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All posts tagged "battery life"


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Can Ultrabook Thinness Ever Coexist with Long Battery Life?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:30 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/16/..._medium=twitter

"Bandwagons, trains and Tranes. Can't say that these three have a heck of a lot in common in most regards, but one thing's for sure: trying to stop this trio would be a Herculean task. And so it goes with laptops -- once upon a time, it was good enough to have something that resembled a portable tower, but these days, the ability to even see the chassis at all feels like a negative. I exaggerate, of course, but the proverbial race in the laptop world is hardly about price; it's about thinness."

An interesting 'form vs. function' discussion. The holy grail here, as one would expect, is a laptop an inch or less thick, with battery life of a full "business day," while operating at full tilt. While battery technology has certainly improved, it's not enough to coax much more than ~4-6 hours of intermittent use out of today's (Ultrabook) batteries. It seems that the goal of 24-Hours is obtainable, but not with this less-is-more footprint. Is going back to the 4-5 pound 1-inch+ thick laptop the answer? Better battery technology is coming, but probably not soon enough for most users. Other thoughts: Making a 'battery slice' affordable and available for all models? Replacing the physical keyboard with a tablet-style virtual keyboard, freeing-up space for a larger battery (then why not just use a tablet?)? Unbreakable solar panels in the cover to constantly charge? Wireless Charging not requiring <1m proximity? Inventors? Any ideas that you can share?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Laptop's Round Up of 7+ Hour Run-Time Notebooks

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 01:30 PM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/all-day-s...sting-notebooks

"A good laptop should last 5 hours on a charge. A great one will give you nearly a full workday's worth of juice for surfing the web, checking e-mail and social networking updates, and getting other stuff done. That's why we made the cut-off for this elite group of portables 7 hours. All of these machines were able to surf the web continuously with the screen on 40 percent brightness (about the default level when you unplug a notebook) for at least that amount of time."

Sometimes you want raw power in a laptop, and other times you want something that will keeping going and going and going - just like that damnable bunny with the drum! Laptop Magazine has pulled together the longest lasting laptops and netbooks that they've reviewed recently, and the results are impressive. Keep in mind these are products that have been tested to last longer than seven hours, which is a big difference from simply rounding up laptops that on paper say they last seven hours. If you're looking for a laptop that lasts and lasts, this list is a good place to start.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Battery Recharging Myth-Busting: Don't Completely Drain Your LiIon Batteries

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 01:30 PM

http://lifehacker.com/#!5789794/avo...ps-battery-life

"Battery-centric web site Battery University explains the real relationship behind battery life and charging. Lithium-ion batteries-the batteries present in most modern smartphones and laptops-don't need to be fully discharged every once in a while to retain battery life, as many of us have been told. In fact, it's quite the opposite..."

Over the years, I'm sure we've all heard a lot of crazy battery advice: don't recharge your phone/laptop/MP3 player until it's completely dead; don't charge it too often; when you're not using it, take out the battery, etc. Much like telling someone they need to defrag their Wi-Fi connection, some of these "tips" just aren't true. This article gives you some important tips about how to maximize the battery life on your portable device.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wondering Why the New Macbook Pro's Seem to Offer Less Battery Life?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Laptops" @ 02:00 PM

http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/24/ma...o-battery-life/

"Now that the news about the new MacBook Pros is out there, one thing that may disappoint someone just reading the spec sheet is battery life. Across the board, the Pro is now rated at 7 hours. While still very solid, this is actually a step down from the previous versions which were rated at 8 to 9 hours for the 15 and 17-inch models, and 10 hours for the 13-inch model. So what gives?"

When I was looking at the battery life on the new Macbook Pros, I noticed something curious: they're all listed as "up to 7 hours". I couldn't recall what the exact battery life specs were for the previous Macbook Pros, but I knew it varied from model to model. As the above text shows, Apple had quoted the battery life on previous Macbooks from 8 to 10 hours. Sandy Bridge processors are supposed to be even more power-friendly than the first-gen Core series processors. So what gives? Read more...


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Laptop and Netbook Battery Usage: The Breakdown

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 08:00 AM

For the life of me, I can't find the article that I pulled this graphic from! I seem to recall it was on a Microsoft blog, but every search I use fails to find it. Regardless, it's legitimate and quite enlightening I think. It demonstrates the reality of battery/power usage on current laptops/netbooks, and busts the myths that some people still cling to, such as:

  • "If I switch from a hard drive to an SSD, I'll get better battery life!". Nope, not really - modern hard drives are ultra-power efficient and assuming your system has sufficient RAM, switching to an SSD won't do much for your battery life.
  • "Turning off Wifi and Bluetooth will get me better battery life" Perhaps, but only slightly - at only 4% of power consumption, networking technologies being turned on or off won't make a big dent in power consumption.

The biggest thing that will allow you to eek out maximum battery life on your laptop? Turning down the screen brightness. Nothing else you can do will make as big of a difference as that one change. The good news is that as we see more integration of chipset functions and GPU functions into the CPU, the overall chipset and GPU chips will use less power, and ultimately give us better battery life. That's why the new AMD Fusion APUs (CPU + GPU) and Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU + GPU chips are so interesting...they will bring about a level of chip-level power savings that we haven't seen thus far.

I think 2011 is going to be a great year for laptops and netbook!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Making Your Linux Laptop Sip Power

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:30 PM

http://productivegeek.com/articles/...r-linux-laptop/

"Power saving is a hot topic for laptop users who need to get things done when they are on the move and running on limited battery energy. Here is a list of smart Linux tricks to save battery power. According to Less Watts.org, the leading source for power saving tips on Linux, the following components of our computer consumes most of our battery life and we can lengthen our battery life by tweaking them:"

There are probably about as many guides on how to extend your laptop's battery life as there are atoms in the universe, however most of them tend to be Windows or OSX focused. Some will include tips that apply to all laptops, but very few are targeted towards the Linux crowd. ProductiveGeek has compiled a list of useful tips that will help, though many fall into the "applies to all laptops" category. Still, every watt is sacred and those extra ten minutes you just gained could be the difference between life and death.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Which is More Important to You? Battery Life or Graphics Performance?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 PM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/which-tos...e-intel-version

"Overall, we love this lightweight notebook's gorgeous design, snappy performance, and amazingly comfortable keyboard. But which of these two configurations is best? While both received a "highly recommended" rating of 4 stars, we gave our coveted Editor's Choice award to the Intel-powered T235 because it lasted 50 minutes longer (6:10 versus 5:20), it had better Wi-Fi connectivity, and it copied files faster than its AMD-based counterpart. Overall performance was pretty much a wash, though the T235D did a little bit better in graphics tests and gaming."

It's always interesting when two laptops have identical parts but differ on CPU and chipsets; you get to see how each CPU and chipset change factors that are otherwise virtually impossible to measure head to head. In this case, going with an Intel CPU and GPU gets you 50 minutes of extra battery life for $20 more. The AMD option brings better graphics performance to the table, and a savings of $20. Which is more important to you? Battery life or better graphics performance? For me, it's better battery life - hands down.


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