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Kabouik
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎04-13-2013
Location: France
Views: 1,859
Message 1 of 21

Helix's batteries wear level

Hi there,

 

 

I received my Helix two days ago and activated the option of the "Lenovo Settings" Metro application that optimizes battery lifespan by adjusting charge level (last option in the Power section of this application).

 

However, when I launch CPUID HWMonitor, the wear level of both batteries is 7%, which seems pretty high since it's only 3% on my 3-year old Vaio Z.

 

Is it normal? Are there other people experiencing this? Do I need to do full battery cycles to ensure this value is acurate? 

tc321
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Posts: 24
Registered: ‎01-12-2012
Location: Los Angeles
Views: 1,809
Message 2 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

Your are assuming CPUID HWMonitor is calculating the rate correctly for the type of battery in Helix.  It is just a software, how do you know the programmer not generalizing, considering how many different computers and batteries are out there.

 

Don't take it too literally or too serious.

Lenovo Staff
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 5,549
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC
Views: 1,713
Message 3 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

That setting actually limits the battery charge to only 50%.

 

You wouldn't want to change it to "automatically optimize", unless you are always using your Helix while plugged into AC power.  In that case, keeping the batteries at 50% charge will make them last longer.

 

But I doubt you use your Helix this way, probably you often use it unplugged and you want max battery life to stay unplugged as long as possible.  In which case you would want to leave that setting as "always fully charge".

 

The setting text is confusing and does not explain this clearly.

Kabouik
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎04-13-2013
Location: France
Views: 1,701
Message 4 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

I don't see any 50% threshold. My battery is currently 70% (49% + 100%) while plugged, and the Helix has been plugged into AC power all day. The "Automatically optimize" setting is selected since several days and I sometimes empty the batteries by watching movies or working on the couch without AC power, and still, when plugged again, it charged up the dock till 100%.

 

What am I doing wrong? I'd like to optimize charge when I'm not travelling, and then prior to any trip, set the Helix to "fully charge". But right now I am at the office everyday so the setting is on "Automatic", and it seems it is not working as intended.

Lenovo Staff
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 5,549
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC
Views: 1,640
Message 5 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

Try toggling the setting for Battery Health Mode while the system is docked.  In other words, change it to "Always fully charge" and then change it back to "optimize".  Then both batteries should end up at ~50%.

 

Key point is to change that setting while the system is docked.  Changing it while undocked seems to have problems with syncing the setting on both batteries.

Kabouik
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎04-13-2013
Location: France
Views: 1,617
Message 6 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

Thanks a lot. I just did and it seems to work, as the dock'z battery just dropped to 99%. The tablet's one is 46%, so I guess it already "knew" it was supposed to stay around ~50%.

 

I use the Helix docked 95% of the time, so it is fairly likely I initially chose the "Optimize" option while docked. Do you know if undocking/docking the tablet after setting the Helix to "Optimize" will cause sync problem and then make the dock think it should charge up till 100%?

 

Is there any fix planned for this sync issue? It's an important feature for a device like the Helix, and there should be an option to prevent discharge below a certain threshold for the dock's battery as well. Right now it is possible to set a minimal charge threshold for the tablet's battery using the Windows power settings, but not for the dock's battery, so it can empty almost totally (I often saw mine below 3%) which could result in reduced battery lifespan.

 

By the way, it would be terrific if the Full charge vs. Optimize switch was accessible through a shortcut in the Windows power pop-up (the pop-up that appears when you click on the battery icon in the systray).

Lenovo Staff
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 5,549
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC
Views: 1,603
Message 7 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

Actually 0% charge reported by Windows is not really 0% charge in absolute terms.  The battery firmware does not let the charge get low enough to affect the lifespan of the battery.  To hurt the battery, you would need to discharge it to 0% and then leave it sitting on a shelf somewhere for several months.

 

The battery health mode setting is intended for customers who use their ThinkPad as a desktop system, and never (or very rarely) unplug it.  The setting is not intended to be used in any other situation.  This is the reason why the setting is not more accessible (e.g. in a systray popup), because it simply isn't needed except in a rare case, and then it's not something that is switched on and off frequently.

 

Anyway, I do agree with you about the sync issue, I think it is software bug, and I am trying to find out if it is something that can be fixed.

 

>> Do you know if undocking/docking the tablet after setting the Helix to "Optimize" will cause sync problem

As far as I know the issue only happens when changing the setting while undocked.  Then the base battery can become unsynced with the actual setting.  But if you can tell me how to reproduce the problem while docked, please let me know.

 

 

 

 

desmondwong
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Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-25-2013
Location: Hong Kong
Views: 1,595
Message 8 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

Hi someotherguy,  I did exactly what you said.  Unfortunately, it didn't work in my Helix.  At the time I toggled the setting, the battery level in the tablet was 50% and KB was 100%.  After that, the battery level in the table stays at 50%.  But the battery level in the KB began to drop from 100% to now below 40% and it keeps discharging. What's wrong?

Kabouik
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎04-13-2013
Location: France
Views: 1,575
Message 9 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

I confirm the same problem as Desmondwong. I continued using my Helix since my previous post, and the dock's battery is now 27% and keeps discharging. The Helix is plugged to AC power, but it won't maintain the battery to 50%.

 

I tried unplugging/replugging AC power, it started to charge the dock. I don't know yet if it will stop at 50%, but anyway that's weird I have to unplug/replug to finally sync.

desmondwong
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Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-25-2013
Location: Hong Kong
Views: 1,570
Message 10 of 21

Re: Helix's batteries wear level

I tried to toggle between the two settings and plug/unplug the AC power, then the KB battery began to charge to 50%.  However, it began to discharge again and won't stay at 50%.

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