‘Lithium-ion’ (‘Li-ion’) is among the most widely used batteries in mobile computing devices because they have many advantages over the old and even against some newer battery technologies (such as ‘Lithium-Polymer’). But just like any other battery, they too lose their capacity, over time.
For instance, my Dell Vostro V131 is now about an year old, and its ‘Li-ion’ battery’s capacity drop for this time-frame is about 17%. Now if you use an operating system like Ubuntu then you can access this information. But other operating systems like Microsoft Windows does not show those.
In that case, you can use a free an open-source utility like ‘BatteryCat’ for monitoring the capacity drop your laptop’s battery. But please remember that, ‘BatteryCat’ does not support running on the system-tray area once closed. So as soon as you close it, it will exit.
However, since battery capacity does not drop that fast ;-), and all you want is to periodically check for it, then it should come in handy (the ability to run it on system-tray area is still useful though).
It also shows you:
*. Current battery charge and the maximum charge it can hold.
*. Current battery capacity and the original capacity. And by comparing the difference between the two, as highlighted in the above screenshot, it will show you its current capacity as a percentage.
*. Plus a few other details (‘charger connected’, ‘battery charge cycles’ etc).
It has the ability to automatically detect the current capacity (reading directly from the battery), but you can also manually enter a ‘current capacity’ value. You can also change the update interval (default 10 seconds) through the ‘Options’ menu as well.
You can run ‘BatteryCat’ as a portable application or if you have the proper privileges, then you can also install it permanently on your Windows computer too. I installed it in Windows 8 and it ran without any issues, however, the GUI does not look native and seems a bit ugly. I guess it has something to do with the GTK (a graphical user interface builder toolkit) version that is being used.
Anyway, if interested, then please visit this page to download it.