CPR for Tablet Batteries

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Question: The battery for my SMART Airliner Tablet ran down over the summer, and it won't recharge. How can I revive it?

The IT Guy says:
Looking into this problem gave me a surprise, and not the kind I like to get! Products such as the SMART Airliner tablet use lithium-ion batteries, because they pack a lot of power in a small package, and they are immune to the "memory effect," where a battery can develop a shortened power cycle from improper recharging. (I covered some of this in the June 5, 2007 Life of a Computer Battery column.)

However, lithium-ion batteries have one significant drawback—or two, if you count the problem of their occasionally catching on fire. Although that's pretty rare! If you let one of these batteries completely, totally run out of charge, you can't recharge them. Once totally drained, the battery is irretrievably dead.

This isn't a problem when you use a device and recharge it daily or weekly, or even if you set it aside for a few weeks. However, if your device is going to be sitting idle for one or more months, you need to take special precautions to preserve the battery. Even when your tablet is turned off, it is still working at a very low level and draining the battery. (Ironically enough, it's working in the background monitoring the battery!) The recommended strategy is to fully charge the battery, then remove it from the device. When it isn't plugged in, the battery will lose only about 5% of its power per month, so it can last quite awhile before hitting the point of no return. Just make sure to put the battery someplace where you can easily find it - and it wouldn't hurt to label it, too, so you remember which device it belongs to!

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