Battery Management

Battery Management

Maximize Battery Life

Maximize battery life on the Kubuntu Focus M1 or M2. Fix the battery if it does not hold a charge.

Please read the disclaimer before proceeding. We review and update guided solutions like this regularly. If you have suggestions or requests, please write support@kfocus.org.

Expected Battery Life

Over 20 optimizations are used to extend battery life on the Focus. Some of these are listed below:

The Kubuntu Focus M2 has a 73 Whr battery. A new battery will last around 11 hours when doing nothing on Intel graphics and the dimmest screen settings. With modest use, a full charge should provide up to 6.5 hours with the Intel GPU, or up to 3.5 hours with the NVIDIA GPU. This will vary depending on screen brightness, keyboard LED use, the applications used, and the battery condition.

The Kubuntu Focus XE has a 49 Whr battery. A new battery will last around 12 hours when doing nothing with the dimmest screen settings. With typical use and medium screen brightness, a full charge should provide up to 6 hours. This will vary depending on screen brightness, keyboard LED use, the applications used, and the battery condition.

The Kubuntu Focus M1 has a 62 Whr battery. A new battery will last around 8 hours when doing nothing on Intel graphics and the dimmest screen settings. With modest use, a full charge should provide up to 5 hours with the Intel GPU, or 2.5 hours with the NVIDIA GPU. This will vary depending on screen brightness, keyboard LED use, the applications used, and the battery condition.

Maximize Battery Life

Browsers, cloud drives, IDEs, and other apps can draw power quickly. Here are steps you can take to maximize battery life.

Maximize Battery Health with FlexiCharger

All Focus laptops use lithium batteries. These batteries last longer when they have fewer charge cycles. Fully charging a battery to 100% therefore shortens its total life each time. If you keep your laptop plugged in all day, we highly recommend you use FlexiCharger to minimize these cycles and maximize your battery health and longevity.

FlexiCharger is accessed from the BIOS. To configure it, reboot the computer and press hold F2 to access the BIOS. Then navigate to Advanced > Advanced Chipset Control and set FlexiCharger to enabled. We recommend you set the start charge at 40% and stop charge to 80 or 90%. When you need longer battery life for travelling, you can disable FlexiCharger and charge to 100%. And when you are back at your desk, you can re-enable it.

M2 External Displays Ports

This consideration ONLY applies to systems with Nvidia GPUs, like the M1 or M2. It does NOT apply to Intel-only systems like the XE.

Focus systems offer to turn off Nvidia GPUs when using battery and Intel graphics. This extends the battery life significantly, and it is the preference of many users. When you do this, however, not all the external display ports remain available. The only way to restore these ports is to reboot the system.

If you need to drive a single external display with Intel, the M2 GEN 3 and some other models support connecting to DisplayPort over USB-C. In other cases, and especially when you need to drive multiple external displays, we recommend switching to Nvidia Performance mode as the simplest solution. We do not recommend Hybrid mode, as it can be troublesome and does not save substantial power in our testing.

GPU connection Schematic

Troubleshooting

Q: The system tray battery estimate is not accurate. Why is this?

A: The system needs to run a while before it can more accurately assess battery run-time. You can see a description in the Ubuntu documentation.

Q: I use Insync and have noticed that it can sometimes use 100% or more CPU and spin up the fans. This can't be good for performance or battery life. How can I improve this?

A: Your observation is correct. Right-click on the Insync system tray icon and select Quit. This will stop syncing and reduce CPU use. Restart Insync from the application menu to resume syncing. CPU use should drop to 1-3% after restart. See this Insync Issue for details.

Q: Sometimes the battery will not fully charge. The battery meter may report only 5 or 10% charge and not increase from there. How can I fix this?

A: Perform a battery reset shown below. Make sure the battery is discharged using the BIOS and not the OS. The latter has protections that will prevent this procedure from working.

After this procedure battery should attain 90-100% charge. The capacity available will depend on age.

Q: I use IntelliJ, WebStorm, PyCharm or other Jetbrains IDE. I’ve noticed they really reduce battery life. How can I improve this?

A: Click on File > Power Save Mode. This should provide a noticeable boost in battery life.

Q: I’ve noticed that battery life can vary. What are some things I can do to improve it?

A: Some applications draw much more power than others. IntelliJ IDEs are discussed above. Other computationally or graphically intensive apps like benchmarks and games can draw the battery down quickly. Browsers are also notorious for draining the battery, and Chrome is probably the worst culprit. If you don’t need a browser open, close it. If you do, keep the number of open tabs to a minimum. You may also consider using a different browser.

Revisions

This is a partial revision history. See the git repository for all entries.

Disclaimer

We try hard to provide a useful solution validated by professionals. However, we cannot anticipate every situation, and therefore cannot guarantee this procedure will work for your needs. Always backup your data and test the solution to determine the correct procedure for you.

THIS SOLUTION IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOLUTION, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

KFocus Logo