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How long will a battery hold its charge for?

by solitairedaxel / November 17, 2009 5:41 AM PST

Assuming that the battery is fully charged and then removed from the laptop, how long will it hold a charge for?
I am using a Dell Vostro 1710 and intend to use "official" batteries, but once a year I will be in a location where the electricity is erratic at best and occasionally will be cut off completely. My current battery will hold a charge for 2 hours 15 minutes, assuming I am not playing music or browsing the internet and my sound and screen brightness are set to the lowest possible setting. Unfortunately, I will probably have quite a number of documents to type up while away and it'll take longer than 2 hours to type.
I am trying to decide if it's worth getting a couple of spare batteries to bring along and charging them just before I go. I have absolutely no idea if a battery will hold its charge if it isn't in the laptop.

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You should find it difficult to get a straight answer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 17, 2009 7:37 AM PST

For example I have my laptop to dim the display a little for big power savings. On top of that it's a 15.6 inch screen so I get more time than a similar 17 inch screen. I also set the CPU to throttle back to 2 percent when nothing is going on and have the screen turn off after 5 minutes of non-use under battery power.

I get more minutes than I read in the reviews.

But if I were to not do all that, then I bet the number would not be as good.

The answer is "it depends."

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the life of the original battery is about one year,
by warrenwong1985 / November 17, 2009 4:01 PM PST

for the original battery,if you use in the right way,one years later,the full charge battery can be used about 2 hours;but if you use random,it can not,so as myself,i buy one more chargers,and put them in the place where i use them beside my car..


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Unclear on what you mean, sorry
by solitairedaxel / November 20, 2009 8:05 AM PST

Assuming I am buying brand new official batteries and charge them up fully, then remove them from the laptop, how long can I expect them to hold a full charge for?

Do they start draining as soon as they're removed from the computer?

My time limit is a week, so if they can hold full charge for a week, that's fine.

At the moment I will have one battery (my current one) IN the laptop, plus up to three batteries that will be charged up the day before I leave. I'm trying to establish whether or not the batteries NOT in the laptop will retain their charge or if a battery needs to be in the laptop to hold its charge.

(I usually disable battery charging using Dell QuickSet if I know I'm not going to be moving the laptop around, so I know a battery IN the laptop can hold its charge even when not being charged up continually by the power supply.)

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To answer you'll have to reveal
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2009 8:43 AM PST

The battery technology. For example we peg NiMH batteries to lose about 2 per cent a day with no load. You can google up what each battery tech looses per day.

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According to current battery
by solitairedaxel / November 23, 2009 4:48 AM PST

It's a Li-Ion battery. The current one is a 6-cell but apparently 8-cell "extended life" ones are available.

Just tried Googling "li-ion loses charge" and Firefox promptly crashed. I'm using the 3.6 Beta 3, which appears to have the same problem as the Beta 1 and Beta 2 - the entire browser will crash whenever I Google search. I did get a glimpse of the first search result in the 2 seconds or so before it went down and it appears that NiMH and Li-Ion batteries lose the most holding charge, which is annoying.
Unfortunately, I can't buy a laptop battery of a different battery technology because they don't make them.

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Not to sound uncaring.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 23, 2009 5:38 AM PST
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Battery run-time on a laptop is difficult to determine.
by yummylb / January 24, 2010 5:57 PM PST

Battery run-time on a laptop is difficult to determine.
Actual battery running time depends upon the power demands made by the equipment. The use of the screen, the hard drive and other laptop accessories results in an additional drain upon the battery, effectively reducing its running time. The total run-time of the battery is also dependent upon the design of the equipment. Generally, a Hi-Capacity battery will run 30% to 50% longer than the old battery did when it was new.

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by solitairedaxel / January 30, 2010 12:27 AM PST

Looks like it would be worth getting a high-capacity battery, then. Hopefully charging as late as possible before use, not using any programs except necessary ones and keeping the screen as dim as it will go might give me enough time to finish my typing.

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by jeff_windows_team / November 19, 2009 5:57 AM PST
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Laptop battery
by John Sunglasses Clark / December 30, 2009 6:49 AM PST
In reply to: battery

Laptop batteries typically last 1 - 2 hours, but it is difficult to be precise because much will depend on what you're actually doing. For example, graphics-heavy usage will drain quicker than using Word.

You probably need extra batteries, but remember how heavy they are - I have three for my Mac, and that's enough wight-wise when I'm travelling, I can tell you!

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Only using Microsoft Office, probably
by solitairedaxel / January 7, 2010 3:49 AM PST
In reply to: Laptop battery

Most likely only Word, possibly Excel and maybe a couple of other programs. I saw the media players eat battery power so I won't be using them.

