Chrome OS is set to gain an Adaptive Charging feature, similar to Pixel phones, that will extend your Chromebook’s longterm battery life.

One of the benefits of Chromebooks over most Windows laptops is a long-lasting battery that can typically make it through the day without needing to be recharged. Of course, over the years, batteries degrade and eventually lose their charge faster, and Chromebooks are no exception. With a little bit of care and planning, though, you can extend the lifespan of a phone or laptop battery.

On Pixel phones, this level of care can happen automatically through a feature called Adaptive Charging which intentionally “slow charges” your phone when plugged in overnight. This reduces a variety of factors like excess heat that put stress on your battery and should help prolong its health.

According to a newly posted code change, Chrome OS is set to gain its own version of Adaptive Charging. Where phones are often charged from a low battery point back to full, often going relatively unused while on the charger, it’s normal to plug a laptop or Chromebook in when you’re seated at a desk, regardless of whether the battery is actually low at the time. However, keeping a typical laptop battery fully charged for extended periods of time has been found to have a negative effect on the longevity of the battery.

To that end, according to the code, Google is working to reduce the amount of time that your Chromebook spends with its battery 100% charged.

Minimizes the amount of time the device spends at full battery to preserve battery lifetime.

Digging a little deeper, we find that rather than charging slowly at nighttime (like Pixel phones), Adaptive Charging on Chromebooks will use machine learning in some way, possibly to learn your routine and decide a charging speed accordingly. In theory, your Chromebook battery should be fully charged at approximately the same time that you would normally unplug it.

There will also be a notification informing you that Adaptive Charging is active, along with settings that would presumably allow you disable the feature altogether.

One thing we’re not yet sure of is which Chromebooks will be able to use Adaptive Charging, including whether it will come to older devices or be a launch feature for upcoming ones. Considering Adaptive Charging is exclusive to Pixel phones, rather than a broader feature of Android, one could imagine this new feature being exclusive to the Google Pixelbook lineup, though there haven’t been any recent signs of a new Pixelbook in development.

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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