Charge It Up Or Let It Die? : Blog Of The Nation Farhad Manjoo's got answers for your battery life questions.
NPR logo Charge It Up Or Let It Die?

Charge It Up Or Let It Die?

My fiance and I have a mild but ongoing debate about the best way to treat our rechargeable devices — our phones, our laptops, that sort of thing. I come from the school that teaches recharges are finite, so let the device get pretty close to dead before plugging it in. He's less anal about things, and just plugs his phone in whenever a charger's handy.

Love us some Farhad Manjoo. He, of course, has answers for our debate, because he knew who to call for answers: "Isidor Buchmann, the CEO of Cadex Electronics, a Canadian company that makes battery-testing equipment. Buchmann also runs Battery University." Basically, Buchmann said whatever you do, your battery's going to die. OK. But how should we treat it before it gets there? Well, of course, it's complicated, but Manjoo gives us this basic rule of thumb for laptops, batteries and cameras:

Keep the battery in the 20 percent to 80 percent range, and keep it cool.

It's kind of elegant, because it means there are no big winners or losers in my household! Read the details, and why you should pop the battery out of your laptop when it's plugged in, in Manjoo's column here.