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For Seniors: Managing Power on a Windows 8.1 Laptop

One of the big differences between a desktop computer and your laptop is that your laptop can run off of a battery. Battery life, or the length of time it takes your laptop battery to run out of juice, is getting better all the time — some recent laptop batteries get as many as 9 hours on one charge.

A recent comparison by Laptop Magazine found very few models that stayed the course for as many as 20 hours. Consider avoiding laptops that get as little as a couple of hours of battery life.

For that reason, it’s important that you understand some tools that Windows 8.1 provides to help you manage your laptop power, including these:

  • Choosing a power plan, which has preset timings for actions such as dimming your screen or putting your computer to sleep.

  • Creating a customized power plan by choosing settings you want.

  • Adjusting settings for your display that deal with the screen brightness (a brighter screen uses more power), how frequently your screen automatically dims to save battery charge, and so on.

  • Changing how much time lapses before your laptop automatically goes to sleep — a state that uses minimal power but keeps the currently open documents and programs active (and quickly available to you).

  • Defining power button functionality gives you some control over what happens when you press the laptop’s power button or close the lid.

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