Advanced Tablet PC Battery Care Tips (Battery Care 102)

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When we consider the TCO (total cost of ownership) of a Tablet PC, perhaps one of the most expensive items to replace is the battery. Many users purchase a Tablet PC and go off on there merry way, charging, plugging in and enjoying their investments without worrying about the deterioration of the battery. However for those people such as business owners, students, and educational organizations who are on a fixed budget, the costliness of early battery replacements can be downright devastating! 

Whether or not you fall into either of the user categories listed above, we feel that it  is important that the awareness of PTPCBDS is increased by spreading the word. PTPCBDS or “Premature Tablet PC Battery Deterioration Syndrome” may affect  an astounding 2 in 3 users without them even knowing it! How do you know if you are falling victim to this potentially devastating phenomenon? 


Documented symptoms include:

  • Reduced Battery Charge Capacity (less time away from the plug)
  • Involuntary Expensive Battery Replacement
  • AC Outlet Co-Dependency
  • Tablet PC User Anxiety and Depression


Our hope is that by informing our readers we can help make sure that PTPCBDS doesn’t happen to you! How do you STOP your battery from premature deterioration and avoid the cost of an early replcacement? We have a solution!


Alright Enough Jokes – Here are REAL Battery Tips

This piece is actually a follow-up to some past stories we have posted here on TabletPCReview.com. If you have not had a chance, feel free to check out these two previously posted battery-oriented articles, Weekend Crash Course – Tablet PC Battery Care 101 and “Good to the Last Drop!” – Get More Time From Your Tablet PC / Notebook Battery.

In this “third installment” we present to you just a “few more” battery tips to further extend the life of your lithium-ion Tablet PC battery and maintain its highest possible performance for as long as possible. As we have also mentioned in previous posts, deterioration of your battery is an ongoing process that simply cannot be avoided. However, this process can be slowed down greatly by exercising proper use and care. We would like to thank Panasonic, makers of the outstanding Toughbook CF-18 Tablet PC for these additional tips.


Tip 1 – Charge the Battery in the Proper Ambient Temperature

Living here in Arizona where temperatures soar to 115  F and above, mobile users could easily make the mistake of charging a Tablet PC battery in an environment with a temperature exceeding the maximum recommended temperature of 86  F.

According to Panasonic’s “Important Battery Tips”, the battery should be charged in a temperature range of 50  F to 86  F. In places where the outside air temperature is high, the internal battery temperature increases. Charging a battery inside a vehicle with the windows closed on a hot day is not recommended. As we have stated in our Tablet PC Battery Care101 piece, “Heat will kill your battery’s lifespan the quickest.”.

Although it is obvious, we also recommend that you be sure to avoid Tablet PC exposure to Solar Death Rays as this could prove harmful or even fatal to you and your battery!


Warning: Some Readers May Find the Following Images Disturbing. (Sensitive Viewers ae Strongly Cautioned)…





Avoiding heat and Solar Death Rays can prevent damage to your Tablet PC battery such as that seen inflicted on this helpless twinkie.



Tip 2 – Avoid Excessive Charging aka “Topping Off”

Do not charge your battery more than once or twice per day. “Topping off” a battery that has more than 10% of its charge capacity remaining contributes to battery deterioration. A better solution is to only recharge the battery after a long period of use rather than running it to say 50% of its capacity, then charging it right back to 100%. While for most users this is not entirely avoidable (you are at 50% and need to charge up to go to class), topping off your battery should generally be the exception rather than the rule.


It may be all “fun and games” now, but topping off your Tablet PC battery will inevitably shorten its life.
 


Tip 3 – Charge Your Battery with the Computer Off

This may be the most difficult and unrealistic tip of all. However it is recommended that whenever possible, you charge your battery when your computer is turned “off”. So in an unrealistically perfect world, you would shut down your Tablet PC, fully charge it, then proceed to use it on AC power. The reasoning behind this being that heat generated by the CPU coupled with the increased temperature of the battery during the charging state violates the philosophy outlined in Tip 1.

The funny thing is that right at this very moment of this writing I am charging my Tablet PC battery while on AC power! Oh how I love to defy the practice of my own preaching! While this final tip may not be very practical to follow, the good news is that there is no significant evidence to show that your emotional well-being will be negatively impacted. (provided you follow tips 1 and 2).


Perhaps the friends you choose are more important to your emotional well-being than following Tip 3.






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