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How to Conserve Your Laptop’s Battery Power During Travel

Thanks to smart battery technology, your laptop can be programmed to warn you when its battery is low. The idea is to act fast on those warnings when they appear — and to take them seriously! Dally at your own risk. It's your data that you could lose!

The real trick, of course, is to ration what battery power you do have. Here are some tips:

  • Be mindful of the power-saving timeouts. Setting a Stand By timeout for 15 minutes may be great in the office, but on the road you may want to adjust those times downward.

  • Modify the display to use a lower resolution or fewer colors on the road. In fact, for most computing, a resolution of 800 x 600 with 16-bit color is fine. Such a setting uses less video memory, which requires less power to operate and keep cool.

  • Mute the speakers! Not only does this strategy save a modicum of power, but it also saves the ears of those next to you from hearing those silly noises that your laptop makes.

  • Disable unused devices. If you're not using the modem, turn it off. If you don't need the CD/DVD drive, remove its disc. Speaking of which…

  • If your laptop's CD/DVD drive is removable, consider removing it when you go on the road. That saves a bit on weight as well as on power usage.

  • Save some stuff to do when you get back home or reconnect to a power source. Face it: Some stuff can wait. If that 200K file upload isn't needed immediately, save it for when you're connected to the fast Internet line back at the office.

  • Hibernate! When time is short and your laptop has the Hibernation smarts, just hibernate.

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