Laptop batteries - leave it plugged in or not?

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by Sac Arrow, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    14,183
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eight Balla
    What's best for a laptop battery, when you use the laptop in one place; leave it plugged in, or unplug it when it's charged and allow it to discharge? Leave it plugged in overnight? Or not?
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    16,864
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    I plug in. But then I've been plugged for a long time. That's how I roll.
     
  3. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,965
    Location:
    SE Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    If I have a charger nearby I'll typically leave it plugged in, otherwise I just run it off battery power. I don't think it makes much of a difference either way though to be honest.
     
  4. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,326
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pasta Man
    It used to be that we were encouraged to cycle the battery. I don't think that is currently a thing.
     
  5. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    23,797
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    Mine stays plugged in until it reaches obsolesence.
     
  6. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,413
    Location:
    New York City
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skip Miller
    From life hacker website:

    "Smartphones today have lithium-ion batteries, which don’t suffer from the memory problems of older nickel cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries. Similarly, lithium-ion batteries count charges differently than older batteries, so you don’t need to worry about discharging it completely."

    -Skip
     
  7. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    14,183
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eight Balla
    Well, I guess I should rephrase my question. Is there a downside, other than possible increased energy use, of leaving it plugged in continuously?
     
  8. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    214
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi.
    The short answer is No.
    If the battery is older than about 4 years, or so, and it's the type the nicad (NiCd) or some other older construction type they wanted to be cycled / discharged fully before you recharge it, to retain the full charge. It is not likely that you have that type, you should be fine to keep it plugged in / charged at all times. If you touch it while it charges, and it feels real hot I would remove it, some of these new devices are not very good at monitoring overcharge.
     
  9. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    14,183
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eight Balla
    Right, that's what I was thinking. I'm sure it has a lithium ion battery. Those things tend to work great or explode (kind of like a couple of my exes) hence my question.
     
  10. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,544
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains, New York
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geek On The Hill
    Yes, but charge cycles do take their toll on Li-ion batteries. There's no "memory" effect, but every time the battery is charged it does shorten its life a bit.

    Rich
     
  11. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,548
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    deonb
    Yes, Lithium Ion batteries don't like staying charged at 100% for sure - you'll end up with a large capacity loss very quickly. If the laptop was capable of keeping it at 50% that would be great, but you generally don't have that option.

    The best way for a Lithium battery to survive for years is to keep it charged between 40% and 80%. But it's so ridiculously difficult to do that, that I'm not sure it's worth the bother. I've had multiple laptops that I put it on a charger the day I bought it and removed it 3 years later for the first time and the battery life was non-existent after. But it would have also been ruined if I just took the battery out and put it aside. You're screwed either way.
     
  12. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    11,544
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains, New York
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geek On The Hill
    I recently re-purposed an old Acer ONE notebook as an alarm clock with news, weather, and emergency alerts. The battery was so dead that the device wasn't even aware that it was installed.

    This device came with Windows XP and has since run many operating systems and performed many duties. Its most recent one was as a video server running CentOS and various server and video software, which was kind of impressive for such a small machine. But I digress. In all of those assignments it was plugged in all the time, so it's really no surprise that the battery was dead as a coffin nail when I resurrected the machine for its current assignment.

    Fortunately, good batteries of higher capacity than the original one and with superb reviews were available for ~$18.00 on Amazon. Apparently a lot of Acer ONE's are still chugging along.

    Rich
     
  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    16,864
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    These Arkansas boys say plugged in and wired.

     
  14. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    Central Left Coast
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ralph
    Watching that video too long might give you seizures or a flash back