Thursday, July 28, 2011

How You Can Extend the Battery Life of Your Tablet PC

When Apple launched the iPad, an entirely new technology sector was created. It is not an overstatement that the tablet computing revolution is taking off and taking over the worlds of telecommunications, laptops and mobile computing in the same way that Smartphones did just a few short years ago.

Now that the dust is settling, it is clear that tablet PCs are capable of some amazing, fun, productive, and innovative technology.  But there is one aspect of any tablet device shares with every portable ancestor in the computer/technology world—the darn thing still runs on a battery.  As cutting edge as the tablet PC technology is, its still as vulnerable to battery outages as your common, everyday flashlight. And like every other gadget that runs on a battery, the more you know on how to make the battery inside your iPad last longer, the more you will be able to enjoy it.  So, here are some tips to extend the battery life of your tablet.

For long-term battery maintenance, it is a good idea to go through one full charge each month, meaning charging it to 100% and then running the power down to 0% (make sure you also let it charge all the way back up to 100% after you have drained the battery).

Your tablet should have a feature that causes it to automatically power off if it is not in use after a specified period of time. You can change that so it powers off more quickly, thus cutting down on power being used when you are not enjoying the machine. Similarly, if you are using your tablet offline, turning off the Wi-fi while you performing tasks not associated with the internet will conserve your battery. To do so, simply go to settings and look for the tab for Wi-fi and switch it to off while you are working offline.

If you need to be online and have 3G service, temporarily disabling it and going Wi-Fi only can save you some battery life as well. 3G is battery hungry, so you can turn it off be going to settings> cellular and then setting it to off. It is easy enough to switch back to 3G when Wi-Fi isn't available.

Think about the brightness setting on your tablet because it is common to have it set too high for what you really need. If you are using your tablet in a room that has plenty of light, you do not need it to generate so much power because of a brightness setting that has not been adjusted. On the settings menu, you will find a slider to adjust the brightness. As you shift that slider, the change will happen instantly so you can play with it until you find a setting that fits your needs.

The final tips are to minimize the use of Push Notification and Location Services as well as fetching data less frequently.  Each of these features require battery use to send and receive data.  Limiting or minimizing their use will also minimize your battery drain.  Each can be adjusted from the settings menu.

All of these small adjustments will not limit your tablet functionality.  It will still be a really great tool and toy for you. Of course, the most effective way to cut down on ever having your tablet battery let you down is to charge it every night.  A great habit to get into is to have the tablet power cord set up in a room that does not get much use and to take the tablet in there and plug it in before bed. If you make this a part of your nightly ritual that is as routine as putting the cat out and brushing your teeth, that will go a long way toward helping your tablet get up in the morning full of power and life and ready to serve you well all day long (of course, don't forget to let it power all the way down to 0% once a month).

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