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6/14/2011
05:38 PM
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10 Tips: Improve BlackBerry PlayBook Battery Life

Get more juice from your RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using these battery-saving pointers.




BYTE.com
According to RIM, the battery life of the PlayBook tablet is 10 hours of normal use. Well, what is normal use? Normal use is definitely different for different users. Many times, I have found the battery life of devices to be less than advertised. Even armed with that skepticism, when I first started using my PlayBook I was rather surprised how quickly the battery would drain down, even in standby mode. With an eye toward getting more use from your tablet, the following tips should help you squeeze every bit of juice out of your BlackBerry PlayBook.

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While your PlayBook is sitting around and not in use, it is using battery power to look for and connect to Bluetooth connections. If you don't need a Bluetooth connection, turn it off by tapping the Bluetooth icon on the status bar and switching it to OFF.

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If you aren't using the Internet, turn off Wi-Fi to save some battery juice. Turning off the Wi-Fi is similar to turning off Bluetooth. Tap the Wi-Fi icon on the status bar and switch it to OFF.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
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If you are setting your PlayBook aside for a few minutes, make sure it enters the battery saving Standby Mode automatically. From the Home Page click the Gear icon then change the Standby Time-Out field to 90 seconds.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
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If you're not looking at the display, there's no reason for it to be on. Make sure your PlayBook Backlight Time-out is set to the fastest setting--90 seconds is the shortest time option--so the display isn't running a moment longer than needs be. Swipe from the top bezel down and tap on Screen, and then set Backlight Time-out to 90 seconds.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
RIM Working On Bigger BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Major Update
RIM PlayBook Gets Facebook App, Video Chat
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
Review: BlackBerry PlayBook Not Ready For The Enterprise


If you're using the Bridge feature to keep your BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet connected, you will want to keep them as close as possible to each other for optimal reception and battery life. Bridge uses Bluetooth and the less your PlayBook has to search for the signal from your BlackBerry the better.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
RIM Working On Bigger BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Major Update
RIM PlayBook Gets Facebook App, Video Chat
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
Review: BlackBerry PlayBook Not Ready For The Enterprise


While the display with native resolution and settings may look spectacular, changing some of the display settings to a lower mode will use less power. Click the gear icon on the home screen status bar, tap Screen, and then lower the Brightness level. It may not look as crisp, but lowering it will definitely save some battery juice.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
RIM Working On Bigger BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Major Update
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RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
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One of the great features of the PlayBook compared with the iPad is real multitasking. While this feature comes in extremely handy at times, if you don't need an app open, close it out and save your battery. On the home screen and status bar, tap the gear button. Then select Application Behavior >> Application Behavior and change it from Default to Paused.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
RIM Working On Bigger BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Major Update
RIM PlayBook Gets Facebook App, Video Chat
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
Review: BlackBerry PlayBook Not Ready For The Enterprise


Music and video streaming services are great when you have idle time, but they also guzzle battery power. When you know that you'll have long periods between opportunities to power up your PlayBook, use these services as little as possible.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
RIM Working On Bigger BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Major Update
RIM PlayBook Gets Facebook App, Video Chat
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
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Just as with laptops, notebooks, and smartphones, it's a good idea to completely drain the power periodically to "reboot" your battery and let it start over from scratch with a full charge. With the tablet unplugged, turn all the display settings to max resolution and power up multiple power hungry applications (like streaming music or video) and your battery will drain in no time. Reseat the battery by taking it out and placing it back into the PlayBook then charge it up completely again.

To recharge that battery, RIM offers two types of chargers, the Rapid Charging Pod and the Rapid Charger. They both cost $70, but have different uses. The Rapid Charger works well when you need to move around a bit while keeping it charged, whereas the Rapid Charger Pod is a dock-like device that lets you work on the PlayBook in one position.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
RIM Working On Bigger BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Major Update
RIM PlayBook Gets Facebook App, Video Chat
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
Review: BlackBerry PlayBook Not Ready For The Enterprise


Over the last few months, a few PlayBook operating system releases have negatively affected battery life. Based on testing and customer complaints, RIM has released OS updates to addresses the problem--if you don't have the latest OS, you're squandering power. To make sure you have the most recent update, from the home screen tap the gear icon on the status bar, then tap Software Updates, and Check for Updates. Most updates will require restarting the PlayBook.

RECOMMENDED READING:
RIM Updates PlayBook Tablet OS: Quick Guide
RIM Working On Bigger BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Major Update
RIM PlayBook Gets Facebook App, Video Chat
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
Review: BlackBerry PlayBook Not Ready For The Enterprise

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