Planning to purchase a device with a battery should come with certain preparations. It is recommended not to trust manufacturers when they claim how a battery lasts X or Y hours. The specifications you find in product description pages online or in physical instructions are often exaggerated.
Sure, if you buy a new laptop, the odds of being satisfied with its battery life are relatively high. If something’s wrong with the battery right from the get-go, it is a manufacturing error, and you should get a refund. Nevertheless, setting realistic expectations prior to spending money is a better approach.
According to the study published by The Telegraph a few years ago, more than 80 per cent of laptop manufacturers overstate battery lifetime and use unrealistic conditions, such as playing video games or typing on a Word document for 10 or more hours straight.
To circumvent these tricks coming from manufacturers, you should take some time and do your research on the actual battery specification to determine how long a battery lasts.
- Trusting Online Reviews
- Following a Formula
- Finding Wattage
- Activities Draining Battery
- Other Factors Affecting Battery Lifespan
- What are Laptop Battery Cells?
- Estimating Laptop Battery Voltage
- Finding Out Watt Hours
- How to Determine Battery Life when Using a new Laptop?
- How to Determine Battery Life if you Already own a laptop?
- How Long should your Laptop Battery Last?
Trusting Online Reviews
Regardless of where you are going to purchase a laptop—online or a physical store—you should still use the internet as a source of information. The first thing to check are customer reviews. If there is a laptop you want to purchase, there are bound to be multiple reviews on YouTube discussing specifications, which include the battery life.
Customer feedback on the website is also a good option. There are usually multiple written reviews below a product. Think of Amazon and the likes.
Having said that, it is necessary to note that some online reviews are not genuine. Sometimes, laptop manufacturing companies pay reviewers to spread positive information. Thus, take online reviews with a pinch of salt and consider whether a reviewer is being biased or not.
Following a Formula
Getting a general idea from various online reviews is a solid approach, but you should still follow numbers to get a real estimate of how much a laptop’s battery lasts.
What you want is to follow a simple formula that gives you the result. First, find out what the Whr or Wh of a laptop is. The abbreviation refers to watt-hours.
Secondly, divide the watt-hours by expected wattage, or W. On average, a laptop should use somewhere between 10 to 15 Watts.
Take a laptop with a 90Wh battery. If you divide 90 by 15 and 10, you will get 6 and 9, meaning that a laptop’s battery is expected to last between 6 to 9 hours.
Keep in mind, though, that the battery of some laptops is affected by hibernation modes. When the battery percentage is low, a laptop enters preservation mode.
One of the hardest things about using the aforementioned formula is finding the actual wattage of the laptop. As a rule of thumb, a laptop with fully utilized resources will use from 65 to 100 Watts.
To determine the requirements, you have a few options. The first is to check whether a laptop manufacturer provides official information on the product page.
Checking the wattage on a laptop’s adaptor is another possibility, but you are unlikely to get access to it if you plan to order a laptop online. On the other hand, if you know someone who has the same laptop model, you can ask them for information. Purchasing in a brick-and-mortar store and encountering a friendly clerk could also work.
If you can get your hands on a laptop, finding its watt-hours is not that hard. For a Windows laptop, launch the Command Prompt and enter “powercfg/batteryreport” without the quotations. After typing the command, you will see a directory that has battery-report.html, a file you can check on an internet browser.
Look for Design Capacity and divide the number by 1000 since the capacity is shown in mWh.
For macOS, you can access the information by holding the option key and launching the Apple menu. Go to the System Information, select Hardware, and click on the Power tab.
You will need to use a conversion calculator by putting in Full Charge Capacity and Voltage divided by 1000. We recommend the converter on Appspot, but you should be fine with other options that Google provides.
Activities Draining Battery
It should not come as a surprise that high-end video games and video rendering software are the biggest wattage consumers, ranging from 60 to the maximum available amount.
Less demanding video games can consume up to 60 wattage, though the average is more like 40 or 50. Watching HD videos online is about 20 to 30, whereas not using the internet to watch these videos is 10 to 20.
Using the internet without having too many active browser tabs simultaneously can consume as much as 15 wattage. An idle screen, while a laptop is still active, takes roughly 10.
Knowing what you can expect from each activity should come in handy when you are trying to preserve a laptop’s battery or wish to calculate how much time you can spend on the device without using the charger.
Other Factors Affecting Battery Lifespan
There are other factors that increase wattage consumption. These factors include dedicated graphics processing units, high screen brightness, accessories like smartphones or USB flash sticks plugged in the laptop, and a screen that is 15 inches or larger.
While you can eliminate certain sources of battery consumption, it is important to note that some are integrated and not really removable.
On the other hand, you can also do some tinkering with the laptop to prolong its battery. For example, instead of putting the computer in sleep mode, shut it down once you have no plans to use the device.
Limiting visual effects and background processes is another effective method to avoid potential laptop battery issues.
If you notice that there is not enough free drive space on the laptop, free up the storage so that the drive is not too cluttered.
Overall, creating a proper maintenance routine for your laptop and sticking to it will ensure optimal performance, which includes a better overall battery lifespan.
What are Laptop Battery Cells?
