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Home arrow Articles arrow Guides and How To Articles arrow How to Save Laptop Battery Power When You Really Need it
How to Save Laptop Battery Power When You Really Need it Print E-mail
Written by Kara Glover   
Wednesday, 15 February 2006
You’ve got a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York City, and one battery in your laptop. You’ve got work to do, DVDs to watch, and games to play. How are you going to get that battery to last? Well, hidden inside (and outside) your computer are lots of tricks to help you.

Dimming Your Screen

Your screen and hard drive use up more battery power than any other parts of your computer. You can dim down your screen to a point where your eyes still feel comfortable but you also save energy. On most laptops, you first dim the screen by holding down the “Fn” key (go ahead and find it because you may never have used it before). Then you look for a key on your laptop that either has a picture of a sun or a half-moon. (On my Sony Vaio that key happens to be F5.) If you find it, go ahead and hit it while still holding down the Fn key. A brightness adjustment box should show up on your screen. If you can’t find a key with a sun or half-moon on it, try hitting your various arrow keys while holding down Fn, to see if that works.

Turning Off Your Screen Altogether

If dimming your screen is good for saving battery life, turning it off when you’re not using it is even better. To turn off your screen, we’re going to have to go into some settings in the Control Panel. You’ll soon see these settings are not only good for turning off screens; they perform a whole host of battery saving functions.

Click on Start, then on Control Panel. If your Control Panel is shown in the “Category View,” click first on Performance and Maintenance, then on Power Options. If your Control Panel is in Classic View, simply click on the Power Options icon. Next click on the Power Schemes Tab. Underneath where it says Running on Batteries and across from where it says Turn Off Monitor, choose how quickly you’d like your monitor to shut off when you’re not actively using it.

That Power Options Properties box we just opened brings us to a whole host of other enticing options we can employ on our cross-country flight!


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