Laptop Woes – the Pros and Cons of Having ACPI

By Lawrence

If you use a laptop to place orders like me, you probably would have experienced this issue – How come my top of the line laptop is not taking my click to place an order and that the keystrokes typed onto the keyboard are lost which is part of my limit order price! Here is what I found out after my (not so) painful experience with these problems.

Welcome to the World of ACPI

ACPI means Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. For laptop computers, it is a means to define how the laptop will utilize the power source (i.e. the battery or the AC adaptor). If your laptop computer is installed with the ACPI device driver for the AC adaptor and/or the battery, Windows will then reduce power usage for certain parts of the computer to extend the life of the battery so that you can use your computer for a longer time period.

Battery Life vs Faster Response

ACPI helps extending the battery life of your laptop computers for sure, because power is cut off from various input devices and other auxilary components until they are being activated. Unluckily, that includes the keyboard and mouse.

For normal laptop users, waiting for a second or two to re-enter what they just typed is perfectly acceptable, when they find out that the first few characters they typed are not displayed.

For us, traders, however, it is a matter of whether getting the price we wanted, or, missed out of a trade.

I learned this lesson when I clicked on the order entry and then nothing happened. The price, of course, just ran away …

How to Disable ACPI on a Laptop?

To disable ACPI for a laptop, open the Control Panel>System>Device Manager

Look for the Battery item or the System item. If you expand that, you will see the AC Adaptor and ACPI devices. Right click on them and then choose Disable. That will stop these items from taking over the computer. You will also need to restart the computer once to see the changes taking place.

If the various input devices you have on the laptop computer is slowed down by ACPI, you would notice that they no longer response with delay at all. If your keyboard is used to miss the first few characters you have typed, then you should find that it actually captures all your typing with ease. The difference is obvious and noticable.


The ACPI architecture is a great idea for most laptop users but not something we traders would like to work under, especially when our trading depends on split of a second decisions and reactions.


  • tallyho May 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Hi – thx for the article, do you know if what you said is true for a MacBook Pro?
    thank you/ Brad

  • Lawrence Chan May 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I know there is ACPI configuration on MacOS in MacBook Air. Windows installed on MacBook Air also support ACPI so the hardware support is there for sure. I assume MacBook Pro would have it too.

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in