Tutorial Thursday

Have you ever wondered how you can get more information on your laptop’s battery? That’s a question that many people wonder, especially when they start experiencing shortened battery life. There is a quick and free way for you to get all of this info and more!

Battery Status (or BattStat) is a small program that only takes a second to install. After the installation is done you’ll see a new icon in your System Tray, and double-clicking on that icon will open the door for mounds of information about your battery. You’ll even be able to find out the capacity of your battery compared to when it shipped out of the factory!

One of the most prominent features that Battery Status has is an adaptive battery life estimate. It will watch how you use your computer to more accurately estimate how much time you really have left on your computer. Check it all out…

–The Main Window–

The main Battery Status window provides a colorful chart with many of your system’s specs: runtime (battery life left), charge, power, CPU speed, CPU load, CPU temperature, and hard drive temperature:

Battery Status Overview
Click to Enlarge

Aside from the pretty graphs, the main window provides a lot of critical functionality:

  • In Vista you can switch power plans and XP/2000 you can change power schemes.
  • You can set a keyboard shortcut (hotkey) that will turn off your monitor. This is really awesome, and can definitely save some power if you’re going to be away from your computer for a little while.
  • A batch file can be created, and run each time the power status changes (a.k.a. switching from AC power to battery).

–Battery Toolbar–

Sometimes it is nice to have a condensed, yet more detailed view of how much battery power you have left on your computer. That’s why Battery Status provides a toolbar, which can be set to always be on top of other windows to serve as your floating information bank. Here’s what you’ll get with the toolbar:

Battery Status Toolbar 

–Battery Condition & Details–

One of the most informative areas of Battery Status is the detailed battery information it provides, which is shown by pressing the Batteries button on the main window. Towards the bottom of the screen it displays your battery’s capacity, which is the maximum amount that you’ll be able to charge it. Next to that value it also displays what the original maximum was, and it can therefore compute the “wear” on your battery. As seen below my battery has 8% wear, which means in the 6-months that I’ve owned my laptop, I’ve lost 8% of my battery’s capacity.

Battery Status Battery Details


This is one of those programs that I believe everyone should tryout on their battery-powered computers. I found the battery estimates to be extremely accurate, and it was also nice being able to see my processor’s temperature as well as the wear on my battery. Remember, Battery Status is free and only takes a few seconds to install, so there really isn’t anything to lose.

Battery Status Homepage (currently in the Beta stage, but seems really stable)