When to change your laptop battery
Laptops have come a long way in the last few years, becoming smaller and more efficient computing devices that are often capable of keeping up with their larger tower counterparts.
One of the most important components of your laptop is its lithium-ion battery, which is the key to its portability. But even the best batteries won’t last forever, and the more you recharge them, the shorter their overall lifespans. Knowing when to replace your battery can help you get the most out of your machine.
All about performance
The easiest way to gauge when it’s time to replace your computer’s battery is when you notice a drop in performance. Lithium-ion batteries generally can handle thousands of charges and discharges, but eventually, they start to hold charge for less time. As your battery seems to last for less time, that’s a good reason to go for a new one; there’s also software on Windows and Mac machines that can help you gauge your battery’s life that you can usually find in the Control Panel section of your computer.
In order to get the most out of your battery, it’s important to do a few things to help its maintenance. Whenever possible, don’t leave your computer plugged in, especially when you’re not charging it. You can also help your battery’s health by being sure to discharge it fully – use the full charge of the battery, getting it as close to dead as possible – before recharging it to full. Finally, if your battery can be removed from your computer when it’s plugged in to power, you can make it last a lot longer simply by not using it.
The struggle about replacing batteries for laptops is that they’re generally specific to your machine. That can often mean that the best place to go for your new battery is to your computer manufacturer. Apple computers, for example, require you to take your machine to an Apple store in order to get a battery changed out, since Mac laptop batteries are internal. Luckily, buying computers and other accessories from Apple.com can net you 1 percent cash back.
If you’re a Dell user, you can get as much as 2 percent cash back for a replacement battery, while Sony offers 3 percent cash back and HP offers 5 percent cash back. You might also find batteries for a variety of laptops at Newegg, as well as at Walmart and Best Buy, where you can get as much 2 percent cash back, and RadioShack, where you can get 3 percent cash back. Some retailers specialize in batteries – try Interstate Batteries, which offers 4 percent cash back, as well.
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