Since day one, nothing has annoyed laptop users more than the power consumption that they use and the lack of supply that manufacturers have come up with. Immediately after purchasing your laptop, you typically get 3-4 hours of battery life from the supplied battery if you are lucky.
Over the course of a few months, the life slowly dwindles down more and more until you reach the end. Typically at the end of the warranty, one year, you’re forced to fork out another $100, purchase another battery, and go through the whole process again.
Along with the lack of life of your battery, you get the bonus of the boring and useless Windows battery meter that has been included with Windows. It would be nice to maybe have some additional information, or a more accurate calculation of your remaining battery life.
So again, with every Windows application, there is almost always an alternative and I have come up with a couple Windows laptop battery meter replacements to change the included battery icon.
BatteryBar is a simple laptop battery meter that resides in your task bar and is constantly monitoring the battery in your laptop. It not only gives you the estimated remaining time, but it is continually tracking historical data, and is able to calculate the amount of wear you are putting on it. The free version includes everything you need, but there is also a Pro version, which adds certain alerts and additional modifications.
If you’d prefer not to eat up any additional real estate on your taskbar, Power Meter Plus might be the other replacement that you’d lean towards. This application sits displayed on your screen, only when your laptop is running off of battery power.
With full power, the power meter sits completely invisible and as the life decreases, the meter becomes more and more prominent. The meter should never get in the way of your work because as you hover your mouse over it, it moves to the left, right, bottom or top of your screen.
When you plug the laptop back in, a message streaks across your screen to let you know that you are running off of A/C again.
If you’re happy with the provided Windows battery meter, then I would bet that you are in the minority because although it does get the job done, it makes it difficult to know exactly when you are about to ‘die’. You usually end up with the inevitable ‘Going to Stand By…’ message.
Try each of these out as a replacement, and I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed. Neither of them eat up a lot of resources and are just another couple more great Windows replacements, in the long line of this category.
Know of any other Windows battery monitoring apps? How accurate do you think these are?