Batteries and the Nerds Who Love them – inQuo’s Tech Tip Tuesday Newsletter

The Tech Tip Tuesday Newsletter from inQuo Everything you wanted to know about laptop batteries.  Yes, even that.
Laptop Battery Types
  • NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries are are durable, quick to charge and work well in varying temperature conditions.  They can last approximately 700 charge/discharge cycles.  They do suffer from the “memory affect”, meaning, if you charge a NiCad battery when it is half full, the battery will lose overall capacity.
  • Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries use many of the same materials as NiCad, but are not affected by the “memory affect”.  They are, however, more susceptible to having problems in extreme temperatures.
  • Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) batteries are the new standard for laptops.  Most new laptops will come with this kind of battery.  They do not suffer from the “memory affect” and weigh 25-35% less than nickel based batteries, and are just as affective.
  • Smart Batteries are Li-Ion batteries that are built with chips that monitor the usage and charging.  The smart batteries can increase the effectiveness by 5-15%.

Battery Tips

  • NiCad batteries can suffer from “memory affect”.  With a NiCad battery, you should always let it discharge completely before charging it again to increase the lifespan.
  • Batteries are specific to the model of your notebook.  Although there are companies that make replacement batteries, you must match the model of your notebook to the right battery.
  • If a battery sits without being used for a long time, it will begin to drain, and can affect the overall performance.  To store a battery, first disconnect it from the laptop and keep it in a cool dry place.
  • A new battery will typically not be charged fully.  Manufacturers will partially charge a battery for testing purposes.
  • It is recommended to run a laptop computer with a battery intact, even if the laptop is connected to the power cord.  The battery will buffer any power surges or outages that could cause damage to the laptop.
NiCad batteries contain harmful chemicals, and should never be opened or altered.  They should be properly disposed of at all times.  There are recycling options available for batteries.
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