Working with a Laptop: Here's How to Save Its Battery Power
To get work done, your laptop has to have enough power in the battery – so here are some strategies to save power when you’ve got a long flight ahead of you.
We live in a global, mobile world. Not so long ago you could ply the translation trade without ever leaving your office, but today you are expected to be mobile just like everyone else, to travel to conferences and client offices for meetings and training sessions. On the other hand, not so long ago it was impossible to work from home while wearing slippers and sipping tea, so we can’t say that modern technology is all bad.
All this travel puts a lot of wear and tear on our mobile equipment and the batteries that power them, of course. There isn’t a professional out there in the world who hasn’t had the awful experience of having their phone or laptop blink off with a warning about low battery – just as we need it desperately. Whether you’re trying to finish writing that report on the plane or rushing into the big meeting, there is one rule in life: Your battery will give up the ghost just when you need it.
Of course, part of the problem, frankly, is you. You probably view your laptop like an appliance like your refrigerator and expect it to ‘just work.’ You paid a lot of money for it, the least you can expect is that it not die right in the middle of your big translation services presentation, right (not that I have any bitter stories or anything, of course)? Let’s be serious: A laptop is a delicate piece of equipment. You can’t treat it poorly and expect it to work perfectly in spite of that. In short: If you want battery life, you’re going to have to take some basic steps to help your laptop use less electricity – or at least be prepared for contingencies.
So, here are some tips on keeping your laptop up and running longer:
- Buy a second battery. Batteries are small; when you buy your laptop buy a spare battery and keep it charged. When one dies, swap in the spare, reboot, and keep going.
- Set your power settings: All laptops and operating systems come with power management Apps – find yours, learn the settings, and tweak until you get the performance you need with the least power consumption possible.
- Turn off WiFi: On a plane or not checking email? Turn off your WiFi card. There’s usually a switch on the outside of your laptop. Searching for radio signals takes a lot of power.
- Dim the Screen: Turn down your screen brightness as low as possible while still being able to see what you’re doing. A screen eats up tons of power at full brightness.
- Hibernate, not shutdown: If you’re not going to be using your laptop for a bit, DON’T shut it down – just close the lid and let it hibernate. It uses a lot of power to shutdown and reboot.
Now you’re ready to work your way through any international flight!
Image courtesy pepper-designs.com
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