Connected Standby Problem – How To Check It’s Working via the Hidden Win 8 Battery Report

Posted on 17 February 2013 by



P1130878

As I wrote about driver update V2.04 for the Acer W510 I noticed a few user reports of poor connected standby battery life. The following day I heard about V2.08. I updated again but I was seeing some serious Connected Standby issues. Battery life was way below what it should have been.

Here’s some information about how you can access a very cool battery life report on Windows 8, check your CS figures and potentially fix your problem. I hope you take the time to contribute your report or thoughts in the comments below too.

Powercfg battery life report on Windows 8

Here’s how to get a battery life report on any Windows 8 device.

Hit the windows button to get to the start screen / modern UI and type cmd <return>
At the prompt type:

powercfg -batteryreport

You’ll get a response within 5 seconds that a file has been created. Open that file with a browser and enjoy the stats. At the bottom you’ll find the average figure for your Windows 8 PC.

Example Powercfg battery report

Here’s my full report from the W510.  Look at this snapshot below. The annotated green section shows in-spec CS drain figures. The red area shows out-of-spec CS figures. These results started after I installed V2.04 on the 2nd Feb.  I installed V2.08 on 14th Feb.

batteryreport-w510
Look at the useful summary in the last section of the report. I’ve highlighted good and bad CS figures.
On the left you can see real-world in-use figures too. Yup, I’m regularly seeing over 10hrs n the W510 with the dual-battery.
For comparison, my Z830 Ultrabook returns 3hrs 51 average now which would be 4:28 with a new battery.

My ‘Fix’ and Other Notes

After some testing it’s appears that it’s WiFi that’s drainging the battery although the cause of the problem could be elsewhere – a process preventing the WiFi from going into sleep, for example. I don’t think it’s drivers because after what could have been a simple reboot yesterday, the device used just 2% off battery in an 11hr CS period last night. I’ll have to wait 24-48hrs to see if the problem is ‘fixed.’

The interesting thing is that all the Clovertrail tablets I have used have almost the same hardware build and are likely to be using the same drivers. There’s a chance that problem goes beyond just the Acer W510. It’s time to get some crowdsourced information from you so we can get to the bottom of this.

Post your Powercfg Reports

Please run the powercfg command above and post a link to a snapshot of your results in the last section of the report. Alternatively, just post the last line of the report – the summary – and include the device name and measurement period.

Are your battery reports for CS within spec?

  • Under 5% per 16 hours with no background tasks
  • My W510 was reporting 4-6% / 16h  with background tasks
  • Up to 10% / 16h would seem to be acceptable
  • Constant radio streaming could take this up to around 15% / 16 h
  • Over 15% drain per 16 hours could be regarded as suspicious but I’ll update this as we see results from users below.

Obviously larger battery means slower % loss. I have a total of about 54Wh on the W510. The Samsung Ativ 500 has a smaller battery, 31Wh AFAIK.

If you think you’ve got a connected standby problem…

If you think you’ve got a problem here’s a few things you can try.

  1. run powercfg /energy as administrator. You’ll get a report with issues highlighted.
  2. Make sure you reset your battery power profile to default settings.
    restore battery plan
  3. Make sure your PC is not waiting for a Windows update reboot. This could be preventing some standby features. “Update and Restart” via the settings charm –> power button.
    update restart

Of course, check the comments below for more tips. I’ll update this post if anything significant comes up in the discussion.

Connected Standby is an amazing feature but when it doesn’t work as expected it could catch you by surprise. I do expect laptop batteries to drain a lot if I leave the device running overnight but I don’t expect to wake up to a dead Acer W510. Keep an eye on your battery performance by regularly running the powercfg battery report.

For more info on measuring battery usage, see this good article by Intel – must read for all Win 8 developers in my opinion.

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Ian Dixon says:

    that is a great tip. On my Surface using connected standby I get around 6% and that is with a bit of light use.
    I noticed that an issue with the Surface connecting to wifi would drain the battery in CS

  2. Marauderz says:

    Chipping in with a dead W510 in the morning.. after running the battery report…. yup.. battery performance tanked since 8th Feb when the update was installed…

  3. Marauderz says:

    Oh wait.. might be some other reasons, let me just reread the report properly and get back to you.

  4. tea says:

    I just got my W510 for a few days. The battery report shows 24%, 3%,6%, 50% and 124% / 16h… nothing to worry about… I’m doing lots of stuff when the tablet is off (lots of installation going on… apps running etc…). When I unplug from the adapter, I use 12%/12hour when wifi is on and 0% for 12 hour when airplane mode is on. That sounds reasonable to me. I comes from the Android tablet so I’m used to this sort of battery drains. It’s mainly due to installed apps downloading updates, news, weathers, advertisements etc all those good stuff for a social computer. I think Windows 8 is slightly better in this aspect as it actually suspend the Modern apps. Desktop IE also does not contribute to battery drain (0% after 12 hours), other apps are not so efficient. I updated to 2.08 driver on the first hour so I can’t compare it with the old drivers. I also didn’t buy the keyboard (although I need it badly), I’m still waiting for the trackpad bug to be fixed. Have anyone bought a new W510 keyboard and had no issue? Would greatly appreciate if anyone can recommend a no-bug keyboard reseller in US.

  5. Chippy says:

    Great feedback here. Keep it coming. In the meantime, check out my thoughts on using the W510 as a mobile content creation tool.
    http://www.umpcportal.com/2013/02/acer-w510-is-clovertrail-enough-for-mobile-content-creation/

  6. vps says:

    I really love your blog. You write about very interesting things. Thanks for all your tips and information.

  7. michael says:

    2% drain/503mWh in standby over 4.5 hours on a Lenovo Lynx.

  8. michael says:

    oh and just to clarify, this is Lynx tablet only, not docked