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Old 11-16-2012, 03:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

After being a desktop user for 10 years I finally bought a laptop today. It's the samsung notebook series 3. I haven't even switched it on yet, as I want to make sure I'm doing everything safely!The instructions in the box are brief and a complete novice like me isn't too sure of a few points. How do I charge the laptop? Do I do this before turning the laptop on? How long do I have to charge for?
It does say connect the AC adaptor before pressing the power on, but it does't say how long for. When and how often do I have to use the AC adaptor.
If there's anything vital I need to know and haven't mentioned, I'd love to hear.
Many thanks, Richard.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

Just plug the AC adapter into the wall and then into the AC jack on the laptop. Should be on one of the sides or the rear of the laptop.

Charge it when you want to or whenever the battery is getting low. You can't overcharge a laptop battery because they're Lithium-Ion batteries with circuits built in to stop from overcharging. The only things that will killthe battery are age, and heat. Heat is the biggest issue, because laptops tend to run a little hotter than desktops due to less airflow among the components.
Check this thread for more info: Useful Lithium Battery Information

It's geared towards phones, but also applies to laptop batteries somewhat.

You can plug in the laptop and turn it on and begin using it immediately. Don't have to wait for it to fully charge or anything.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

Don't worry! The laptop battery is ten times stronger than the normal cell phone battery. You can easily turn on your computer and use it! It will charge to full capacity. Funny my sister just purchased the same laptop. Good thing you read the instructions though, most people throw those out and go straight to using it!
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

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Originally Posted by QuincyO View Post
Don't worry! The laptop battery is ten times stronger than the normal cell phone battery. You can easily turn on your computer and use it! It will charge to full capacity. Funny my sister just purchased the same laptop. Good thing you read the instructions though, most people throw those out and go straight to using it!
By "stronger" I assume you mean capacity-wise? Then yes, the laptop battery will have a larger capacity than a cell phone because it is a much more power-consuming of a device.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

It's awesome that you moved into the notebook circle! It's pretty great to have one. The batteries can not only be used in the normal sense, but also as a UPS (Uninterupted Power Supply) where you won't crash if you lose power. The one thing about charging though that I wish someone had told me about when I got my first one is you should never keep it charged 24/7. Sure, it'll still last a couple years, but it'll die faster. Any Li-ion laptop battery can only handle maybe 500 dis\charges. So when it's plugged in, every time you use it, you're charging it at the same time whenever it's not fully charged, which keeps it at full charge. This is a great way to lose capacity. Also, if you're planning to store your battery, be sure you don't have it at full charge, or empty. This can also drain capacity. You can of course not worry about any of these things -- you aren't going to get arrested by the laptop brigade -- but it'll last longer if you unplug it when it's mostly charged and you aren't planning to use it for a bit, and never let it drop below 20%. (There's actually a circuit in some batteries that will keep it from recharging at this point to keep it from doing BadThings like reverse polarity, etc.)

It's true batteries aren't that expensive, but I'd rather save my $40 for as long as I can. Also, they're a hassle to get rid of, because (not to mention the chance to poison your town's water supply) you can get in trouble if you just throw them in the trash. You're supposed to take them to a disposal site, or you could probably take them to some PC stores.

As far as heat goes, especially if you're going to be sitting it on your lap, I'd suggest looking at chill mats. You can usually get a good one with a slide-out mouse pad for around $20-30. They have built-in fans that blow air into the bottom of the laptop.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

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Originally Posted by BrainFRZ View Post
It's awesome that you moved into the notebook circle! It's pretty great to have one. The batteries can not only be used in the normal sense, but also as a UPS (Uninterupted Power Supply) where you won't crash if you lose power. The one thing about charging though that I wish someone had told me about when I got my first one is you should never keep it charged 24/7. Sure, it'll still last a couple years, but it'll die faster.
Please read the link I posted earlier, it will clear up some misconceptions you have about Li-Ion batteries: Useful Lithium Battery Information

Keeping it fully charged doesn't matter. Newer batteries have circuits to prevent overcharging. Heat is the killer with Li-Ion batteries, which is what laptops produce a lot of, right near the battery.

Quote:
Any Li-ion laptop battery can only handle maybe 500 dis\charges. So when it's plugged in, every time you use it, you're charging it at the same time whenever it's not fully charged, which keeps it at full charge. This is a great way to lose capacity. Also, if you're planning to store your battery, be sure you don't have it at full charge, or empty. This can also drain capacity. You can of course not worry about any of these things -- you aren't going to get arrested by the laptop brigade -- but it'll last longer if you unplug it when it's mostly charged and you aren't planning to use it for a bit, and never let it drop below 20%. (There's actually a circuit in some batteries that will keep it from recharging at this point to keep it from doing BadThings like reverse polarity, etc.)

.
These I believe are true, however.

Letting it drop below 20% for extended periods of time can damage the circuits in the battery itself. But, again, there are circuits in batteries to help try and prevent this from happening.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

Thanks for the brilliant advice! How can I check that my battery doesn't drop below 20%, and where do I have to look to check battery life, etc.? How long should I charge my samsung notebook for in any one session? Is, say, 2 hours, long enough? Is there anywhere I can look on my laptop that tells me when a recharge is due. As a guide, I usually use the internet for roughly 2-3 hours a day. How often should I recharge to keep everything at a safe level? Thanks, Rich.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

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Originally Posted by cyberrich View Post
Thanks for the brilliant advice! How can I check that my battery doesn't drop below 20%, and where do I have to look to check battery life, etc.? How long should I charge my samsung notebook for in any one session? Is, say, 2 hours, long enough? Is there anywhere I can look on my laptop that tells me when a recharge is due. As a guide, I usually use the internet for roughly 2-3 hours a day. How often should I recharge to keep everything at a safe level? Thanks, Rich.
The battery life is visible in your system tray by your clock. There should be a battery icon that shows you the general charge level.

As for when to charge it, like I said, charge it whenever. I leave my laptop plugged in all the time and it's fine. It'll depend on how much you use the laptop and what you're doing on it as far as how long the battery will last. You can plug it in as long as you need to. Like I said, it doesn't really matter since there are circuits in the laptop to try and prevent damage to the battery.

Your laptop will shutdown / hibernate well before it gets to dangerous levels, so you shouldn't need to worry about getting below 20%.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

Thanks for that. I've just read the following advice on a couple of sites, what do you all think? With a new laptop it's best to charge it for 24 hours, then let the battery run completely flat. Then charge it fully for 24 hours again, then let it run flat again. Do this 2 or 3 times to ensure the battery has a longer life. After that just recharge when necessary. Is this good advice do you think?
I've also read it's best to leave the battery connected to the laptop at all times. Is this the best thing to do? Thanks, Rich.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!!I'm a first-time laptop user.

No, you don't need to power cycle the battery. That was necessary on older batteries or Ni-Mh batteries but not newer lithium ones. As for leaving it connected.. yes its fine to do that. I do via and I'm fine. Like I said, what will reduce battery lifespan is high, constant heat.
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