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article imageTackling Power Efficiency in Laptops

By PeterH     Jun 27, 2007 in Technology
There are many opinions about how to maximize the life of a laptop's battery. What remains to be seen is if any of the methods actually work. Professionals with Microsoft and creators of the Linux are tackling this growing concern.
With the growing popularity of mobile computing, the need for longer battery life is essential. Most laptops have a standard battery life of 3 to 4 hours. The effort to discover ways to get the most out of the lithium ion battery is becoming a high priority of many people that depend on laptops for their business' success.
There are a few tricks to preserving battery life. Among these, dimming the displays back light is the most commonly known. Others include spinning down the hard drive and lowering processor speed. Although, spinning down the hard drive was always a chore and it wouldn't stay down long enough to save any power. Linux developers are working on a new kernel that makes spinning down more effective for power management.
There is now a Laptop Mode included in the 2.6 version of Linux. This mode is said to maximize battery life without compromising performance. Laptop Mode changes how disk I/O is distributed over time Click here for more information on Laptop Mode. Linux is also working on a "tick-less" kernel that could help a big power concern, the time-keeping of a computer. The new kernel takes a completely radical approach to traditional time-keeping methods.
According to Mike Fuller, vice president of PC Laptops, turning off a wireless card when it is not in use is a great way to save power. As long as it is enabled, a wireless card continually searches for networks. This takes loads of unnecessary power from the battery. Turning off unused programs that are running in your task bar is also a good power saver. As always, avoiding extreme temperatures is a good way to preserve the overall well being of any laptop and or it's battery. The most obvious way to ensure battery life is to only use a laptop on battery power when absolutely necessary.
More about Laptop, Battery life, Power conservation
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