• Steam recently changed the default privacy settings for all users. This may impact tracking. Ensure your profile has the correct settings by following the guide on our forums.

Optimal laptop usage for max battery life


Oldie moldie
As the title explains, I need the optimal laptop usage plan for extended battery life.

As I have read in some sites, a good usage is to fully charge, then use PC till batter reaches around 30%. After that, I can charge it again to 100%, then use it to 30% and so on.

- What do you think guys? Is that correct?

- What do you think should I do after the battery is fully charged and AC plugged in? Should I remove the AC adapter and work on-battery, or keep the AC adapter plugged until I want to shutdown PC?

Thanks in advance

Mr. Beefy

Suck It Trebek
I top my laptop off whenever I'm done with my classes and back in my dorm. I don't know if it's right or wrong, but it's what I do. IIRC, most laptops these days will stop drawing power from the AC adapter when it's fully charged.

I have a 13" MacBook Pro and the battery life is phenomenal, and I haven't paid attention one bit to letting the battery drain to 30 percent before charging again.


Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
All the suggestions on when to stop using your battery and re-charge it can probably be ignored. I would recommend running it until about 12% and then shutting it off. You just don't want the battery to completely deplete. I would recommend charging it completely and then removing the battery and running off AC power. If you remain constantly plugged-in and have the battery in, it will drain more over time. The only problem with that is if you accidently remove the cord the power will cut completely. The best recommendation I have is to buy a second battery, although that's costly.

In the end the battery will still be drained after about 1.5 years of use and it will no longer hold as much as when you first got it. Just make sure you get most out of your battery when using it by leaving wireless off when you don't use it and turning down the screen brightness (you never need it full brightness unless outside)
I pretty much top it up when I can, and sometimes (about once a month) use up all the power and then charge it up fully. There's such a range of supposed tricks to get the most out of your battery; but they all differ so I just ignored them all and simply used it as I need it.

I have a 13" MBP, and it's battery life is a dream. 6 hours from a full charge w/ no WiFi and low brightness. I outlast netbooks on occasion :p.


I didn't say it affected battery life. Given how Peukert's number affects the battery runtime, it would discharge within a maximum of so many hours no matter how low the power consumption is.
It wouldn't probably be all that great, as he intended to boot off a USB Flash, meaning the internal HDD would still be spinning and not to mention the CPU overhead of USB.

WiFi and Brightness are the two main battery factors i've found. I've also heard of undervolting your CPU using something like RMClock (Coolbook for OSX), but I doubt you would see improvements in battery life.


Oldie moldie
Zero, yeah. I always try to operate on minimal brightness as Ipaq said. And when I don't use WiFi, I just turn it off. I have an i5-520M CPU which has the dynamic turbo switch which decreases wattage consumption too.

I have a Toshiba Qosmio laptop, and it comes with an economy power plan. It does everything to boost battery life including Aero feature stoppage. I get around 2 hours, so that is good I guess.


Oldie moldie
No, 2 hours on a 15.6" laptop is the minimum satisfaction rate.


Justin B / Supp. Editor
Enforcer Team
2 hours on a laptop is terrible.
No, 2 hours is about the average for most modern laptops (ones that are not netbooks). With time battery life will improve with anything, but most modern laptops still hover around 2 hours of battery life which is why many have "extended" batteries that offer upwards of 3-4 hours or even 5.
well I work on brightness and wi-fi a bit.

I manage to get a extra 30 mins. Its a 4 year old laptop oh well. I got a extra battery from a friend that got his smashed lol.