how come some devices can function while being charged (e.g. cellphones) whole others can’t (e.g. some headphones and eBooks).

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how come some devices can function while being charged (e.g. cellphones) whole others can’t (e.g. some headphones and eBooks).

In: Engineering

I can’t speak for all devices, but much of the time it’s a heat/cooling issue. Batteries get hot while they charge and devices get hot when you use them. If you try doing both, the temperature can be unsafe for the device’s hardware.

takes a more complex, and expensive, power management chip to power the device from the same wires that are charging the battery. It also slows battery charging, so there are user visible side effects.

The designers decided the feature wasn’t worth the cons and costs.

Doing both at the same time is complicated, doing one or the other is less complicated. In order to make the product less expensive to produce, often the company will just go with the simple option. This is more common for items they assume nobody will care to use while charging, like wireless headphones, or ones that have exceptionally long battery life and therefore won’t need charged while in use as often.

But devices that are very power hungry, very complex, and/or very expensive will have the more complicated system of charging while in use. Sometimes this is necessary – most laptops can’t run continuously while doing more than simple tasks for very long, so they *have* to be able to charge and run at the same time.

Keep in mind, I said “less expensive to produce” this doesn’t always mean the product will be cheap. There are many companies that are more than happy to cut corners to save a dime, and still charge their customers the highest price they can manage. Even expensive products can be cheaply made.