Keeping laptop plugged in

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Cathode Ray Sunshine
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Keeping laptop plugged in

Postby Cathode Ray Sunshine » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:42 pm UTC

Hello everyone,

I bought a new laptop recently, so I want to make sure to take good care of it and make it last as long as possible. I've heard that if you keep your laptop always plugged in, the battery won't last as long as it should. But information about this seems to be contradictory when I look it up online. Some people say it's true, others say that it's a myth, and I don't know what to believe. I always kept mine plugged in, and while it's true that when unplugged it doesn't last that long (about an hour, give or take I think), I've had it for 5 years so I can't say for sure if it's because of that or just regular wear and tear, or both.

troyp
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Re: Keeping laptop plugged in

Postby troyp » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:14 pm UTC

One reason for the contradictory information is probably the different types of batteries that are (or have been) used for laptops.

I think older laptops often used NiCad batteries, and after that NiMH batteries. These two types (especially the former) are prone to the "memory effect", where a battery reduces its capacity1 when it is repeatedly:
  • overcharged; or
  • not discharged fully before recharging
Better laptops (possibly all laptops now) tend to have Li ion batteries which don't suffer from the memory effect and can't be overcharged2. They should be okay to keep plugged in.

[1] At least in some cases, the memory effect can be reversed if you start charging and discharging the battery properly.
[2] It's probably important to note that Li ion batteries in general can be overcharged - and doing so will damage and then explode the battery. For this reason, laptop battery chargers have circuits to prevent overcharging.

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Cathode Ray Sunshine
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Location: Dominican Republic

Re: Keeping laptop plugged in

Postby Cathode Ray Sunshine » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:27 pm UTC

Thank you for the response. :)

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Neil_Boekend
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Re: Keeping laptop plugged in

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:13 am UTC

Also, for Li ion batteries always discharging below 50 percent can age the batteries faster.
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