The online owner's manual recommends that, using a BIOS option, the battery be "calibrated" (sounds like it runs a discharge/charge conditioning cycle). Has anyone done this, and has it made a difference? Thanks!
You let the battery drain while you idle in the BIOS. That would be exactly the same as if you would be in windows, and you would let it shut down by itself. The difference is that this will not corrupt your windows. Also, it is good to drain the battery at 0%, so the smart circuitry will know how much charge is left exactly with the battery, as it gets older.
There are two calibration routines in the BIOS menus.
1. Battery calibration
2. Fan calibration
Take the time to do both. On the 3220 and the 3270 (we have both) this reduced the fan noise significantly and increased battery life to 2-2.5 hours. Although it's not as quiet as we'd like it's still much better than it was. Battery life on the 3220 was about 1:15-1:45 prior (depending on how much the wireless as used) and on the 3270 it was about 1:15-1:30. I think these are shipped with Li ion batteries instead of NimH, so you can't expect super long life with them in the first place. NimH are heavier, though, so there is a trade off.
I think all the battery routine does is thoroughly run through the initial conditioning cycles at optimal rates of charge discharge to yield maximum results right off the bat instead of just haphazardly as in normal use. Li ion and NimH batteries both have initial break in periods where they don't hold as much of a charge (capacity) and tend to discharge faster (current rate), even though they do not have what would typically be called "memory". NiCd batteries were notorious for being subject to charge/discharge memory profiles that would eventually cause your battery life ot shorten as well as become less useful as time went on unless you were extremely diligent and cautious with your habits...and even then the lifespan of them isdramatically shorter than the newer two types as well as the current density being inherently less due to fundamental technology differences.
I don't even buy alkaline batteries for general use anymore, and use NimH wherebver I can. The benefit is multiple:
1. NimH batteries can store more total charge (usually measured in milliamp hours)
2. THey can sustain greater demands for longer without sagging (even better than the high end alkalines like duracell ultra)
3. have a better discharge curve (although NiCd is a flatter curve - it runs at a consistent level and then abruptly dies) alkalines have a brief initial peak period and then taper off pretty linearly with respect to time, NimH are a pretty flat, gradual curve until they get close to depletion
4. are resusable (DOH!)
5. can be charged quickly to 90%+ capacity (like an hour or less, depending on the charger)
6. have very little lifespan reduction with quick chargers (Li can be very dangerous, highly reactive innards - don't even try it wiht alkalines, they just die or splode)
Here's a great site where some guy does extensive battery studies...batteries are hard to benchmark because their usage models can vary so greatly from device and application to another and because of thier inherent nature...if anyone out there knows anything about electronics you'll understand when I say that it's because the internal resistance of a battery changes with respect to stored charge and drain rate. In simpler terms, the battery changes characteristics while it's being used so it is very difficult to create accurate mathmatical models to express the quality of the batteries characteristics, which is what you're trying to do anyhow when you're testing them - put them on equal footing for comparison.
Thank you. A wealth of good info there! I'm now at just over 2 hours of battery life, using wireless the entire time, and with 10% battery power showing remaining. For a notebook of it's size and weight, that's probably not bad. Thanks again.
Hi, I'm brand new here, got a 3270 a few days ago, love it so far, and especially love all the stuff on this forum and on http://www.averatecforums.com. I've already learned a lot I know I'll be putting to good use. Thanks to all!
Anyway, Rustskull, I just have a simple question about the 2 calibrations: the manual steps me through the battery calib and I did it, with the power plugged in, as it said. But there's nothing anywhere about power for the fan calb.; I did it with the power plugged in, is that OK, or did it need the power off? Thanks.
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by rustskull
[br]There are two calibration routines in the BIOS menus.