The battery life on laptops is incredible when you consider all the hard work the processor, hard disk, graphics card and other components have to do to power modern computers. Getting four or five hours of mobile work time is fantastic, but there are ways to squeeze even more life from a laptop battery.

Windows has a tool built-in to help you get the very most from your battery. Go to Power Options in the control panel to get started.

Here you can use the pre-defined power settings to help you get more from your battery or manage things more closely with a personalised power plan. Best of all you can set up different power profiles for different scenarios. So, when you want to get the absolute maximum life from your battery you can change all the appropriate settings with a single click of your mouse.

There are three basic energy modes that you can select as and when appropriate. High performance will make sure you get the maximum speeds and performance from your laptop, but naturally battery life will suffer. Balanced tries to give you good performance as well as battery life and Power saver reduces the speeds your computer operates, but gives you much longer battery life.

You can manage certain settings more closely if you want to. For example, the screen uses lots of power when using your laptop and you have plenty of control over this in Power Settings. You can choose the amount of time it takes to dim the screen when you’re just taking a quick break or when to turn the display off altogether when you away from your laptop for longer periods. There’s so much more than just these simple energy management tools, however. You can control network settings, Internet Explorer, wireless options and more, just click on Change advanced power settings to see what’s available.

Visit the Dell Tech Zone for more advice on family computing.