries

    I just ordered two new laptop batteries, and while I searched my previous purchases on both Ebay and Amazon, I apparently purchased my last set somewhere else and I don't know for certain how long ago it was, but it seems like it was probably only a year or so ago, and now I have "service battery" notices for both my late 2011 quad core i7 Macbook Pro, as well as for my late 2008 white Macbook.

    My question is, how often do you have to replace your laptop batteries? Do you run yours on battery power a lot of the time, or does your laptop stay plugged in and stationary more often than not? I do a mix of both, but I tend to use them plugged in more often than I use them on battery power. I wonder if that's what is causing them to fail more often. This will be the third battery (counting the one that came with it when I bought it) I've had for the MBP and the fourth one for the white Macbook.
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

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    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

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  • #2
    Lithium-Ion batteries have only so many discharge cycles they can do, but the depth of the discharge cycle makes a huge difference on overall life. Running them down all the way is the quickest way to make them unhappy; you want small discharges before recharging, and after the laptop is fully charged, don't necessarily leave it plugged in. Batteries will last longer if there's a very slight trickle discharge within the battery itself. But, leave it plugged in when you're working on it.

    For example I leave my MacBook Pro plugged in when using it, then afterward disconnect the charger. If I don't use it for a few days, I'll charge it up for 10-15 minutes so it reaches full charge, then disconnect the charger again.

    If you're diligent about watching charge/discharge cycles and avoid environmental extremes, Li-ion batteries can hold a charge for a long time. Amazingly, the battery in my 2005 Creative Labs Zen portable music player still holds a charge. It did about 8 hours initially, but still does 6-7 hours regularly. Not bad for 11 years old...
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    • #3
      Good tips - thank you Craig!
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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      • #4
        Well, my new batteries arrived today.

        The MacBook is a relatively easy swap (once I get the protective Speck hardshell cover off of it) but while the MBP is a more recent device, it requires removing a ton of small screws and opening the case of the computer to install the battery. Which is not at all an improvement over the earlier design IMHO.

        Anyway, I'm going offline now to install them - wish me luck!

        See you all on the other side...
        **********

        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

        - George Carlin

        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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        • #5
          I have a ThinkPad that I bought in 2002 that is still in service on stage and still has about a half hour of battery time on it. Which is remarkable because it never had more than an hour (old technology). I keep it plugged in most of the time but occasionally use it on battery.

          Same goes for most of my laptops. When I do run them on battery, I immediately charge them.

          I had one ThinkPad that I needed a replacement on, and I bought a compatible on Amazon, I think it lasted about 5 years. But again, probably 90% plugged in, so I'm probably not a good example.

          I don't know if this helps or not, but at home when they are plugged in it's a UPS and on stage it's a Power Line Conditioner.

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