Laptop batteries are generally available in two types -- Lithium Ion (LiON) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH). A laptop battery will run for up to three hours on a full charge. However, the actual amount of battery life depends on how the laptop is being used. Laptop battery problems can be caused by many factors including hardware, software programs, AC power, conditioning and temperature.
Excessive use of hardware devices can drain a laptops battery. This includes continual usage of the CD/DVD drive as well as hard drive usage. Using a CD/DVD drive to burn discs or to watch movies will result in less battery power. A laptop computer will also use more battery power when it needs to access virtual memory on the hard drive. The hard drive require a lot of electricity which is a common cause for power drain.
Software programs that run on a laptop can also be a cause for battery problems. Programs such as games, photo editing and other resource intensive programs will cause a drain on the battery. This is because resource intensive programs require more processor and video display usage which will use more electricity and drain the battery faster.
Using the AC power cord when the battery is fully charged can cause problems with the battery in the laptop. The battery is designed to charge when the AC power cord is plugged into the laptop. If the power cord is always used the battery is going to charge when it doesn't need to.
Conditioning is as term that is also known as "memory effect" which is when a toshiba laptop battery does not last as long as it should. This happens when a battery is continually recharged after short periods of use such as an hour or less. The laptop battery will begin to run out of power after less than an hour of usage.
The temperature of the laptop can also be a cause for battery problems. A laptop that does not get proper ventilation will run hot and can damage the battery over time. Keeping a laptop in a car or direct sunlight will also heat up the battery and prevent it from working correctly.