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jfos's avatar

What's my best bet with a new Lithium-Ion laptop battery?

Asked by jfos (7362points) July 2nd, 2010

Yes, I read the similar question from a week ago, and I wasn’t satisfied with the answers…

I’m expecting the battery I ordered to be at my house by the time I get home from work, and I plan on charging it as soon as I open it. This probably isn’t necessary, but it’s a 10.8V, 6600 mAh, 9 cell, Li-Ion battery manufactured by Lenmar. I’ve heard several tips on first-time battery use, and I want to get some feedback to help me maximize the battery’s charged-time.

I’ve heard to charge it up fully before use. Does this mean before I power up my laptop? Should I leave it on longer than the time needed for it to reach 100%?

I’ve also heard to let it fully discharge the first time. Does this mean I should let my battery die and let the laptop turn itself off? Or should I shut down the computer when the battery is very low?

Any other tips would also be helpful.

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5 Answers

blueberry_kid's avatar

For one thing, its lithium powered.

jfos's avatar

If anything, it’s Lithium-Ion powered. Li =/= Li+

LuckyGuy's avatar

Any good laptop has a built-in charging routine. It needs to know the level of full charge and empty. Think of it like setting zero and span for an analyzer.
The manual will tell you what it prefers.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

If you can find one with a higher mAh rating, select that one. It will give you longer use when running on the battery.

jerv's avatar

Charging fully before use doesn’t take terribly long and it does help a bit, so just wait the extra hour or so. I can fully charge mine from stone-dead to 100% in about three hours so just be patient.

However, once you reach 100%, there is absolutely no benefit to further charging. In fact, the light turning green signifies that it is no longer charging at all! At 100%, the charger cuts out. If it didn’t then the battery would melt. I know: I’ve done it to NiCads and lead-acid batteries as well. If you try to go past 100% then all you get are waste heat and/or noxious fumes, so LiON batteries have circuitry in them that tell the charger, “Hey, jackass! I’m full!” and then the charger stops cramming electrons in there.

As for that first discharge, I set the power options to put my computer to sleep at 3% and run it straight until it its that wall and automatically turns itself off. Actually, I do that about once a month just to recalibrate and condition stuff.

Turn your backlight down, set your hard drive to spin down quickly, and don’t use your optical drive (if you have one) when you are on battery power since that bad boy will suck down the juice real quick.

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