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Is it better to use laptop on battery or on AC power?

I recently bought a new Samsung R480. It's capable of handling games pretty fairly cause of the nVidia GeForce 330m discrete graphics card. The problem is that it can only last on battery for approximately 2 hours. My question is whether or not it's okay to leave the battery in while I use it with the adapter plugged in.

The difference of my question with other questions very similar to this is that Samsung has a feature that lets the laptop charge only until 80% supposedly prolonging battery life. Also, when I check the battery icon on the taskbar, it says that it's not charging, which i assume to mean that it's not wasting cycles.


Yes, its fine to leave it plugged in.

Nowadays, manufacturers use very advanced circuitry when it comes to regulating batteries. This is to prevent things like overcharging, being given the wrong voltage, or wasting cycles etc.

As soon as the battery is charged, the circutry should stop supplying power to the battery and the laptop should take power from exclusively from the mains.

So essentially when the battery is charged, it should'nt be getting used by the laptop, which is the same effect as physically taking it out. (Which is likely why its showing 'Not Charging', because the battery is full and it has, correctly, stopped charging it)

This is not so common in older (3+ years old) laptops though, where you will find leaving it plugged in for extended periods of time (weeks or months) will degrade battery performance. This is because the charging circuitry used was not as smart.

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The problem won't really be overcharging the battery; that hasn't been an issue in years. What you will see, especially when you're playing games, is that your battery will heat up, and that will cause your battery to lose capacity.

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  • my battery is not heating up. it's actually one of the coldest parts of my laptop. – cesar Sep 5 '10 at 10:39
  • Yeah, the battery should'nt heat up. It is kept away from hot components for that exact reason. Further, as long as the battery it's self is working properly, it should'nt heat up under use either. – Connor W Sep 5 '10 at 12:47
  • I had an HP laptop where the battery was right between the CPU and GPU.....not a good place, and you could feel it heat up like crazy. Aside from the heat problem, there's no reason to take the battery out. – Babu Sep 5 '10 at 15:28

To prolong the battery life you should leave it out if the laptop is going to be plugged in and used for long periods of time.

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  • Define "long periods of time"? Apart from that: Apple MacBooks actually run slower when you unplug the battery, and Apple recommends not to take the battery out. This may very well apply to other brands as well. – Arjan Sep 5 '10 at 12:50

I'm no expert, but I've run portable devices like that for years with no problems. The only drawback I'm aware of is that the transformer in the power supply for the charger will stay on and generate heat, which also means it's using power, even when the laptop isn't powered on and the battery isn't being charged.

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  • Surely it stays on: that's what powering the laptop, right? (It's not only used to charge the battery.) – Arjan Sep 5 '10 at 12:48
  • @Arjan: Durr. I've edited my comment to fix that obvious blunder. I should never post when I'm half asleep. – boot13 Sep 5 '10 at 15:08
  • Aha, how a few words can change so much! The downvote wasn't mine, but maybe the upvote makes up for it a bit. ;-) – Arjan Sep 5 '10 at 15:40
  • @Arjan: You are a gentleman and a scholar, sir. – boot13 Sep 5 '10 at 16:39

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