8 Ways to Prolong Your Tablet Battery Life in the Field


A worker in a solar farm using a tablet with high battery life.

There’s nothing more inconvenient than working in the field and watching the life of your tablet’s battery drain away. Unless you have a powerbank or portable charger that can safely be used in your work environment, you could find yourself unable to finish your work. 

Rugged tablets are powered by Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries which are ideal because they have a high energy density, minimal memory effect and low self-discharge. Tablets are designed to turn off before the
battery level drops to a critical level to protect the battery from permanent damage.  

Before this occurs, there are a few things you can do to extend the tablet’s operating time.

#1 Turn Down Your Screen’s Brightness

Your screen is the largest part of your tablet, so it’s understandable it’s battery hungry. But you can reduce its drain on the battery by lowering the screen’s brightness. Swipe down from the top of your screen to adjust the brightness or you can change it via the settings menu. If you turn the brightness down to as low as you can manage for your environment, you might be surprised how much battery life you can save.  

#2 Close Any Apps You’re Not Using

You might not be using an app but chances are it’s chewing up some of your device’s power. By closing any unused apps, your tablet isn’t working as hard so you can work for longer.  

#3 Turn off Notifications

A little app notification here and there may not seem like much, but they’re a drain on your battery. When you’re trying to conserve every last bit of battery life, you don’t need any meaningless notifications popping up. To provide you with a notification, an app needs to be active and checking in, but if you turn off notifications there’s no need for the app to be checking all the time.

#4 Turn off Location Services 

Location settings are handy for seeing the most relevant search results such as nearby restaurants and commuting times. But your device chews up battery power by constantly checking on its location. You can turn off Locations through the settings or you may be able to change the mode to battery saving. This means the battery isn’t using GPS but uses other technologies like WiFi, Bluetooth and cell networks to determine your location. It’s a little less accurate but chances are, you’re busy working and you don’t need it.

#5 Turn off Automatic Synchronisation

If you aren’t using the apps on your tablet, you won’t be worried if they aren’t being automatically synchronised. Turning synchronisation off will save a little battery juice and prolong your working time.

#6 Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi

If you’re connected to a device or network, your device is using power. If you can work stand-alone, disconnect from any devices or networks to slow the battery drain.

#7 Screen Timeout

If you aren’t constantly using your tablet, its battery is being wasted while it sits idle. Reducing the time it takes for your inactive tablet to go into screen timeout will save tiny amounts of battery life that can add up. So, if you are on and off your tablet all day, set it to the timeout after a minute or two so you’ll have maximum battery usage.

#8 Energy Mode

The manufacturers realise tablets are used by mobile workers in the field where there are limited charging opportunities. If you want to reduce the load on your battery with one action, this is it. The energy saving mode will restrict apps running in the background from using WiFi and mobile data. The processor speed will be throttled, and your screen brightness will be reduced for you.

Once you’ve charged your tablet, turn off energy mode and you’ll be back up and running at full speed and brightness.

What You Should Know About Tablet Batteries

Understanding how Lithium-Ion batteries work can protect the battery and your tablet from permanent damage. Much of it is common sense, but more than a few tablets have met an untimely end due to battery troubles!

  • Only use a battery charger that’s designed for your battery, the wrong charger can damage the battery, cause a fire or battery explosion. 

  • Batteries shouldn’t be charged when the temperature is too high or too low.

  • The battery voltage shouldn’t be too high or too low for the battery charger.

  • Once the battery is fully charged, the voltage should be turned off or dropped to a safe level.

  • Ideally turn off a tablet while it’s being recharged, using it while charging will reduce the battery’s life.

  • Always keep the battery charged even if the table isn’t being used for a period. 

  • Keep the battery topped up rather than letting it discharge to a low level before recharging.

  • Don’t expose the tablet to excessive heat like a hot car as it can cause the battery to swell. 

  • Tablet batteries slowly lose some charge each day, even when not in use.  

Invest in a Spare or New Battery

Many workers prefer to have one or more spare batteries rather than spend time changing their tablet’s settings to string out their battery life. Most rugged tablets allow you to hot swap the battery pack so there’s no need to waste time shutting down then powering up after changing batteries. 

But if you prefer not to carry spare batteries, there’s also the option of buying an extended life battery for many rugged tablets. The long life batteries can last the distance over a long shift before they need recharging.

Like all rechargeable batteries, lithium-ion batteries lose capacity as they age. Over time you’ll notice the
battery doesn’t have the staying power it once did. At Roaming Technologies we sell Rugged Accessories including batteries. Replacing your battery might be a viable option instead of purchasing a brand new device. You can search for the accessories available for your model of tablet by using the product filter sets. Ask for a quote for replacing and fitting the new battery into your tablet.  

Need Some Help?

If you work in the field and don’t have ready access to power to recharge, you’ll want to consider tablet battery life when it comes time to buy a new rugged tablet. Speak to us about the type of work you do, and we can recommend a tablet that is both well suited to your tasks and has a good battery life. Some of the new tablets on the market have extended life batteries with run times of 14 hours.
Don’t risk losing valuable work time in the field because of an old battery, speak to the rugged hardware experts at Roaming Technologies by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online.

Category: News