How a bigger battery changed my life.

clipperOkay, that may be a bit more grandiose than is appropriate, but it does put a finger on how I feel about getting a new laptop battery for clipper, my work laptop.
Previously, I had been getting a around an hour of usage on it on the internal battery. When thinking about places to park and work, having a power outlet nearby was an absolute necessity for anything approaching real work. Sure, on the old battery I could fire it up, check email, do some quick surfing, but it put a hard limit in my head on what I could accomplish. I knew that I’d have to stop within a short window and move or shut down or whatever.
Recently I went from the 6 cell Li-Ion battery (56 watt-hour) to the 9 cell battery (85 watt-hour). The first improvement came from just having a new battery (Dell laptop batteries are notorious for losing their ‘oomph’ after a few years of use), but the other boost was getting a 40% increase in capacity. This drove my work time from a smidge over an hour up to over 3 hours of off-outlet use.
Now, that may not seem like a huge change (“just another 2 hours or so”) but in my work-pattern, it’s enormous. It means I can spend the 1/2 hour after just sitting down checking mail, getting settled, starting up what I need to do, and organizing my brain a bit, and then get into my work groove… without immediately needing to be interrupted by a power-fiddle.
I’m comfortable parking myself in a random restaurant booth and settling in for a good hack session without thinking about how to manage power outlets and cords, or even firing things up while sitting in my car waiting to pick up my son from school.
Yay technology.

Dave Shevett


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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