ThinkPad and General Battery Tips

The ThinkPad has a lithium-polymer (or lithium-ion for older models) battery pack which includes a microprocessor that regulates battery use and communicates the battery's status to the computer.

New Batteries
Understanding the ThinkPad's Battery Indicator Light
Maximizing Your Battery's Life
Power Saving Modes

New Batteries

If you are leasing an NMU computer and your battery doesn't last long or is in poor condition, visit the HelpDesk to recieve a new battery. 

When you receive or purchase a new battery, you may find that the battery is at or near 0% capacity. This will be due to the length of time the battery has been in stock and does not affect the quality of the battery. If the battery is at 0%, it may take up to 12 hours of continuous charging.

Understanding the ThinkPad's Battery Indicator Light

The battery indicator light below the screen indicates your battery's status.

 When Using Battery PowerWhen Using AC Power
Solid GreenPlenty of batteryBattery fully charged
Blinking GreenNABattery almost charged
Solid OrangeNACharging
Blinking OrangeBattery lowNA

Maximizing Your Battery’s Life

The rate at which you use battery power will determine how long you can use the battery of your ThinkPad computer between charges. Because each computer user has different habits and needs, it is difficult to predict how long a battery charge will last.

There are two main factors:

  1. How much energy is stored in the battery when you begin to work.
  2. The way you use your computer: how often you access the hard disk drive, how bright you make the computer display, etc.

Follow these tips to maximize your ThinkPad's battery life:

  • Do not let the battery get completely discharged. 
  • Do not let your computer get too hot. For example, do not leave it in a car on a hot day, and do not set it on top of a heater or block the vents. 
  • Use the correct AC adapter with your computer.
  • Keep the computer plugged in as much as possible. The battery wears out after a certain number of recharge cycles, and keeping the computer plugged in when you can will keep you from wasting cycles. The battery will stop recieving charge at 100% and should cause no harm. 
  • Use the ThinkPad's Power Saving Modes.
  • Decrease the LCD brightness - The LCD panel assembly contains a fluorescent lamp which illuminates the LCD screen. This fluorescent lamp consumes a substantial amount of power. Therefore, decreasing LCD brightness helps preserve battery power.

Power saving modes

Power saving modes are recommended when the system is not in use. These modes can be used any time to conserve power without having to first exit applications or save files. The following three power saving modes are available:

Screen blank
LCD is turned off.
All tasks are stopped and stored in memory. All devices except memory are turned off.
All tasks are stopped and memory data and current status of the computer are stored on the HDD, then the power is turned off.

To use Standby, Suspend or Hibernation mode, follow these instructions:

Screen blank
Press the keyboard function key combination Fn + F3, or set the standby timer at power management at ThinkPad utility.
To turn the display on again, press any key or press the TrackPoint pointing stick.
Press the keyboard function key combination Fn + F4, close LCD panel, set suspend timer at power management at ThinkPad utility, click suspend icon at battery meter.
To return from standby mode, press the Fn key.
There are three ways to hibernate the computer:
  • Press and hold down the keyboard function (Fn) key and press F12, then release both keys.
  • Click the hibernation icon in the battery meter
  • Set hibernation condition at suspend/hibernation/resume option in ThinkPad Features.
  • To resume your session, press the power button for no more than 4 seconds.

NOTE: In order for hibernation to work, Hibernation must be enabled. Also, hibernation uses disk space. See your User's Guide for details.

By setting the standby or the suspend timer, the system enters standby or suspend automatically when the system is not used for the time set by the timer.

When using Hibernation, you can select from several options for Hibernation from the Suspend/Hibernation/Resume icon in ThinkPad Features. For more information on those features, consult the User's Guide.

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