Stop me if this sounds familiar: you’re about to sit down with your laptop, but as soon as you open the lid, you’re instructed to plug in for power, as you only have about 5% battery left.
Now you need to get the AC plug, find an outlet, and plan on being tethered to the wall for a while.
Energy management has plagued portable computing since its inception, but thanks to more powerful batteries, newer processors, and smarter software, it’s getting better all the time.
You can help, too. The following are a few tips for squeezing more juice out of your laptop.
Mind your apps
Your battery will last a lot longer if you use your laptop for basic, low-power tasks – like word processing, web browsing and emailing – than it will for system resource-hungry applications like online gaming and video playback. In other words, if you’re on a long flight (without an AC outlet near you) and you need to get some work done, you might want to put off that Fortnite game or Netflix binge until after you’ve used your computer for work – or there might not be much power left.
Disable radios, unplug accessories
Unless you need Wi-Fi or other wireless radios, such as Bluetooth (for a mouse), go into Airplane Mode, which turns off all embedded radios. This stops your computer from looking for other devices to join.