Maybe you’re one of those who reads a laptop’s specs from start to end. Then you will have inevitably come across the battery specifications. Battery parameters can range from 42 wHr for a three-cell battery to 66 wHr for four-cell batteries.
Depending on the laptop maker, some laptops may feature packs with six cells, nine cells, or 12 cells. The higher the number of laptop battery packs, the longer the laptop’s battery lasts. As a result, a 54 Whr 6-cell battery has more energy than a 54 Whr 4-cell battery.
Estimating Laptop Battery Voltage
The voltage of the battery pack is not included in the spec sheet. Unlocking your laptop and viewing the voltage printed on the battery is one approach to determine the voltage. Another option is to use software to assist you. BatteryInfoView is a fantastic program that displays not only the voltage level but also other data.
This data can be used to determine the health of your battery. This software also gives three additional crucial snippets of information. Designed Capacity, Full Charge Capacity, and Battery Wear Level are the three factors needed.
The Designed Capacity of a battery pack is the greatest amount of power it can hold. It’s also known as a completely new laptop battery’s capacity. The quantity of energy your battery can currently hold is perceived as its full charge capacity.
Since there is no degradation in the battery, the Designed Capacity is much like the Full Charge Capacity for a completely new laptop. The battery capacity leftover from the battery pack Design Capacity is shown by the Battery Wear Level. A new laptop’s battery usage level is 100 percent. Due to depreciation and strain, the battery life decreases as you use your laptop.
Finding Out Watt Hours
On any comprehensive specification page, you should be able to discover the watt-hour figure. The figures can also be found on web store specifications pages, third-party evaluations, and authorized store pages like the Dell web store. If you can find mAh and Volts, you can use an internet calculator to translate these to watt-hours.
In a small percentage of cases, you won’t be able to locate the wattage you require, and you’ll have to venture a prediction based on laptops of a comparable model or price range. Owing to lithium-ion flight limits, you shouldn’t anticipate a rating greater than 100Wh. Everything higher requires airline approval before a flight; thus, manufacturers aren’t producing batteries above that capacity.
You may see statistics about your battery on both Windows 10 and Mac OS. You can demand to quickly verify the battery parameters of the laptop you’re contemplating if you’re familiar with the salesman or have a buddy who has the laptop you’re eyeing.
Look for cmd on Windows 10 and then select Command Prompt. Type power cfg or battery report once the window has opened. You can access battery-report.html in an internet browser if you walk the course that it generates.
Check for Design capacity and multiply the value by 1,000. If the Design capacity and Full charge capability mismatch, the battery of the laptop you’re using has deteriorated significantly.
On a Mac, we can accomplish the same thing. Select the Apple menu while holding down the option key. Click’ System information’ from the drop-down menu, then Hardware, then power. Full Charge Capacity and Voltage split by a thousand are the values you need. To calculate watt-hours, enter these values into a conversion tool.
How to Determine Battery Life when Using a new Laptop?
The number of hours a laptop battery can run on a single charge is called battery capacity. There are three techniques to evaluate a laptop’s battery life before purchasing it.
- Looking at reviews on the internet.
- Watch YouTube reviews.
- Using a Formula to Calculate Battery Life
Because they have utilized the laptop, the first two methods accurately estimate its battery capacity. If you use the formula to calculate battery life, consider that it is only a guess. You cannot use this formula to calculate the precise battery life.
How to Determine Battery Life if you Already own a laptop?
The capacity of a battery degrades over time and with frequent use. As a result, your laptop battery will not be as powerful as it was when you first bought it. The battery analysis does not make any suggestions for changes. Still, it can provide details about your battery’s capability over time, which might help you determine how healthy your battery is and whether it needs to be replaced or not.
You can use the power cfg command to get a battery report if you’re interested in your current battery level of degradation. To do so, enter the command prompt and Windows PowerShell and type power cfg/battery report into them.
This will generate a file named mybatteryreport.html, which you may view in your normal browser. This report is comprised of a single HTML page separated into several sections. This will show you the history of storage capacity, utilization, battery usage, and current consumption.
Another option would be to use BatteryCare, which is designed to notify you when calibrating is required. It optimizes the utilization and efficiency of the laptop’s battery in conjunction with the calibration notification function. It keeps track of the battery’s discharge cycles and assists in increasing its autonomy and extending its life.
BatteryCare is a useful tool that will assist you in getting the most of your laptop battery by providing precise statistics on assault, such as installed output, current capacity, degradation, and CPU temperature.
However, when discussing the disadvantages of this application, we should note that it does not represent any other information, such as event data, logs, or a history of charge/discharge cycles, among other things.
How Long should your Laptop Battery Last?
Laptop batteries aren’t designed to last indefinitely. They usually endure between two and five years. It could be based on how many times you charge it, the number of times you use it, and the battery capacity, among other factors.
A slew of variables come into the equation. In terms of battery life, the typical is 8 hours. Several things also influence this. When you have numerous Google Chrome tabs open, music is playing, and using Wi-Fi on its own will take up a lot of your time.
Furthermore, not all laptops are created equal. Gaming laptops are recognized for having the lowest battery life, while Ultrabooks are described as having the best.