[SATLUG] laptop batteries

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Thu Mar 26 21:53:50 CDT 2009

I have a question about laptop batteries.

I have an inspiron 9400 (made by Dell), which is now a couple of years
old, but works beautifully. It has a dual-core 1.6 GHZ Intel chipset.
I have 2 batteries for it, which I always recharge fully after use and
take out of the machine and store when not in use. I never leave the
batteries in the laptop while the AC power is connected after they are
recharged for fear that I may decrease the battery's life.

My question is: Am I unnecessarily paranoid about overcharging the
batteries, and could I rely on the electronics to automatically shut
off charging when full in this newer laptop (running slackware 12.2)?

My experience with older laptops has been that batteries never lasted 2
years when left in the laptop all the time, but these are still pretty good,
and last about 1.5-2 hours, when they were new they lasted about 2.5 hours.

Is that because I take the batteries out when they are full, or
is that unnecessary? I notice that the KLaptop applet from KDE reduces
charging when it gets close to full, and then quits charging when 100%
full (I assume this is true because of the way the charging light first
comes on only sporadically and finally turns off completely when 100%
charging state has been reached).

Any insights on how to extend battery life on these types of laptops
would be most welcome!


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