Thursday, February 16, 2012

ThinkPad Tablet: Turn off Wi-Fi when display is off to save battery life

I've been using the Lenovo ThinkPad tablet for a few months now. This device is an Android slate tablet that is similar to the iPad but includes several distinct features such as the following:

1. Optional active digitizer stylus pen for more accurate writing and drawing (similar to the type of pen that you'll find on Windows-based Tablet PCs)
2. Handwriting recognition software that will convert your scribbles into formatted text (remember the old Apple Newton MessagePad?)
3. Full-size USB port (so you can read those files from your USB flash drive)
4. Full-size SD card slot (full size SD, not just limited to microSD)
5. A mini HDMI port

This device is a nice tablet, but it's certainly bulkier and heavier than many other tablets on the market. Despite the larger size, the battery life just doesn't impress me on the ThinkPad Tablet. One of the main reasons why the battery life is limited is because the Wi-Fi remains on even when the display is turned off. There is an option that allows you to turn off the Wi-Fi when the display is off. Here are the instructions (from Page 38 of the User Manual):

Configuring the wireless network disconnect policy

To get longer battery life, manage your wireless connections more reasonably by configuring the wireless network disconnect policy.

To configure the wireless network disconnect policy, do the following:

1. From the main Home screen, touch the Android Settings icon on Lenovo Launch Zone, or touch the applications icon from the action bar and then touch Settings. The Android Settings screen opens.

2. Touch Wireless & network ➙ Wi-Fi settings.

3. Touch the Menu icon and then touch Advanced.

4. Touch Wireless Enhanced Settings

5. The following options are displayed. Touch to enable the function or to further configure the setting.

• Turn off Wi-Fi when display is off

When enabled, the Wi-Fi connection will be disabled after the screen is locked. You can set when Wi-Fi will be turned off after the screen is locked by touching Set minutes.

• Never turn off Wi-Fi when connect to the specified [SSID]

When enabled, even if the first option Turn off Wi-Fi when display is off is enabled, the connection to the specified SSID will not be turned off after the screen is locked.

• Turn off Wi-Fi on schedule

Choose this option to set up a schedule to turn off the wireless connection. For example, you can set the schedule to turn off Wi-Fi from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm every workday.

Note: You cannot turn on Wi-Fi during the scheduled Wi-Fi off time.

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