Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, like all types of batteries used in laptops, deteriorate over time. A Li-ion battery that is a year old will not provide as much power as a brand-new one; the older one may not even provide an hour of power. Although this is a hardware issue, addressing software problems might improve the battery's performance. If your computer's Li-ion battery doesn't last like it used to, a remote computer repair service provider may be able to help you.
Lithium-Ion Batteries' Shelf Life
Li-ion batteries have advantages over their nickel-cadmium (NiCad) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) predecessors, as TechRepublic explains. Li-ion batteries are not prone to "memory loss" in the same way NiCad batteries are. (Memory loss is the reduction of a NiCad battery's capacity that occurs when it is not fully discharged before charging again.) Li-ion cells also last twice as long as NiMH ones, and users don't need to follow special procedures to maintain Li-ion batteries.
Despite these advantages, Li-ion batteries are not perfect. Citing research from Cadex, TechRepublic's piece notes that they only provide 1,000 charge cycles and last for two years. In a separate article on TechRepublic, Michael Kassner points out that high temperatures can damage a Li-ion battery, which would shorten its projected shelf life.
Many people, however, keep their laptop for more than two years. According to eHow, the average lifespan of a laptop is between three and five years -- significantly longer than the shelf life of a Li-ion battery. Moreover, this is only the average lifespan of a laptop; some people are keeping the same one for even longer.
If your battery's performance has significantly diminished, it has probably seen 1,000 charges or is more than two years old. You'll likely find yourself faced with few options. Notebook batteries:
- are rarely covered by warranties
- can be expensive to purchase
- might not be user-replaceable
Instead of paying for a new one or buying an entire new computer, people find ways to limp along with their laptop's original battery. You may already have begun charging your laptop more frequently, or you might always plug it into an outlet.
Remote Computer Repair
Remote computer repair services focus on software problems that can be solved online or over the phone, not on hardware issues that require in-person repairs. Through addressing software problems on your computer, however, a remote computer repair service may be able to improve your battery's performance.
The first thing they may check is your computer's power settings. Occasionally, a power-saving feature will be enabled that makes a computer shut down or go to sleep before the battery is fully depleted. Fixing this is a simple process for a trained repair person working remotely.
Even if there is nothing in your power settings affecting your battery's performance, there are several other options for a remote repair person. Depending on your operating system (OS) and computer's performance, they may:
- check which programs launch when the computer is turned on
- defragment your hard drive
- scan for viruses and malware
- adjust your OS to run smoother
These improvements will ensure that no unneeded applications are taking up your laptop's resources. A hard disk, RAM and a processor are all needed to run any program, and a battery is needed to power all of them. Removing extraneous programs from your computer will prevent them from taking up resources that your battery must power. With less to power, your battery will last longer.
If you're frustrated with your laptop's old Li-ion battery, contact a remote computer repair service like iTOK. They may be able to help you improve the performance of your battery without ever actually looking at it.