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Modern laptop battery performance when always plugged in

Discussion in 'Laptops & Tablets' started by bsoltan, 17 Sep 2017.

  1. bsoltan

    Mobster

    Joined: 16 Oct 2005

    Posts: 4,004

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Hi all,

    I'm considering replacing a desktop I currently have twith a laptop that can be plugged in to two external monitors most of the time but also offer portability without having to sync everything to different machines.
    edit: Oops I should mention this isn't a laptop for gaming, it'll be non-gaming when docked and very light gaming if I'm away.

    Several years ago I seem to remember it was a bad idea to keep a laptop constantly on power as it degraded the battery.
    Do I still need to worry about this, or are modern batteries better these days, I understand mobile phone battery technology improved on this.

    Is there anything in particular to check in laptop specs for this? I'm considering a high spec machine (Dell XPS/Razer Blade/Macbook etc.)

    Thanks
     
  2. ic1male

    Caporegime

    Joined: 28 Oct 2003

    Posts: 27,993

    Location: Westchestershire

    I bought a Dell back in 2007 and kept it plugged to the mains 24/7. It lasted until 2016 before the GPU fan failed and the laptop wouldn’t start up. But in all that time, the battery worked perfectly in the occasions when I went without power.
     
  3. bsoltan

    Mobster

    Joined: 16 Oct 2005

    Posts: 4,004

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Thanks! So maybe it is just something I've made up in my head? For me older laptops the battery life always seemed to be the thing that went first. They would start with 4-5hours but after a few years only get 30mins or so.
     
  4. ic1male

    Caporegime

    Joined: 28 Oct 2003

    Posts: 27,993

    Location: Westchestershire

    Yeah I was still getting a good 4 hours at the end. And batteries should have improved in those 10 years that passed. They are supposed to be more intelligent and manage their charges much better.
     
  5. hornetstinger

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2016

    Posts: 6,986

    Lithium batteries last about 5 years anyway, and typically 500 charge cycles
     
  6. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 70,655

    Older laptops used like nicad or something like that with power management that kept them trickle charging when on mains power which sometimes degraded the battery performance over time if they were never cycled. Modern Lithium battery power management doesn't work like that - they will also do 1000s of charges from like 80-90% to full before suffering any degradation.

    I have a Sony Ericsson k750i from release in like 2005 or so still going strong on its original battery as a backup phone/backup alarm hardly any reduction in battery life, etc.

    EDIT: From my calculations its been charged a little over 300 times from reasonably low battery.
     
  7. krooton

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 May 2004

    Posts: 26,261

    Location: Leafy outskirts of London

    I used my XMG laptop 99% of the time plugged in, regardless of if gaming or browsing.

    After a year and a half the battery wear was only 4%