The typical lifespan of a lithium-ion laptop battery is about 18 months to 2 years, Buchmann says, but yours will last much longer if you don’t punish it too much. The main stresses include undercharging, overcharging, and one that few of us consider: heat. Temperatures inside a laptop can reach more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hell for a battery.
Ideally, Buchmann says, you should try to keep your battery charged from 20 percent to 80 percent. Keep in mind that these are guidelines for ideal use—it’s generally inconvenient to unplug your machine before it goes all the way to 100. But even if you’re not on constant guard, be mindful of charging your machine constantly, well past when you know it’s full. You also should be conscious of letting your battery run all the way to zero.
Try to keep your laptop as cool as possible. The best technique here is to charge up your battery when the computer is turned off. When your laptop is turned on and plugged in, you should pull the battery out of your computer. Yes, pull it out. “I know that’s inconvenient,” Buchmann says, “but keeping your laptop plugged in when the battery’s fully charged—that combination is bad for your battery.”
Click the slate.com link for advice on improving the battery life of your phone, camera, and other devices.
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