Laptops can use a lot of energy depending on the tasks you use them for.
If you regularly take your laptop on long journeys or to areas that don’t have a charging port, it’s important to know whether your battery will last the journey.
You can figure out your battery’s lifespan by knowing how much power your laptop needs.
This begs the question, just how many watts does a laptop use? You’ll find the answer in this article, as well as a few ways to make your laptop’s battery last longer.
What Are Watts?
The term ‘watts’ refers to how much power a device needs, while wattage is how many watts are needed. If your laptop needs more watts to power itself, its battery will drain faster.
Laptops come in many different makes and models, and we all use them for different purposes. This makes their wattage vary; there’s no one round figure. Generally speaking, most laptops need around 20-100 watts per hour. However, ones that need more energy can need over 180 watts an hour.
If you use your laptop for gaming, video editing, or other intense tasks, your device will need more energy to power itself, so it will use more watts. Here are some more factors that affect how many watts your laptop uses.
Power Supply & Adapter
An adapter is the power supply that plugs into your device. In most cases, smaller laptops need a less powerful adapter, while larger laptops need a stronger one. Larger adapters need more power, which requires more watts.
If you’re going to upgrade your laptop, make sure that your adapter is compatible with the model. If your charger has wattage that’s too low for the laptop, it won’t charge the laptop as efficiently. This could damage both the device and the charger.
Central Processing Unit
A laptop’s CPU works like the computer’s brain. It’s an integral part that runs programs and converts your keyboard strokes into actions. The CPU lets you search online, design images, or play a fast interactive game.
CPUs differ on each laptop. Higher-end CPUs use energy more efficiently, so they need less power to run. Lower-end or older CPUs require more power, so they’ll need more watts.
Your laptop’s display is controlled by the graphics card. Higher grade cards are responsible for amazing visuals. If you game a lot, or work with a lot of computer graphics, you’ll need a better graphics card to run the visuals smoothly. As these require more power, they have a higher wattage.
However, if you only use your laptop for web browsing and work spreadsheets, your laptop will work fine with a weaker graphics card. These need less energy to run, so they have less wattage.
One of the largest drains of a laptop’s battery is its screen size. Your laptop needs more battery power to support a larger screen display. An average 16-inch laptop screen normally uses 60 watts an hour.
Laptops with even larger dimensions can increase the wattage to 100 watts an hour.
If you connect any extra features to your laptop, they should have their own power source. If they don’t, things like extra screens, controllers, or keyboards will make your laptop use more energy to operate them.
Working Out Wattage
The above features are important parts of a laptop. These devices can’t function well without them. These features do differ with every brand, so this can make it difficult to work out your laptop’s wattage.
A simple way of estimating your laptop’s wattage is to check the adapter. The charger will tell you the maximum amount of power that your laptop can handle.
You can also check how much power each component uses. This information is easily found online, usually on the manufacturer’s website. It’s important to note that simply adding up these numbers won’t tell you exactly how many watts your laptop uses.
However, you can find online power consumption calculators online. Entering the figures into these calculators will give you a much better estimation.
You can also use an electricity usage monitor. These monitors are plugged into your laptop while you use them. They work out how many watts your laptop is using in real-time.
How To Make Your Battery Last Longer
It’s important to know how much power your laptop uses, but it’s also good to know how to reduce this amount.
By reducing your power consumption, you can increase your battery’s life, so you won’t have to replace it after a while. Here are a few ways to decrease your laptop’s wattage.
Turn down the brightness. Other than the size of the screen, your laptop also uses more energy to deliver brighter images. Look at your laptop’s settings to dim the brightness.
Some higher-end laptops also come with an energy-saving brightness feature. These turn the brightness down automatically once it goes past a certain time.
Invest in a cooling pad. Cooling pads come with fans that keep your laptop from overheating. Your CPU and graphics card runs better under low temperatures. This will use less energy from the battery, conserving its power.
Use the right laptop for your needs. It’s easy to believe that you’ll need the latest gaming laptop, but this isn’t the best choice if you’re going to be clicking through spreadsheets.
You won’t just waste money by doing this, you’ll use more power than necessary.
Do Desktops Need More Power Than Laptops?
Laptops use energy efficiently, so they tend to need less power compared to desktop PCs. Desktops are always connected to power supplies, as they need a large amount of power to perform tasks.
Some laptops need a large amount of energy. These may use more power compared to lower energy desktops. However, the general rule is that desktops will use more power than laptops.
Desktops normally need around 300 watts an hour. If you have another monitor connected to it, or have a larger screen, this can add over 50 watts. In contrast, standard laptops may only need 60 watts an hour.