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I think:
by nitikasnv / February 14, 2010 10:47 PM PST


I think that Depending on your laptop if it is new it should last up to 12 hours or longer if not your battery should be replaced.


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It's about 2 years old
by solitairedaxel / February 18, 2010 5:59 AM PST
In reply to: I think:

I acquired it from my brother when it was about a year old and I've had it roughly a year now.

The battery never ran for more than 2 1/2 hours. If a 12-hour battery was made for the Dell Vostro 1710, I'd buy it like a shot.

I've found by switching off the sound, reducing screen brightness to minimal and turning off Bluetooth and the wireless, I can maximise the length of time it'll run. But I still won't get more than a bit over 2 hours - it's programmed to hibernate at 3% battery. I usually close everything anyway just before it shuts down.

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Look at the battery SPECIFICATION.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2010 6:33 AM PST
In reply to: It's about 2 years old

All the dells back then came with 300 CYCLE batteries and you have a 2 year old battery. Count it luck you get over a hour.

Nothing seems wrong here.

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Have to correct myself
by solitairedaxel / February 22, 2010 6:18 AM PST

It isn't as old as I thought. When I got it from my brother, he gave me the paperwork and it says he got it September 2008 - so it's actually about 18 months old.

Maybe I should just make off with my dad's netbook for the duration. He reckons he gets 8 hours' battery life.

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Let's say you do that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2010 8:36 AM PST
In reply to: Have to correct myself

That 8 hours is usually good for about 300 times. So in a year another dead or not so good battery.

I'm unsure if the lesson is being lost here. Don't use the battery unless you have no other choice.

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by solitairedaxel / February 23, 2010 12:30 AM PST
In reply to: Let's say you do that.

I sometimes use the battery to "hold" while I'm moving the computer from one power-point to another.

I've heard that the battery will drain to some extent if left in the laptop while it's plugged into the mains. I tend to disable the battery charging in Dell QuickSet (it has an option for that) except when I've been using it and need to recharge it.

How fast does hibernation drain the battery? I use it quite a lot.

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A real example.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2010 1:48 AM PST
In reply to: Okay

I'm going to share one and only one example. My dv6310us was in storage for over a month. It was not in sleep but hibernation. I didn't connect the AC because I wanted to answer this question again.

It booted from hibernation and showed 99% full on the battery.

Be aware that I used the battery sparingly over 2 years. I know it's a limited resource. I never bothered to turn off charging. It sat on the desktop with AC for years.

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In addition to what Bob said...
by fjord_fox / February 23, 2010 10:25 AM PST
In reply to: A real example.

The salesman at the computer store that I buy from told me that when I am at home, always use the AC and pull the battery completely out. In addition, when you do run down the battery, keep it plugged in for several hours, so it can get a FULL charge.

My daughter refuses to listen to me and plugs it in for only 45 minutes - 1 hour, and then she wonders why it drains in a matter of 15-20 minutes or so. I bought her a brand new Acer laptop in June and told her to ALWAYS charge it for at LEAST 5-6 hours (while she is sleeping), but again, she didn't listen. She had the battery useless in only 3 months.

~ Barry

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PS. Never removed the battery. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2010 10:48 AM PST
In reply to: A real example.

Because it doubles as my uninterruptable power supply. I also never bothered to drain it since that counts as ONE cycle. These HP, Dell and most are 300 Cycle batteries. The advice I read, reads like what battery sales folk would hand out (sorry if that offends anyone.)

Back in the bad old days of NiCad and bad designs we did pull the battery but since about 2000, never bothered.

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Thanks for the advice...
by fjord_fox / February 23, 2010 11:14 AM PST

Do you mean to say that if you take out a fully charged battery and put it back in when you need it, even though you have not charged it up again, that counts as another cycle? If that IS what you are saying, that makes perfect sense to always keep it in and never let it drain. Maybe the salesman I talked to didn't know about those new batteries.

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There are battery university web pages.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2010 11:22 AM PST

Which you can digest all this.

My personal best is an even older laptop. A Compaq R3000 which the office acquired in late 2004. It's battery shared the same fate as most of our desktop bound laptops. It's 5 years old and again it seems fine but we don't run it on battery power, didn't remove the battery and it just runs and runs on AC.

All that advice about removing the battery seems silly at times.

I had a on site update to some software which is hosted on this machine and took it out. There was no power there and I ran for over an hour on the 5+ year old battery. I think that explains it.

Cycles count.

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