aspose file tools*
The moose likes Mac OS and the fly likes is it still bad to have your laptop plugged in (almost) all of the time Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Engineering » Mac OS
Bookmark "is it still bad to have your laptop plugged in (almost) all of the time" Watch "is it still bad to have your laptop plugged in (almost) all of the time" New topic
Author

is it still bad to have your laptop plugged in (almost) all of the time

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31069
    
232

At the Apple store, he said I shouldn't be leaving my laptop plugged in when I use it at home. Is that still valid advice? I thought batteries improved so that doesn't matter anymore?

I do discharge periodically, but not every day or every week.


[Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Blogging on Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, OCAJP, OCPJP beta, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

Good question. Mine is plugged in almost all the time and I haven't had any problems. Nor with my previous laptop (at least not the battery).


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31069
    
232

My battery lasted for three years plugged in almost all the time. Making me skeptical of his claim.
Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 509
I have lenovo and it came with energy management software. This is what it says. My laptop is over 2 years old.


[Lenovo Energy Management.PNG]

Chris Barrett
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2013
Posts: 237
    
  12

I think the Apple rep might have been referring to the "swelling" of MacBook Pro batteries kept constantly at full charge.

In the past, batteries were NiCAD or NiMH. Those batteries, when left on a charger that didn't shut off automatically, would "burn out". I remember that being a big deal with old generation laptops from 10+ years ago.

Newer notebooks will use Lithium Ion and not have that issue. The Apple site confirms this: https://www.apple.com/batteries/why-lithium-ion/
Modern devices usually use an hard case Li-Io battery. Those batteries are very durable and don't explode (unless you really abuse it).

MacBook Pros and most smartphones, though, use a different type of Li-Io battery. Often called a Li-Po (Lithium Polymer) battery. This is Lithium-Ion gel inside a plastic bag. This gel is around 20% more efficient than traditional Li-Io batteries, can be squished more easily into tight spaces and is lighter. The problem is Li-Po batteries swell when at high charge levels (ever noticed your laptop heats up around the power connection while charging?). Smartphone batteries are small. The MacBook Pro's battery is big (relatively). That leads to more swell. Assuming your charger is working correctly, the charger cuts power to the battery near 100% and then tries to keep it at that high level. Always being near full can lead to the battery rupturing as they age and can accelerate that aging process.

ZDNet did a bit about this last year: http://www.zdnet.com/apple-macbook-battery-exploded-7000023425/

You don't need to worry about the battery "burning out" in the traditional sense, but you do need to worry about it "swelling up" in the modern sense.

Cheers!
Chris
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31069
    
232

Chris,
Now i have something new to be worried about. Seriously though, thanks. That is useful information.
Alaa Nassef
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 467
According to Apple's recommendations (current webpage changed)
Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month.

Keep it plugged in, but empty the battery every now and then, and charge it back


Visit my blog: http://jnassef.blogspot.com/
Chris Barrett
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2013
Posts: 237
    
  12

Hi Alaa,

If you try the link the archive site you referenced is archiving (http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html), that page doesn't exist on Apple's site any longer.
You will see it redirects to http://www.apple.com/batteries/maximizing-performance/ On that current page, there is no mention of the information you outlined.

Personally, I would be concerned how up to date retrieved information from an archive site is.
However if you apply the link they archived (http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html).

Cheers!
Chris
Alaa Nassef
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 467
Hello Chris,

The info I pur was there until late July (just two months ago), and this is why I got it from the archive. It's not outdated.
 
jQuery in Action, 2nd edition
 
subject: is it still bad to have your laptop plugged in (almost) all of the time