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Battery - A Definitive Answer?
Could somebody please give me a definitive answer on using and charging the Playbook battery?
I have read so much conflicting information I just don't know what to beleive. For example: Battery University which is often quoted recommends not to let the charge drop below 40% and not to charge beyond 80%. Now that to me seems to defeat the object of having use of 100% battery usage. It would certainly put paid to using it for long hours given it would only allow for 40% usage. Thus it would defeat the manufacturers claims of operating hours.
Next. Would it cause problems to the battery if it was charged to 100% and the charger was kept plugged in while in use? I note it changes from the lightning symbol to a plug symbol when fully charged, This to me represents what a lot of laptops do when fully charged in that they run on the mains.
Any real life experiences would be very much appreciated because I don't want to wipe out my enjoyment of the Playbook.
Last edited by Anna Key; 12-07-12 at 08:50 AM.
- 12-07-12, 09:32 AM #2
I use my own guidelines but I keep my playbook on the charger while not in use and never had a problem. It charges to 100% and all is good. When I use the playbook off the charger, I never let it get past 50% but as I said, that is my own guidelines I stick to. But you can let it drain past that. I also use the playbook actively while on the charger and never had a problem either.
- CrackBerry Genius
12-07-12, 09:58 AM #3
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You can safely use the PB between 0-100%. The PB's software, like most modern electronics, limits charge and discharge. It's not something the average consumer needs to be concerned about. When the Battery University mentions percentage they are talking about total battery capacity. That information is useful for folks that use lipo's in things like radio controlled vehicles and have more control over the charge and discharge of the batteries. The PB turns off or stops charging well before it reaches any voltage that would be damaging to the battery.
I have seen claims of not being able to charge after letting the PB get down to 0% and going into the auto shut off mode. Between my two PB's I have drained the battery to the point of auto shut off 20 times or more and have no trouble charging again. If you want to play it safe then put it on the charger when you get in the 10% range. Other then that, charge it as often and as long as it's convenient to you. Let the PB do the work of monitoring the battery voltages.
- 12-07-12, 04:44 PM #5
Just remember that if you charge using a computer's usb port (it can be done contrary to the rim warning message), the charge is very low and very slow and if you use it, it will probably lose charge.
- 12-07-12, 04:49 PM #6
LiPo batteries should have a relatively long life. Playbooks and even the iPads have not been around long enough to get good statistics on real world battery life. Accelerated lab testing only gives some idea using a small sample. You should use your tablet as you desire without having a strict charging regimen. Nevertheless it is probably desirable to put it on the charger when it gets down to 10-20% if convenient. Using till the tablet shuts off is not supposed to harm battery health. As has been said some do this often and have yet to experience ill effects. When the tablet is down to its recommended minimum operating voltage as dictated by the PB software it should be recharged as soon as possible for if left in that state for days or weeks it may require stack charging and be difficult to get going again. Two things of great importance are to avoid subjecting the tablet to high temperatures such as over 40 C as much as possible (may be a problem in some areas). A n example would be leaving in a closed car in >30 C weather in the sun on the dash. A second issue would be the health of the micro USB type AB port since it is easy to stick the charger in the wrong way. If you charge more frequently using this port it will suffer more wear and tear making it more essential that you get one of the chargers that use the magnetic charging port. And get the Battery Guru app to follow battery health and how your charger is working.
- 12-07-12, 06:06 PM #7
Good answers above. One more point for Anna Key: the engineers at RIM designed the PlayBook battery system to be extremely conservative and therefore robust. The battery could actually go below the lowest level they allow it to go, and could even go above, but they've chosen these particular values to be well within the range of safety. The result is that although the battery capacity is somewhat less than they could have made it, the battery life appears likely to be extremely long, far more than most of us would have expected.
Also just to clarify about charging to 100%: the system stops charging the battery once the voltage gets high enough (basically at 100%) and leaving it on the charger is entirely safe. I once ran an experiment where I left it on the charger for about 3 weeks straight, with Battery Guru logging data every 30s as it does while the device is plugged in. Once it was fully charged, it never again showed any current going into or out of the battery, for the entire period. I believe it would have been perfectly safe to leave it on the charger that way for a year, or longer...
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