Not all chargers are the same.
We all have devices that have rechargeable batteries but did you know there is a huge difference in the technology of those batteries compared to 10 years ago. We all remember the old laptop or phone that you have to be very careful charging, wait for it to run flat then fully charge it before you could use it and to never charge it when it was half full/empty. Thankfully those days are long gone.
Batteries now use Lithium-ion technology which have big advantages over the old Nickel-cadmium batteries. It means modern batteries can be charged at any time, no matter how much or how little charge they have in them. They last roughly the same length of time their whole lives and do not reduce in power the lower in charge they get.
So what’s the downside? Life span, a typical Lithium-ion battery is good for between 1000 and 2000 charges or 2 to 2 ½ years, after that the performance and capacity of the battery is great reduced. Another downside is that poorly made or faulty Lithium-ion batteries can explode the materials they are made from are highly volatile when exposed to air or if the battery is short-circuited. All Lithium-ion batteries are sealed and have protections circuits inside to help protect them.
There are a few things you can do the keep your Lithium-ion batteries in good condition. The easiest is to keep them cool, if it’s your laptop battery then keeping the laptop its-self cool by using a cooling tray (not using it on your lap – worst thing you can do with a laptop).
Charge using the correct charger, some chargers charge faster than others – not all chargers are the same. Some have very clever circuits to allow fast charging while also keeping the battery cool. Some fast chargers are not so clever and simply push more electricity into the battery making it very hot and reducing its life. Unfortunately is very difficult to tell which so buying the manufactures branded charger is the only way to be sure, or good brand name like Belkin.
TOP TIP: The very easiest way of all – is never leave a Lithium-ion battery flat, always charge it the very moment it runs out. Lithium-ion does not like to be flat and it seriously damages the internal workings of the battery and greatly reducing its life.
So even though most chargers now have a USB connection and the plug fit everything from phones to tablets and cameras and kindles each charger may be slightly different and may change one device faster than another.
Slow charging over 8 to 10 hours with any charger that has the USB connection is safe, so when you go away on holiday and only want to take one charger its quite safe to do so.