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Tips on longer battery life for your laptop while traveling

March 25, 2013

Laptops these days are becoming more efficient in terms of longer battery life, better screens and increased memory size… and so are the applications. Whether you are playing games, watching movies, reading ebook or just working on that school-paper, saving that precious battery life, especially on a long-haul flight is very important. But battery drains fast and most airlines don’t provide electrical outlet to plug in your computer. Here are some tips on how to save battery life.

Reduce the brightness of the screen
That bright light from the laptop screen can not only be annoying to the person sitting next to you, but also sucks up power. Dim the brightness of the screen slowly to adjust your eyes to the darker screen. You will also have longer battery life. Our favorite way of doing this is to use an app called F.lux, which will automatically detect when it’s nighttime, and adjust the temperature of your screen accordingly.

brightness

Less applications
Every application running takes up processing power, so if you can, use the less process-intensive applications. Turn off the background ones you don’t need and don’t multi-task. For example, you can use notepad to type documents instead of Word; or use Opera browser over Firefox. This will keep the temperatures down and hence save power.

memory

Turn off Wi-fi
If you’re in an airplane or a restaurant where wi-fi connections are not available, make sure to turn off the wi-fi card. Most laptops having in-built wi-fi receiver have a switch to enable or disable wi-fi cards.

nowifi

Cool down
Placing a laptop on your lap increases temperatures, so avoid it. Use the tray table on an aircraft, or place a pillow or backpack on your lap and notebook on top of it. There are tools to monitor the internal temperature of your laptop, and some of them will advice you to shutdown the apps that may be heating up the hardware. Worst case, put your notebook in hibernate-mode.

laptoptable

Hibernate, not sleep
Default operating systems are configured to put the laptops in ‘sleep’ mode when you close the lid. This let it ‘wake up’ faster on reopening of the lid, but in order to maintain sleep mode the laptop stores the machine state in memory which requires less electricity to keep it going. But ‘Hibernate’ mode saves your information to the hard disk and while it take a bit longer to boot up, requires no electricity to maintain.

enable-hibernate

Do you have any tips for fellow travelers? Send them in comments.



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