Trickle charging means that the normal charging rate is greatly reduced when the battery hits 100%. This helps to insure that the battery is not overcharged. The laptop should do this automatically but there is still a little charge going to the unit. If you're using the laptop then it shouldn't be a problem but say leaving it plugged in overnight is not that healthy for the unit. It's the same with your cell phone, you're not supposed to leave them plugged in all the time. They use the same type of battery. That's why I don't buy a cell phone that I can't buy replacement batteries for as they will only last 2-3 years.
As i've mentioned, I got a little timer from Amazon for $10-$15 that allows you to turn on a device for 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours. I have my charger plugged into it and will just switch it on for an hour or two. The timer automatically turns off so you don't have to worry about remembering it. This way you can just watch the battery indicator and turn it on for an hour or two during the day.
A laptop is not designed to be a desktop and if you use it as such, you have to appreciate the potential consequences. The battery life on the Spectre is very good and you should be able to use it and just charge periodically.
I doubt if there is anything external to the laptop that can be done to stop overcharging beyond turning the power supply off. While I'm not involved in the internal design of the laptop, I am an electrical engineer and think that the charging circuits of the laptop are not accessable to the user.
The articles provided that state that running a battery to 100% capacity does not affect battery life are simply absolutely and irrefutably false. If HP is only charging to a max of 80% of the total battery capacity then this discussion is a mute issue.
Fact - the average life of a Lion laptop battery is only a few years.
Fact - the average life of an EV/Hybrid battery that uses those same cells is a decade or more.
Why - EV manufacturers stay within 40-80% of the battery capacity for 90% of the battery cycles. Think of how batteries work. You are depositing and removing material from surfaces. There is a sweet spot in how much of the material you cycle. It is a good practice to dive into how processes work when answering these questions.
Is it a big deal to replace a laptop or phone battery every 1-3 years. No. Would it save environmental impact and save consumers money if we could control the battery charging cycle - absolutely. The vast majority of consumers don't really care so most laptop manufacturers don't care to dig into this.
I set my hibernate settings to a higher threshold of 10-20% to at least prevent the bottom end of the "high stress" battery cycle. Here is one more request to have control of my battery charging cycle so that my battery can retain its full capacity (or the rare times I really, really do need it) for the full 4-year life I have planned for my laptop.
This is a pretty old thread. If there’s no built in solution to the problem, you could buy a Wifi controller plug connected to the charger and write a fairly simple script that takes the current battery percentage and switches the plug on and off as appropriate to keep the battery cycling where you want it.