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Don’t you just love your laptop? Wherever you are, you’re in business, ready to do business. You could be at home, in a coffee shop or your client’s office. It helps you to be one step better than the other guys out there.
Which is all well and good until your battery bites the dust. And, wouldn’t you know it, it happens when you’re ready to walk into that client meeting. Now what? And you depended on this laptop to bring in that new customer. But never fear. As soon as you recharge, you’re back in business. This would never happen if you had followed these five tips for keeping that laptop going longer.
1. Plug in at all times
Every chance you get, plug in your laptop and let it charge. If you keep it charged, the better the chances that it will be ready when you are. And get an extra adapter, or two-one for your office, one for your laptop bag and one for home.
2. Not so bright
The new LED backlights are much better than the old CCFL backlit displays of the past. Better picture quality and power savings. Either way, that display accounts for a lot of the power usage. So keeping that screen backlight low makes a lot of sense. Also, watch out where you’re working. A low backlight setting will work a lot better in a coffee shop that it will outside in the sun.
3. Close down rogue apps
Watch out for those errant software apps running in the background. They suck up a lot of power. Web browsers are particularly prone to this. But that’s not the whole story. While rogue apps are busy sucking up power, they are also slowing down your entire system. You’ll notice evidence of this when you hear the laptop fan kick into high gear when it should be inactive. You can solve this problem by only hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete and bring up Windows Task Manager. Identify the culprits and close them out. If that doesn’t work, right-click on the offender and select Kill Process. As a last result, re-boot.
4. Shut off intensive background apps
Be sure to close any apps that use a lot of power when you aren’t plugged in. Bit Torrent clients and Folding@Home, for example, are a no-no during this time. And be sure that updates aren’t coming through during this time. Just periodically check your system for unusually large spikes, so you’ll be able to stop the large transfers during these down times.
5. Say no to unneeded devices
Disable unnecessary hardware devices, like data modems, Blue tooth radios, and Wi-Fi. And be sure to remove any DVDs or Blu-ray discs. And finally, those lighted keyboards are great in the dark, but you can save a lot of power if you shut them off when you are on battery power.
Just be conscious of those power killers and shut things off that you don’t need. You can help those batteries run for much longer periods if you simply use a little judgment. And when it comes time for your next presentation, it should go off without a hitch.