Today, it’s almost a requirement to have a laptop no matter what industry you’re in. So when you’re in the market to purchase a new laptop, you want to decide on a laptop that not only performs well but has enough battery life to get you through the entire day.
We’ll be looking at how long should laptops last, what causes their battery life to diminish over time, and what you can do to ensure that your battery lasts as long as it can without having to do some expensive hardware repairs.
Laptops have multiple uses, including being able to use them as a monitor for your PS4 and as an incredible tool for accessing the internet. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, and discuss how long your laptop battery will last!
How Long Will Your Laptop Last?
There are a couple of answers to this question, the amount that your laptop battery will last on a single charge and how many cycles your laptop will likely have.
To answer the former question is difficult as many different models of laptops will have varying amounts of battery life. An old computer’s battery life will be considerably shorter than a new one. A gaming laptop will also tend to have less battery life than a laptop that is just used for work or study.
Overall, however, battery life can fall into anywhere between the range of 5 – 14 hours of active use, depending on the model that you have. Thankfully, the model tends to have a rough indication of how long it will last, with mid-range laptops having a battery life of 8 -10 hours.
As for how many charging cycles a laptop is typically capable of, that is also determined by a couple of factors. Laptops typically can survive about 300 – 500 full charge cycles, which describes how many times the laptop can likely go from 0 to 100% battery.
The Higher The Price… The Better The Battery?
Usually, the higher the price, the better the battery will be but this isn’t always the case. Gaming laptops for example, are usually quite a bit pricier but have a worse battery in general compared to non-gaming laptops of a similar price point.
That’s usually because gaming laptops use more power, draining the battery quicker. A mid-range gaming laptop is a great choice nonetheless but adjust your expectations accordingly. research has shown that on average if you spend less than $700 on a laptop then you can expect an average lifespan of about 2 – 4 years. More than $700 and less than $1000 will net you an average of 5 years of life, and more than $1000 will last you about 7 years!
Pro Tips to Prolong Your Battery Life
Now that we’ve taken a look at the average battery life and charge cycles that your typical laptop battery will endure, we can chat about the best tips to prolong the battery life of your laptop.
While your computer hardware won’t last indefinitely, using these tips will ensure that your battery will last longer overall. These will work if your laptop is affordable or expensive, and we advise you apply them to your laptop battery so you can get the most mileage out of your device. Let’s not waste any more time and hope right into our list!
Remove the Charging Cable Once Fully Charged
One of the best ways to ensure that your laptop battery is maximized is to remove the charging cable from your desktop computer once it is fully charged. This will conserve the battery and allow it to fully drain before plugging it back in.
Although this may be tedious to do, the current computing power will certainly thank you for it and you’ll find most laptops, Chromebooks, and desktop computers will last longer with this method. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t mean fully draining your battery to zero each time, this will destroy the battery more – simply allow it to reach around 30% before plugging it back in.
If you’re an adult buying a laptop for your kid, this is a great habit to instill in them
Make Sure to Clean Your Laptop Regularly
One of the most common reasons for a laptop to have a reduced battery lifespan is due to a collection of dust and other particles within its processing units. The collection of dust causes even business-grade laptops to overheat easier because of insulating dust and then more power is needed to run it.
With quick use of canned air, a microfiber wet cloth, and a homemade mixture of cleaning solutions, you can quite easily guarantee your laptop to last longer by cleaning it regularly. We recommend that set aside a cleaning schedule, just as right after a Zoom meeting or after you wrap up work.
Keep Your Laptop Cool With a Cooling Pad
Speaking of overheating, there’s a lot you can gain by adding a cooling pad underneath your laptop. A laptop’s life can be extended by keeping it as cool as possible since overheating can lead to battery degradation.
When you’re purchasing a new laptop, the best way you can save money on repairs over the long term is to buy a cooling pad along with it. Place your laptop on top of the cooling pad and you’ll find it retains heat better and improves performance.
These are especially useful when you’re in a department that requires high processing power – such as computer science.
Avoid Food & Drink On Your Laptop
This is more of an overall tip rather that will serve your laptop as well as your battery, but it’s important nonetheless. Avoid eating or drinking anywhere near your laptop or its battery, modern laptops have some degree of water resistance but they were not designed to be spilled upon.
You can drastically decrease your laptop lifespan by introducing a foreign substance like coffee or food crumbs that get between the intricate circuitry. Over time, they can degrade the battery, cause internal damage to your laptop, and be a blockage to your processes – this can be seen in gaming laptops especially.
