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Using power cord

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Surfer, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Surfer
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    Surfer iPF Noob

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    If battery has a finite number of charges. Would it be usefull to use power cord when available?
    Or would that just cause a smaller "memory". Thanks for your response.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    OK - this is a contentious and often discussed topic in the Forum. I think you've probably stepped into a 'hornets nest'.

    To begin with, the iPad has a Lithium Ion battery that does not suffer from the 'memory' effect associated with the older Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries. These older cells did exhibit 'memory' and it was recommended that you didn't 'top them up' but, instead, let them run down to almost 'flat' before recharging. But the iPad's newer cells don't exhibit this 'memory' effect and can be recharged from any state of charge without fear of 'memory' - i.e. reduced capacity.

    Having said that, though, every battery has a finite number of charge-discharge cycles - basically the battery 'wears out'. Apple suggest that the iPad's battery will retain 80% of its original capacity after 1000 charge-discharge cycles...see...

    Apple - Batteries - iPad

    Additionally, you'll see that Apple do recommend that you occasionally completely discharge the battery; this helps to 'recalibrate' the iPad's charging circuitry, ensuring that you get an accurate indication of the current remaining capacity in the battery.

    If you had an older laptop, you may recall how annoying it was for the battery 'fuel gauge' to indicate that you had, say, 3 hours remaining only to find, an hour later, that the battery was flat!! The recalibration process, achieved by running the battery right down to almost completely flat and then recharging it again, attempts to overcome that problem.

    As I said at the beginning, there is a wide variety of opinions on what is the best way to 'treat' an iPad's battery, so I'm sure we'll be in for a torrent of posts.....

    Tim
    Scotland
    I've put my hard hat on to avoid the brickbats that likely will be thrown at me.....:)
  3. Andyvalver
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    Andyvalver iPad Fan

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    Good question surfer. As a new iPad user I wondered the same thing.
  4. Surfingjoe
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    Surfingjoe iPF Noob

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    To me the answer is obvious. If you plan on using the iPad for a long time, then I would run on another power source when convenient. It is just a matter of time until the iPad will have to be returned to Apple to replace the batteries. I would make bet it won't be cheap or convenient.

    Another thing to consider, is that although it is said that the iPad can run so many charges before needing to replace the batteries, that last 20% to 40% of charges probably won't result in a battery that lasts 8-10 hours. Probably more like 2-4 hours. Probably even less than that at the last 5-10% of the batteries life cycle.

    So let us say 1000 charges before battery replacement. Use an iPad every day and charge every day, that results in having batteries that last about 3 years. In todays technology, the iPad is probably obsolescent in about that time anyway. But let's just assume for the moment we don't have planned obsolescence and we would hand our iPads to the kids and get a new one inside of those three years. No wait, we'll be required to send it in to Apple for battery replacement and better still, it will be hundreds of dollars and we would be considering at that price, perhaps it would be better to just simply by a newer and better model. Hmmm do you smell a designed obsolescence?

    This is true of anything that runs on batteries, especially laptops.

    The biggest difference between Apple and all other manufactures of portable devices, you can at least purchase third party batteries and replace them yourself when the batteries go end of life.
  5. Pingles
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    Pingles iPF Novice

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    I don't know if it is true for the iPad but on some devices the power cord is JUST to charge. The system knows when it's attached (hence the charge icon) but does not run from it.

    In fact, some systems do not get enough power from the cord to run, just to charge.

    So by using your iPad when the power cord is attached you may, theoretically, be charging/depleting multiple cycles with one use.

    I started researching this when my Fujitsu Slate (of several years ago) started holding less and less charge over a very short period of time. I was informed by some other users they had the same result after long-term use always tethered. Sure enough, that is the way I used my Slate.

    Perhaps these are the old-school batteries discussed above, I don't know. But I always use my iPad untethered just for this reason
  6. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, hundreds of dollars? I think thee protest too much!

    As I recall it's $99 and having owned various Apple products down the years I have never had to replace batteries in anything at 3 years, in fact I have never had to replace batteries period.

    A point in case, I still have my original 2g iPhone (yes, i know!) which has been charged every day of it's now long life and the battery holds charge easily for a full day. The battery life cycle is a guide, not a countdown to Armageddon.

    Designed obsolescence my arse! I have an old CRT iMac in a friends garage that still fires up and runs sweetly on Tiger, we have MacBooks all over the place and at all ages, look online and see the iBooks which are still running years after they came off the production line and to top it all my other halfs son still has an original iPod which still gets used everyday (and on original batteries).

    Hmm!

    The Archangel
  7. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Just a quick note about charge cycles. It refers to a complete 100% discharge and recharge. So if you ran your iPad down 20% one day, 30% the next, and 50% the third day, recharging each night, that would still only be one cycle.

    That means that with average use the battery has the potential to retain more than 80% of its caoacity for longer than three years. There are other aging factors, and of course batteries do fail for no apparent reaso at all, so YYMV.
  8. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Thanks - 'twerppoet'..perfect advice!
    Tim
  9. Surfingjoe
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    Surfingjoe iPF Noob

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    Well I did look it up. It is a hundred dollars, not hundreds. However my point is that you are still shipping to apple instead of being user replaceable and you can't purchase third party batteries.

    I did digress and express my lack of enthusiasm for "Apple only" servicing of the batteries.

    My point is that all batteries have a finite life cycle, that is a fact that can not be disputed. If you truly want your iPad to have 8 to 10 hours of run time after 2-3 years, run it on another power source when convenient.

    I love the battery life of my iPad, great convenience and portability. But I do tether it to a laptop or wall socket if I'm at my desk, and I definitely run the screen at reduced brilliance while indoors, I definitely let screen auto-lock after a few minutes of inactivity.
  10. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    The iPad has an LED-backlit screen, so it doesn't suffer from the old 'CRT screen burn' syndrome that used to afflict older PCs. In fact, Apple 'encourage' you to leave the iPad screen on 24/7 by allowing your iPad to display a 'slideshow' when it's in 'Sleep' mode.

    Tim
    Scotland
  11. NumbLock
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    NumbLock iPad Ninja

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    Yep, twerp nailed it.
  12. Surfer
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    Surfer iPF Noob

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    Thanks, I think that nails it. Now, just one final question. After all these years of making computers
    Smaller and smaller and smaller and finally ending up with the iphone, Isn't it ironical that they are
    now maximizing the minimized. What's next, the univac?

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  13. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Ah - the Univac - fond memories...we need to start a nostalgia thread!!

    Youngsters just don't know what it was like back in the day...

    Tim
    Scotland
  14. Pingles
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    Pingles iPF Novice

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    iPad 3 will have a punchcard slot.
  15. Mountainbikermark
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    Mountainbikermark iPad Addict

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  16. David79
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    David79 iPad Junkie

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    Just plug in in when you can, why waste the charges just because you may or may not get rid of it lol
  17. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Many thanks for that link - not seen it before - it's in my 'Bookmarks' now..

    Much appreciated....

    Tim
    Scotland

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