We got a call from Paul in Shreveport, LA , an Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline listener who wanted to know the following:
Paul, your tablet – like most modern electronics – has a Lithium-Ion battery, that means that everything you’ve heard about “battery memory” doesn’t apply anymore. In fact Lithium-Ion batteries tend to prefer to retain a charge rather than to be emptied every time.
Heat does tend to damage this type of battery, so the cooler you keep them the more charge they will tend to retain.
Batteries these days try to protect themselves, they’ll let their charger know when they’re full so the charger can stop pushing to fill the battery, that cuts down on overheating on it’s own. Modern devices have gotten a lot better at battery life management, that’s why fewer and fewer of them are bothering to include removable batteries anymore, batteries just tend to outlast devices these days.
Ultimately, you’re going to have to charge your tablet whether you want to or not, and the amount of power it’s going to store over the course of its lifetime is always going to be roughly the same, don’t worry too much, use it as you normally would. Worst case scenario if the battery starts failing and you still want to keep the tablet, there are ways to replace batteries, even if they’re not supposed to be user serviceable.
How things actually work
For those inclined to hear the tech behind the scenes, modern batteries such as the Lithium-Ion batteries in your tablet have a certain number of charge and discharge cycles in their lifespan. That doesn’t mean they won’t last longer, or sometimes quit sooner, it just means that’s the expected lifespan.
But that’s referring to total charge and discharge. If you drain it only partially and then charge it, that doesn’t count as a full cycle. Let’s say you run it down to 50% each day and charge it at night. Each charge is only regarded as a half cycle.
When the device is left on the charger, it keeps up with demand for the most part and the amount of charging and discharging is really miniscule. So we’d suggest that if you’re going to be using your tablet and you can plug it in easily, go ahead and do that.