Tuesday, August 4, 2009

BattCursor - A battery meter you can’t overlook

When you are working on your laptop away from the power outlet and drawing juice from the battery, keeping an eye on the battery level is critical. BattCursor makes it easier to monitor the battery level of your laptop, by adding a battery meter showing the remaining battery level under the mouse pointer.

A battery meter that follows everywhere your pointer goes might sound annoying, but it’s not. See the image below.


That’s not distracting, is it? You can customize the transparency level of the meter to make it even more subtle and less distracting. And your cursor can be configured to turn yellow or red when the battery level gets close to the critical level.

Actually, BattCursor can display the battery level in a number of different ways like in the system tray or in Windows Vista’s sidebar, although the cursor meter is what makes BattCursor unique. BattCursor can also indicate the battery level by changing the color of Windows Vista’s Aero glass borders. When the battery is healthy the Aero glass is at it’s default blue. As the battery runs low, the Aero glass turns yellow and shift through a continuing spectrum of colors till turns red. So even if you are not following the cursor like when reading a particularly engrossing piece of article, you certainly can’t miss the changing hue of the Aero border.


Now BattCursor is not just a battery meter. It also functions as an energy saving application. When the battery runs real low, it can disable the Aero Glass feature to save power. Their tests indicate that this can save, depending on the laptop, up to 20-30 minutes of video run-time.

Similarly, the Windows Sidebar can be disabled to squeeze more out of the battery.

BattCursor also lets you keep and manage several Windows power profiles and automatically switch to any one of these depending upon the remaining power level of the battery level, or automatically switch to a "high performance" level once the laptop is connected to a power source.

BattCursor is Windows Vista and Windows 7 only.

[via Lifehacker]


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