Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Microsoft Windows Desktop

  • Print
  • + Share This
From the author of Battery Status

Battery Status

Now we come to the Battery Status panel. This panel serves two functions: It displays the current charge level for your notebook's battery and it lets you change Windows' power plan.

When you're operating on batteries, the top display shows the amount of charge you have left, both graphically and as a percentage of full power. When you're plugged into a wall outlet, this icon adds a power cord graphic and tells you how fully charged your battery is.

The Battery Status panel also lets you change the Windows power plan for your notebook. A power plan is a combination of settings that affect how much power your notebook uses; the more power it uses, the faster your battery will drain. You can choose a power plan that optimizes battery life at the sacrifice of screen brightness and computing power, or one that optimizes your notebook's performance at the sacrifice of battery life.

When you pull down the power plan list in the Mobility Center, you find three plans from which to choose: Power Saver, Balanced, and High Performance. The default settings associated with each power plan are detailed in the following table:

Windows 7 Power Plans

Settings

Power Saver Plan

Balanced Plan

High Performance Plan

Turn off display (battery mode)

3 minutes

5 minutes

20 minutes

Put computer to sleep (battery mode)

15 minutes

15 minutes

60 minutes

Screen brightness (battery mode)

40%

40%

100%

Turn off display (AC mode)

20 minutes

20 minutes

20 minutes

Put computer to sleep (AC mode)

60 minutes

60 minutes

Never

Screen brightness (AC mode)

100%

100%

100%

Typical uses

Best for conserving battery power

Good compromise between performance and battery life

Best for running high-performance applications

Which of these power plans should you choose? For most users, the balanced plan is a good compromise between battery life and performance. However, the power saver plan will probably give you a few more minutes of battery life when operating on batteries, and the high performance plan is probably best when you're on AC power.

And before we leave the Battery panel, know that if you click the battery graphic, you open the Power Options window. This is where you go when you want to edit the parameters of the various power plans—and, in essence, create your own custom power plans.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account