Batteries have come a long way through history. With the advent of the first battery, which consisted of paper and salt water coupled with metals, these marvels of harvested energy have evolved in capacity in the thousand-folds. Through science, we have innovated and experimented with the battery, using different metals, alloys, and materials until we found what type of metal held a charge for the correct task at hand.
Today's most popular batteries are named the lead acid, alkaline, and lithium-ion. There are many more types, but we will only discuss the preceding in this article. Lead acid batteries are mostly used in heavy duty applications, such as car batteries. They have amazing longevity and can recharge themselves if allowed dormancy. Due to their toxic liquid nature, however, they are impractical in small consumer applications that we carry in our pockets every day. Alkaline batteries have dominated the market for decades, due to their reliability, stability, and charge life. They are much safer than lead acid batteries, and are very well suited for small electronics. Last, but not least, is the lithium-ion battery. The lithium-ion battery is modern civilization's marvel in technology. It combines the best qualities of both the old technologies and improves on it. It has excellent charge life, ability to recharge, and is extremely durable. About 99% of all portable electronics are powered by the lithium-ion battery, and as such, we will be talking about conserving the OVERALL life of the lithium-ion battery. Please take note on why I said overall; how you use your battery for the FIRST time will determine how much it likes you for the rest of your quality time together. So be nice! It's powering your expensive piece of equipment~
The first step in conserving battery life takes in essence of the ending of the last paragraph. How you use your battery for the first (few) times will determine how it behaves later on. To facilitate describing what you need to do for your battery, I'll take you step by step below.
1.) Whatever you do, don't turn your laptop on just because you're impatient, or you want to “do the boring registration stuff now so I don't have to do it later”(been there done that). Put the battery in (if it came separately) and give it a FULL and COMPLETE charge.
2.) See step 1
3.) See step 2 (I can't stress it enough)
4.) Use your battery in a consistent manner, but let it completely drain to the point that it won't even power anything anymore.
5.) Give it a FULL and COMPLETE charge with the appliance turned off
6.) You're now free to use your battery however you like, but following the above steps once in a while will help improve the life and consistency of your battery.
The reason why you want to follow the above steps is because your battery thrives on consistency. Sporadic bursts of use and charging disrupts the usage cycle and damages your battery slowly in unseen ways. Nurturing your battery in the first few days will help it be strong for hundreds, perhaps thousands of charges and usages in the future. A few people buy battery drainers for step 4, but honestly, I think my step will suffice. There really is no need for spending your money on it.
Most of the energy consumption comes from the computer's CPU, and as it works harder, so does your battery. Knowing this, you would now probably understand that the battery is drained the most during startup. To improve the efficiency of startups, you can either uninstall everything that you don't need, or turn off a variety of unneeded startup processes. Doing this will put less strain on your CPU during startup, and also your battery. It will also improve the overall charge of the battery because you have fewer worthless idling processes to rob your CPU and battery of power. Also, Sleep and Hibernation modes on your laptop allow you to avoid the power draining startups, plus, since your laptop starts up so much faster with these modes, you'll be able to get a head start on whatever it is that you need to do.
Heat is one the laptop's worst enemies, aside from that morning coffee. A laptop that produces excessive heat drains the battery amazingly quicker than a very cool running one. The reason behind this is because as the computer gets hotter, the ventilation fan spins much harder in order to cool off the internal components. This in turn drains the battery faster. There's not much that can be done if a laptop had poor internal ventilation while it was brand new. This is could be due to a variety of reasons; cramped internal components, high performance CPUS and GPUS, low quality materials, or bad locations of ventilation. What little you can do, however, is cleaning the inside of your computer with compressed air. Dust buildup inside of a laptop traps heat and makes it hard for fans to cool internal components. I've seen temperature drops of at least 5-7 Celsius after ridding my laptops of built up dust, and slight (but noticeable) increases in battery life.
One of the most overlooked drainers of battery life is the WIFI card. Thousands of people leave their WIFI cards on and never bother to turn it off. Your laptop actively searches for internet signals while your WIFI card is on and this drains your battery unnecessarily. So if you're at a place with no usable WIFI signals around, turn your wireless card off, really, it makes a big difference. A signal isn't going to magically appear out of nowhere, unless someone is doing a phone tether. Even with that, chances are it'll be encrypted.
Lastly, get a solid state hard drive (SSD). SSD's have no moving parts compared to the high RPM metal disks in most of today's modern laptops. Since you have no moving parts, you have less heat and power consumption. Plus, your laptop will run like you wouldn't imagine. The speed advantages of a SSD versus a hard disk drive are monstrous.
Although I tried to make this article as detailed as possible, I appreciate any suggestions on improving it. If there is something that might be questionable, I will look further into the matter and adjust my article as such. All in all, if you've come this far, enjoy a happy life with your battery.