Gone are the days of batteries holding a memory like the famous NICad rechargeable batteries. You probably remember making sure to drain those suckers from time to time so to extend their life.
Enter the Lithium-ion (or Li-Ion). They really didn't become reasonably prices and small enough until smartphones came.
The Li-ion life relies on cycles, or how many times you fully drain your battery from 100% to 0%. That is one complete cycle. So draining from 100% to 50% and then charging to 100% is 1/2 of a cycle. Most quality batteries are said to have about 500 cycles of life.
So should you keep you laptop plugged in? You betcha! It doesn't use any life cycles. But you should also consider setting the computer to sleep when not in use for several hours. While they aren't supposed to over-charge, I have seen one instance of a battery over-heating and expanding to potentially cause serious issues. So if you go out of town, perhaps, a shut-down is in order!
Can laptop batteries be replaced? Yes! Most are after-market brands that have less cycles, but are sufficient. Windows 10 has a battery report built-in, so you can see the remaining cycle count.
How about smartphones? Yes and no. They can definitely be replaced, but rarely is that the issue. Most likely, there are apps draining the battery too fast so some adjustments in the settings will fix the issue.
Get geeky and check out this battery chart. Look at the Specific Power column and how much Li-Ion has changed our mobile power world!
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