Download An Antivirus Software
Although this is also a fairly intuitive answer and is likely something you would have done when you bought your new laptop, you’d be surprised by how often people forget about installing an antivirus on their computer.
An antivirus will stop any potential threats to your computer, such as viruses, spyware, and spam mail from infiltrating its way onto your laptop. Once these malware programs are on your laptop, they can drain the processing power of your laptop to perform their malicious tasks and this can hurt your battery.
If you’ve just bought an expensive laptop, there’s nothing better you can do to defend it and its battery than to download and install antivirus software.
Upgrade Your Laptop’s RAM
Another great way to prolong your battery life is to increase the RAM of your laptop. You can do this at certain tech stores and it does come at a steep price depending on how much you add, but it will improve your device’s performance.
And because your laptop has more RAM allocated to it, the chances of your gaming laptop overheating due to running an intensive program decrease substantially. If your laptop isn’t overheating, then your laptop’s battery will have less strain on it.
We recommend you upgrade your laptop’s RAM anyway since it has a prominent effect on how quickly you can open applications and use your laptop efficiently. Old hardware causes your laptop’s lifespan to decrease so ensuring your upgrade your RAM and update to the latest operating system are ways to alleviate this.
Signs That Your Laptop Is Declining
Sadly, no matter how much we may want to believe that our laptop and its lifespan can be saved, there are certain signs that your laptop is on the way out. Even though the tips we provide in this article may help extend your laptop’s lifespan if you see multiple of these signs pop up then it may be time to upgrade or buy a new laptop.
Very Slow Processing
Over time, your laptop will, unfortunately, experience compatibility issues in processing that will cause it to slow down over time. You may notice your browser has trouble opening new tabs, applications are very slow to run, and you experience lag when you’re playing games or designing on Cricut Explore Air 2.
A slow laptop will also be creating more heat than usual, which in turn means that the fans that your computer has will be working overtime to keep the temperature as low as possible.
If you’re consistently hearing your fans spin and hum as you go about your work tasks or casual gaming, then there’s a high chance that your computer is struggling to keep up. If you do test this, make sure to disconnect any external monitors, keyboards, or other devices that may also be contributing to your overworked processor.
Generally Strange Behaviour
We’re talking about randomly crashing, very slow start-up, and random glitches and flashes as you go about your business on your laptop. These types of behaviors are usually difficult to pin down and will cost money to fully debug but sometimes this is just a sign that you should be investing in another device.
If these behaviors get to the point where your workflow is hindered, then we suggest that you begin looking for a new device.
Frequently Asked Questions
We wish you and your laptop battery a long happy life further, and hopefully, this article has gone a long way to improving your habits and practices to prolong your battery life to the fullest. PC manufacturers don’t often tell us these useful tips and tricks when they sell laptops to use, so learning battery and disk utility tips are an underappreciated skill.
Nevertheless, you may have had some questions pop up here and there concerning your laptop’s battery! Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions when it comes to both Windows and Mac laptops and their batteries! Read on to find out more!
Can a Laptop Last 10 Years?
While in theory with perfect reservation, a laptop could last 10 years, you’ll often find that they don’t in practice. Laptops usually last about 5 years, with Macbooks and other Apple laptops having a slightly longer life space.
If you want a device that will last you a long while, a desktop PC rig has a better chance of surviving since you can replace its critical components.
What Reduces the Lifespan Of A Laptop?
We’ve mentioned quite a few of the factors that can reduce the lifespan of your laptop in this article, but generally, the accumulation of dust, spillage of liquids, and not taking care of a laptop-plugged battery are all factors that contribute to reducing computer life.
Consumer laptops like 2-in-1 laptops will fare slightly better but you’ll find that they have less processing power than your standard laptops.
Do Laptops Last Longer If you Don’t Use Them?
Although you may see some increase in longevity, the chances that your laptop will last much longer if you use them sparingly is incorrect. Business laptops and other devices that you’ll be using often will have some more wear and tear than a laptop you use for a few hours each day, but the difference will likely be negligible over time. web browsing
That covers this article and its contents, but we strongly recommend that you take it upon yourself to put into practice the tips we’ve illustrated here. You want to get the most mileage out of any laptop, whether it is a gaming laptop, Macbook, or business-grade laptop so it’s important to conserve the battery as much as you can.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.