By sheer battery-power.

From friedbeef.com

How your battery actually works.

Ok in general, keep your HDD defragmented, so the HD doesn’t have work too hard. Minimise the [eye candy] bells and whistles [that means Aero Glass too, Vista l-users :p] to give your GPU a rest [even for laptops that have onboard GPUs with shared RAM and esp for laptops with dedicated GPUs].
Always remember. The more RAM the better. So virtual memory usage [HD paging file] can be reduced.
For Windows, hibernate rather than sleep. Both save your work state, but hibernate saves more energy. Also check your BIOS for Speedstep support, and enable it. This dynamically controls voltage supplied to the cores and alters fan spin rate as necessary.
Unless you’re using your notebook in direct glaring sunlight, you don’t need to have it on so bright. Dim the LCD backlight to minimum.
Let the monitor switch off directly, rather than enable screensaver mode. Allow HDD to sleep for a period of inactivity greater than 10-15 minutes.
Don’t run multimedia unless you absoluely MUST, and in any case, be focussed and don’t multitask. Use the TaskManager, and a Startup process reviewer to halt/cut down the number of background processes that may be totally unnecessary in most cases [like the infamous iTunes helper for example].
On a related note, try to run media from HD rather than optical drives [see disk image virtual mounting solutions]. In fact it’s even recommended to not use USB devices, even if they’re not energy-guzzlers, like mice and keyboards.
Switch off WiFi and Bluetooth if you’re not using them. Use a phat pipe whenever possible.

Remember that laptop batteries [Li-on], unlike most other batteries, are MADE to be charged/discharged regularly. They’re in optimal state if there is regular flow of electrons. Do not let battery levels fall too low, and don’t keep them charging them for too long [esp if your notebook is also a desktop replacement].
If at all possible, check if your notebook can work plugged in WITHOUT the battery pack [of course assuming you’re going to use the battery regularly], and work on AC power alone. If you need to store the battry for an exended period of time, use up to 50% and then keep [separately from notebook] in a cool place.

If your battery life seems to be significantly shorter all of a sudden, maybe it’s not spoilt yet. Just discharge completely and charge up again to let the battery level indicator circuits recalibrate.

Have fun with your spanking new laptops NTU freshies!!

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