One of the great concerns in using a full-sized laptop is battery life. With some netbooks today boasting battery life beyond the 5-hour span that’s the average for regular notebooks, it’s quite nifty to be able to accurately gauge the status of your battery especially if the AC is unplugged.
Though Windows Vista has a built-in feature that displays the battery status, the value given is just a rough estimate of remaining battery charge. Some laptops can display this information with a little more accuracy but it’s not standard for all manufacturers.
My laptop in particular, a Compaq Presario c765TU is not one of them and I was envious of my friends who use Acer laptops that display the battery status with a lot more information than the typical charge remaining in the battery.
This concern is solved by a simple and free application called BatteryBar. It constantly monitors the status of your battery as you use your laptop. As it monitors your battery, it keeps historical data on your battery and provide you with a very accurate estimate of how much time is remaining on your battery.
When the battery is not charging, it displays a bar of green, yellow or depending on how much charge is left and its equivalent running time. When plugged into the AC charger, it shows a bar of blue and indicates how much time remains until the battery is fully charged.
It’s other features include the following:
- Vista style – The toolbar is using the same look and feel as the Vista taskbar buttons
- Statistical time prediction – BatteryBar monitors your battery and keeps a history of how long it takes for your battery to charge and discharges. That information is used to more accurately predict the life of your battery
- Translations – BatteryBar fully or partially supports 13 languages. Anyone may volunteer to translate BatteryBar to additional languages
- Detailed Battery Info – BatteryBar is now capable of collecting detailed information about your battery, including max capacity (mW), current capacity (mW), charge rate (mW), discharge rate (mW), and more.
- Automatic Update – BatteryBar will check for new versions at startup and automatically download the new version
More features are available by upgrading to the PRO version of the application such as customizable themes, sound alerts when the battery charge becomes low, access to Windows power scheme via right-click and so on.
But the free version suits me just fine and I could always control the power scheme through the old way by right-clicking on the battery icon in the Taskbar. Overall, BatteryBay is a good app in showing more accurately the status of your battery.