It’s a tricky question. A 2003 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council said that running a laptop off of AC power uses about 20 less energy than running it off a battery. However, your laptop might be set to use more power when it’s plugged in and less when it’s not. (That said, you should be able to adjust your settings so that your laptop uses the same amount of power regardless of whether or not it’s plugged in.)
But considering that energy is lost in the process of charging a battery and storing the electricity, it’s probably a good idea to stay plugged in. (Check your manufacturer’s recommendations in regards to battery life.) Remember, though, unplug it when it’s not in use!
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