Yes, I just got a Nintendo DS Lite
June 11, 2006 8:55 AM   Subscribe

You know how when you buy a new phone/laptop/mp3 player, the instructions always say to charge the batter fully before using it? Does that mean I shouldn't use it while it's charging?

('cause that would suck.)
posted by skryche to Technology (6 answers total)

Of course, my question applies to batteries also.
posted by skryche at 9:12 AM on June 11, 2006

The DS/DS Lite has a lithium-ion battery. You don't even really need to charge it all the way before using it, as it won't affect the battery's life or anything.

But to answer your question, yeah, you can play it right now.
posted by tumult at 9:29 AM on June 11, 2006

I'm not sure what you're supposed to do but I've used new stuff off the charger plenty of times in the past (before it got a full charge) and my equipment never seemed to be the worse for it.
posted by Opposite George at 10:23 AM on June 11, 2006

Who can wait 24hrs to charge something when you just got it?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:06 AM on June 11, 2006

Plug it in at night, and then go to sleep. Unplug it when you leave for work in the morning. That oughta be a good 12 hours.

That's exactly what I recommended to customers back when I worked for AT&T. Nokia backed me up on it, too.

If you do that, you won't really have to worry too much about using it while it's charging. ;-)
posted by drstein at 1:14 PM on June 11, 2006

It depends... on a lot of things.
Some devices cannot operate without a charge in the batteries even when operating from the mains (eg a HDD mp3 player where the HDD spin-up power spike exceeds the current that the internal voltage regulator is limited to for reasons of heat dissipation or whatever)

Some devices run entirely from mains, but running draws enough current that the amount of available for charging is reduced, resulting in a longer charge time.

And obviously, many devices obtain sufficient power from mains to both charge and run at the same time seamlessly.

There are so many factors involved related to design that there isn't a simple rule of thumb.

So, if you're worried, I would suggest charge it for 20% of the suggested charge time before turning it on. With Li-Ion especially, most of the charging happens in the earlier half of the charge cycle.
posted by -harlequin- at 9:01 PM on June 11, 2006

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