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USB Gadgets Effect on Laptop Batteries

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals

Gail from Oklahoma asks:

Will USB gadgets like the Chill Pad or Flexible light you sell make my laptop battery wear out sooner?

In short Gail, the answer to that would be yes. Think of your laptop battery in terms of a car’s engine. The harder a car works, the more gasoline it uses and the more energy your laptop is putting out, the more juice it is sucking from its battery. A chill mat is a thin device with fans on it that goes under the laptop. The fans blow cold air up into the laptop in order to keep it cooled. You see, in all actuality, the chill pads are very beneficial. Did you know that your computer running all the time and getting warm will actually cause your laptop battery to wear out sooner? It’s true.


As for the flexible light wearing your battery out sooner, all that will happen is that you may need to plug in your laptop to an alternate power source a bit sooner than usual. As with the chill pads, there are some pretty good advantages with the flexible light. It is great for those who work in the dark because they do not want to disturb those around them. It is highly portable and great for individuals that travel. No external power is needed, though you probably already know that. I love the flexible neck, which allows you to position the light exactly how you want it.

Many laptops have a built-in mouse pad and there’s no need to add an external keyboard, so your computer’s battery lasts for a long period of time. However, once you start adding external devices that require battery power this will put additional strain on your battery. If at all possible, try to stay away from USB gadgets with unnecessary lights on them. The light on my external mouse is the equivalent to the flexible light that you mentioned in your question. I have noticed that my battery lasts a bit longer when I simply use the built-in mouse instead.

Now, I would like to go over some of the USB gadgets with you and tell you a bit about their cool benefits to ease your concerns!

There are so many different USB gadgets out there. They seem to be the newest craze in technology. They have taken many offices by storm. Do you dream of an item that can be powered by juice that comes through a USB cord? Then it more than likely already exists. In fact, the only disadvantage with the USB devices that you plug into the laptop would be the fact that they have to be plugged in. Hopefully, in a couple of years, the devices will start to be wireless, like the mouse and keyboards available for desktop computers.


Besides the chill pad and the flexible light, there are other gadgets out there, which use up a small portion of your laptop battery, but are lots of fun to use from time to time. The first one would be the mood setter. The mood setter is either an incense burner or a colorful light that has a small spinning lamp. What purpose do they serve? They will allow you to take a break and take your mind off of work for a couple of minutes. They help you become more productive at work as they improve your concentration.

You also have efficiency enhancers. These are gadgets that have been created to do a certain task that is needed in order to keep you efficiently working. You have cordless access devices, application switches, wireless connection devices, and portable drives. They give you mobility and versatility by quickly connecting to your USB.

Don’t forget about the entertainment USB gadgets. These gadgets come in almost every size, shape and description. Do you remember that popular whack-a-mole game that you played as a child? Would you believe it if we told you that there is a USB gadget that will allow you to do this at home? Do you enjoy playing the piano or guitar? Then there are plenty of USB devices that act like instruments. You also have cartoon characters that sing, spin, play ball, and dance.

In summary Gail, when you are buying these devices that plug into your laptop, it is important that you read reviews on them beforehand. It is also important that you have a budget set and know what you are going to spend. If you do not do this, then you may end up spending more than intended since some of the devices are expensive and you could get carried away with all of these cool doodads. You may also want to consider a backup battery if you are inclined to use many USB devices with your laptop computer – especially at the same time.

~Cory Buford

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