The De-evolution of My Laptop Battery

A long-term statistical look at battery wear and tear. Batteries continue to be the lead anchor holding back mobile progress. Not just from a performance standpoint, but encouraging a culture of disposability and obsolescence. 

We already know there are some circumstances like excessive heat which can dramatically shorten battery life, not to mention differing chemistries of batteries chosen by manufacturers which can affect wear. The author gathers some very detailed stats to make sense of battery life. 

I’m fairly careful with battery discharges (I usually plug in when under 50% if it’s convenient), and with no other specific actions, my 2012 Macbook Air is down to 90% capacity in 130-odd complete cycles (around 14 months of use). The official manufacturer rating is 20% loss over 1000-cycles, which equates to roughly 9 years before battery capacity drops below 80%. I suppose you could squeeze a few more years after that, or have the battery replaced. 

I’m pretty confident in saying I have many other devices which resist battery wear much more poorly, but I don’t have the stats. Being that mobile phones are generally under the most thermal strain, especially when in thick cases or left in the sun, or when Qi charging, the batteries would wear the quickest. Personally, if I was planning to keep a phone > 1 year, I’d only choose one with a user replaceable battery.

The De-evolution of My Laptop Battery


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