Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Going, going, gone

Cordless gear is great.

Over the years I've appreciated the flexibility and excellent battery life out of some good cordless drills (if you know tools, blue Bosch and Panasonic).

I've also had a decent run out of laptop batteries. Over the years most of the laptops I've owned have had Ni-Cd or Ni-mH batteries in them. I have always been careful to cycle batteries, and to not leave them plugged in too long. And so I would often still be getting up to two hours' use out of a five-year-old battery.

Not so this time. On my present laptop the battery is Lithium-Ion. The big plus: it recharges so quickly, and is cool with being 'topped up'. The downside? It doesn't have the longevity of the other guys.

These lithium batteries are apparently good for about three hundred cycles, and then the chemistry ain't so crash-hot anymore. And that's what's happened here. The nice long runs of 2 or 2 1/2 hours have come to an end. Quite abruptly. We're good for about 15 minutes now.

I knew there had to be a trade-off for the convenience and power! Has anyone else made this discovery? I think I'd almost rather go back to the Ni-mH days.

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