Doing a little research, I found that we may be a little uninformed about our laptop batteries, particularly the widely used lithium-ion variety. Although these things are designed to last a long time, you can further increase the likelihood of that by doing a few care/maintenance steps at regular intervals. The following are some of the steps you should perform to take care of the lithium-ion battery pack of your laptop according to a Yahoo!Tech article:
Don’t keep it plugged in and charging 100% of the time. This is somewhat surprising to me considering that I’ve found no device manuals saying I shouldn’t keep my stuff plugged in. But apparently, the ideal thing to do is maintain battery levels between 40 to 80% at any given time. This is after the initial charge of 100% to calibrate it. This suggests you need to create a work habit of unplugging your unit once in a while to get it down from full charge. There is really no need too strict about this (we all have more important things to worry about, after all, than obsessing about battery levels) but performing this once in a while surely wouldn’t hurt. In my case though, I had the X220 docked in a Thinkpad Mini Dock (Series 3 Model 433810U) about 99% of the time to connect it to a wired LAN and two LCD monitors which indicated that I didn’t follow the 40-80% rule.
Keep your device cool. When it comes to electronics, heat is the enemy. The lithium-ion battery is no exception. That is why being mindful of your device’s temperature is always a good idea and it’s not really that hard to do this as most modern laptops do have provisions for keeping itself at optimal temperature. You should always use your laptop on flat surfaces and try not to use it on surfaces that might impede its cooling system (on your lap, on bedsheets, etc.). It probably would be beneficial to keep a laptop cooling pad/mat handy or make sure always use it with a “lapdesk” like the Logitech Lapdesk N315.
- Store your device properly. If you’re not going to use your laptop/notebook for an extended period, you’d need to store it properly to protect its battery. To sum it up, if you’re not going to use it for a while, it’s bad to store it fully discharged, it’s bad to store it fully charged. The best way about it is to store it away with battery at around the 40-60% level. The reason behind this is well-explained here.
One way to help prolong the life and service of you laptop is to take care of its battery. The above tips, while seemingly a bit tedious at first, should become effortless in time and should help prolong the life and dependability of your lithium ion battery pack.