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Notebook makers getting serious about battery life. Start of a new trend?



Popular topic at the moment seems to be battery life. Warner put it at the top of his list of what slate makers need to do. Meanwhile, ASUS and Apple have both upped the ante with promises of 10+ hours of notebook battery life.

Our sister site/brother blog has the goods on the new ASUS Eee PC netbook and Apple Macbook. The Eee PC 1015P and 1015PE breaks from the typical mold with four 6-cell battery options: 13.5hrs (63Whr), 12 hrs(56Whr) 10.5hrs(48Whr) , and 5hrs(23Whr). No pricing yet, but obviously the bigger the battery, the higher the price.

The new Macbook, however, has a price ($999) and just one battery option: up to 10 hours at 63.5 Whr. While the Macbook offers less runtime than the Eee’s top battery option with roughly the same watt-hour rating, it also offers a larger display and 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor vs. the 1.66GHz Atom Pineview-M N450. For comparison, my first Tablet PC was an Electrovaya SC500 with 140Whr battery, more than double these ratings, yet offered less runtime than the Eee and a fraction of the performance of the Macbook.

As we know, even though Apple has somewhat adjusted this view with the iPad, battery claims rarely live up to the advertised levels. But even taking that into consideration, we’re looking at all-day battery life for these portable computers. Hopefully what we’re seeing here is just the beginning of a new wave of interest in long battery life.



  1. Strodtbeck

    05/18/2010 at 7:13 pm

    Whenever I see Apple’s battery life claims I get a little jealous but then I remember using a Macbook Pro just a couple months ago. . . 2 hours would have been great lol. . . so I take them with a grain of salt; however, all day battery life would be sweeeeettttttt :)

    • Xavier Lanier

      05/18/2010 at 9:07 pm

      I haven’t used the new MacBook yet obviously, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my new MacBook Pro’s battery life. It does come close to the 8 hours of web browsing quoted in the spec sheet, but I rarely use it for an extended amount of time in a manner that Apple prescribes for its tests.

      I agree with both Warner and Sumocat that battery life should be a key point when selling/buying a notebook or mobile device of any kind.

  2. pdg

    05/19/2010 at 3:38 am

    I guess the new trend is not really that new: Acer launched the first consumer-oriented timeline series already a year ago, and ASUS have had the UL series for about ten months. I’m a Ul30 owner, and battery life can truly be beyond ten hours (low backlight, office/PDFs, limited web browsing). It’s nice to see that notebook makers are pushing on battery life: for me it’s vital being free from the plug incubus, but I don’t see the average consumer that excited about it (or about the lovely ‘thin and light’ culv notebooks, btw). I feel like things are changing, though.

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