How ThinkPad Power Bridge Technology Helps Defeat “Low Battery” Warnings

Guest blog by Brooks Flynn, Global Marketing Manager, ThinkPad Product Marketing

I loathe seeing the “low battery warning” pop-up on any of my devices.  It might as well inform me that there are no outlets within a 10-mile radius of my location, because that always seems to be the way it works for me.  Even with airlines touting new and improved plane amenities, like in-seat power ports, I somehow never seem to get scheduled on those planes.  (In fact, I generally feel like I’m entering a time capsule to the 1970s every time I step on a plane)

This situation is why we developed Power Bridge technology on our new line of ThinkPad Ultrabooks.  With a Power Bridge ThinkPad, when that “low battery warning” pop-up rears its ugly head, you can laugh at its menacing appearance and simply pull out another battery from your bag.  “Hold on,” you say…to replace the battery in my laptop I have to shut it down, save all of my work, remember where I was in the movie I was watching, and then restart my computer and open everything back up to where I was.  In that case you say, “The low battery has won,”…but that’s not the case with Power Bridge.  Power Bridge ThinkPads have an internal battery (a sizeable one) so there is no need to shut down the system.  You can swap in a fully charged battery and keep going…right where you were.  Victory at last!

All joking aside, it really is a simple and clever way to give you battery flexibility even on an Ultrabook system.  We basically split the battery capacity of the system in half, embedding half inside the system and making the other half a familiar swappable battery pack.  (For the geeks, that’s a 23.5Whr internal and a 23.5Whr swappable).  But when purchasing extra batteries for the system, you can also go with a much larger capacity 6 cell swappable that packs a whopping 72Whrs of juice.  Yes, the 6-cell will give you a slight bump on the bottom of the system, but for an extra 13hrs + of runtime (17+ total with a fully charged internal battery) it is a sacrifice I’m happily willing to make. 

The continuous runtime you can achieve is really quite impressive.  With a ThinkPad Power Bridge Ultrabook and a single extra 6 cell swappable battery, you have over 21hrs of continuous runtime without ever having to find a power outlet or charging station.  (That’s almost 3 full 8hr workdays!) 

Getting into the details a little bit, it is pretty intelligent.  The system always draws power from the swappable battery first, so you can swap your battery any time after you see the notification that your swappable has been drained.  When your system is connected to the AC adapter, it always charges the internal battery first, so that you always have the ability to Power Bridge.  It gets a lot more complicated with the specific charging algorithms and calculations, but really our development team has thought of everything. 

Our T440 in action.

Power Bridge is available on the X240, T440 and T440s systems.  Ask us questions and let us know what you think.