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How Long Do Netbook Batteries Last?

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 7/9/2009

A netbook battery comparison can provide some useful insight into the question, "How long do netbook batteries last?"

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    Basic Netbook Battery Comparisons

    While the average laptop battery life on a single charge is between 1 ½ to 3 hours, most netbook batteries will last between 6 and 9 hours on one charge. PC World's recent netbook battery comparison tests figured the following for some off the most popular netbooks on the market today:

    Of course, this does not mean you can expect your battery to last this long every time. The more intensive your CPU usage, the quicker you'll need to recharge your battery.

    When shopping for your netbook, remember that the high-capacity Lithium-Ion batteries available get you the most hours of extended use. However, these batteries tend to be larger and thus add to the weight of your netbook. So, you'll need to determine whether long battery life or small size is the most important feature for your needs.

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    How Long Do Netbook Batteries Last?: Tips To Extend Netbook Battery Life

    Samsung N110 When doing a netbook battery comparison, you may find yourself searching for tips to extend battery life. Here are a few ideas to consider:

    • Take advantage of your netbook's automatic power saving features. Under "Power Schemes," choose "Minimal Power Management" to squeak out as much time as possible from one battery charge.
    • Minimize screen brightness. The brighter your screen, the faster your battery will die. Set the screen brightness to the lowest level that still allows you to work comfortably.
    • Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use. The Wi-Fi adapter drains your netbook battery fairly quickly, so it makes no sense to have it on unless you're working online.
    • Turn off the Bluetooth. Although it doesn't drain power as fast as your Wi-Fi adapter, it will run your battery down even if you're not directly using it.
    • Don't keep unnecessary programs open. Each program window requires power to run, so only keep the programs open that you're actually using.
    • Disconnect USB flash drives. Many people use USB flash drives for netbook data transfer, but they do consume power even when they aren't in use.
    • Change your virus protection. Instead of using McAfee or Norton for your virus protection, check out AVG, CCleaner and Ad-Aware. These free programs work well, but won't hog your netbook's limited CPU resources.
    • Resist the urge to upgrade your operating system. Netbooks are designed for portable computing, which means they don't have the fast processors necessary for an operating system boost. If you downgrade, such as switching to XP from Vista, you'll see an increase in netbook battery life.
    • Take your netbook battery out when not in use. Not all models will allow you to do this, but it's an option for some netbook users to consider. This is especially helpful if you're traveling and worried about your netbook getting turned accidentally turned on before you arrive at your destination.