It’s one of the perpetual debates of the Internet. Does leaving your laptop plugged in ruin the battery quicker than keeping it unplugged and charging as needed? Some say you should definitely leave it plugged in to keep the battery charged up, while others insist you need to discharge the battery to help preserve the cells. Now there’s a new device which aims to solve the problem once and for all.
The Eliminata Laptop Saver is a small device which sits between your power socket and the laptop and takes over the management of the laptop charging process. It does this by regularly checking the battery state and disconnecting and connecting the charger as necessary to keep the battery at its optimum charge level, which is apparently around 55%.
“The best way to look after the battery is to recharge it before it becomes 50 percent discharged. This can triple the number of cycles possible, extending the lifetime of the battery and the maintaining the runtime of the computer for longer”, explains John Halfpenny, co-founder of Energy Reducing Products, “Most laptops have internal power management, so the temptation can be to leave the laptop plugged into the mains but this is also damaging to the battery. Even on standby it is still consuming energy and a slow trickle charge to a battery when at full capacity is harmful.”
The product comes with a manual timer which you set to the length of time you want to elapse between the Eliminata checking the laptop battery, you can set it for 30 mins (for very old laptops with ancient batteries which struggle to keep a charge) to 60 mins for younger and fitter computers. The device will then check the battery state at those intervals (30, 45 and 60 minutes) and do the necessary to keep the battery optimally charged.
The additional benefit of this approach is the power and cost savings. The company says that a typical 3 year old laptop will pay for itself in around 19 months of use, and save around £14 and 90Kg of CO2 per year. It will also extend the battery life for an additional year, which is quite impressive. We have one on test now, but of course it really needs a long term evaluation to see exactly how effective the device is, we’ll report back.
The company is initially targeting the student population with the the Eliminata, and has already conducted consumer tests over the past 18 months to prove the concept works. It sounds like a neat idea, although we must say the only downside is you have to keep the product plugged in so it remembers the battery settings of the linked laptop, which means you can’t use it with other computers or take it with you on a trip. It would be handy if there was some way to have it store the settings in memory to cope with these situations.
The Eliminata costs £19.95 from Amazon, has a 2 year warranty and works with laptops and tablet computers.