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When buying a new laptop (and most other mobile devices with lithium-ion batteries), the manual often says to do a 'first charge' of a few hours with the device closed (and it is a common instruction from stores).

Is there some technical significance for this, or is it just good advice that makes sure your device will be fully charge? That is, if not done, will it affect the battery and it's capabilities for future use somehow?

P.S. Not to worry, this is a hypothetical question out of curiosity, I do intend to always follow such a 'good advice' even if it doesn't have a technical significance.

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The issue is more commonly seen in nickel Cadium batteries and is known as the memory effect ( or lazy battery ).

Essentially the first charge you give the battery, it seems to remember the maximum amount given so if you charge it to 85% there is a high incidence rate of the battery only ever being able to be charged to 85% on recharges after this.

Modern day batteries don't normally need this so much as the memory effect isn't as common, plus a lot of manufacturers will now give the battery an initial charge in the factory to stop this happening.

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