i have ordered a framework laptop (batch 9), coming from a macbookpro 2013.
I used my old macbook for working at home most of the time, so i had it plugged in like about 90 percent of the time, like a desktop pc. on mac os i could see with the battery icon on the taskbar, that the laptop was getting its energy from the charger, not from the battery. so i assumed that the plugged in charger would do no harm to the battery health.
My question would be if it is general bad for the battery health and life if I let the laptop plugged in most of the time? Or would it be better to charge it until 80 percent and then use it without charger until 20-30 percent? My thought would be, that this would be even worse, because of the many battery cycle this will cause.
In the current BIOS there is a feature in the BIOS that let’s you set a charging threshold to specifically avoid the scenario you are describing. By setting this to 80%, for example, you can leave it plugged in all the time, and you would not be cycling your battery repeatedly for nothing.
The other big plus, is that you can get a replacement battery, and you can easily replace it.
There are two main things to consider here:
Firstly, it isn’t a good idea to keep lithium batteries under stress - i.e. close to the top or bottom of their charge - for a long time. A long time generally being more than a day or two. When the battery is under stress, it wears faster and so it will degrade faster. So it’s best to keep the battery between probably 40% and 80% if it’s not being used to reduce this stress.
Secondly, there is the general life of the battery to consider - a battery is only good for a certain number of charge cycles. That isn’t the same as 1 charge cycle per 1 plug in. One charge cycle is the equivalent of charging the battery from 0%-100%, and that is cumulative. For example, draining the battery by 20% then charging it by 20% five times would be one complete charge cycle. Why this matters is that the battery doesn’t just stop charging when it gets to 100% (or whatever you set the limit to). Every so often, it will drain a little and then charge back up a little because the machine will occasionally need more power than the wall supply can provide. This doesn’t happen very often, but it adds up over time.
So in general, the advice in your situation is to set the charge limit to maybe 70%, and every so often (maybe every week or so) use it on battery down to maybe 35-40% and charge it up to keep the battery in good health.
Annnnd cue everyone telling me I’m wrong!
There is also a battery disconnect feature in the BIOS as well, where it will just use wall power. But I believe that if the laptop is unplugged while this option is on the next time you plug in the laptop it will revert back to normal.
Yes, that setting is only to make it (slightly) safer to open up the laptop. It’s not ‘latched’ and is not meant for this kind of usage.
Of course you do potentially have the option of unplugging the battery if you really are going to use it plugged in all the time. Although I think that there is a bug with no-battery use that the Framework team are still working out, and if you do that make sure to use a 100W power supply because that should help cover the potential peak load of the system. And don’t forget it’s unplugged when you do eventually decide to work from the sofa!