The always-on feature called Connected Standby in Windows 8 has been updated for Windows 10. Modern Standby, as it is now known, has support for HDD-based PCs and allows you to disable WiFi during Sleep which will help preserve battery life. Windows 10 also includes easier controls for preventing applications to run in the background and for controlling notifications which also extend to a new Battery Saver mode. I’ve tested the features on a couple of Windows 10 devices (upgrades) and the results have been extremely varied. This Windows 10 feature needs more work but it’s a huge potential advantage to mobile battery life when compared to Windows 8.
“14 hours battery life when Web browsing” is the claim made by Asus for the new Atom X5-based Transformer T100HA. Given the size and weight of this tablet (the keyboard doesn’t have an extra battery,) that’s huge. So huge that I don’t believe it. I’d like to believe it but my history of testing PCs based on Intel Atom processing platforms tells me to question it. I’ve done that below.
I’m testing the Acer Aspire Switch 10 for Notebookcheck.net right now and it’s going well. I prefer it to the ASUS Transformer Book T100 because of the better keyboard, mouse and screen but there’s one little issue – battery life. The Switch 10 has a 24Wh battery inside which is much less than the 34Wh battery of the ASUS T100 and less than half of what you got on the previous W510. Looking at the keyboard reveals that it’s quite light and has 8 exposed screws so naturally I took a look inside. What I saw was encouraging because there’s space, screw holes and an unused PCB header space.
I’ve been using the Mobile Reporting Kit V12 over the last 5 days and it’s been working well. The challenge was to work through a day without any cables. No charging! The Harris Beach Ultrabook, Nokia Lumia 925 plus a backup phone (Nokia 808) and a camera (Lumix FZ150) worked together to give me my best mobile media studio yet.
Here’s some information about how you can access a very cool battery life report on Windows, check your connected standby figures and potentially fix your problem. I hope you take the time to contribute your report or thoughts in the comments below too.
Always-on is the a feature you’ll find with Connected Standby-capable Windows 8 PCs.
Some people think they don’t need it. Let me explain why you need it.
Connected Standby (or Always On, Always Connected â€“ AOAC) is the mark of a ground-breaking new category of PCs that will not only be always-on capable but will have hardware that is so efficient that it will completely change what you think is good battery life.
The adoption of Micro-USB as a charging port standard on smartphones was a breakthrough for the consumer but we’re still left with the same problem on our other portable electronics. Example: I just spent 10 minutes searching for a power adaptor for a Tablet here in the office. What if we could do the same for portable electronics as we did for smartphones? Power over USB (or USB Power Delivery as it’s officially known) looks like it could be the answer. Read the full story
I’m not a fan of wireless charging. I love the idea of cable-less operation but the inefficiencies far outweigh the advantages for me. Maybe I’m just too focused on mobile operation though because I agree, there’s a case for desk-top charging while working. Even though, wouldn’t it be easier to just have a separate charging mat?
There have been a couple of Ultrabook battery-related news items in the last few months. Both, I believe, stem from what was talked about at Intel’s IDF event in Beijing. The first article highlighted how Intel introduced a standard size battery. The most recent article mentions the cylindrical 16650 type cell, a smaller version of the very common Li-Ion cell found in removable laptop battery packs. “Intel Hopes New Batteries Can Reduce Ultrabook Cost.” said the article title.
Most of what is going on is summarised in this slide.
Early in January I put forward an article which highlighted the differences between the ‘ultra low voltage’ CPUs you get in Ultrabooks and the ‘low voltage’ CPUs you get in many laptops. I gave some comparison figures for two devices in different usage scenarios by measuring ‘system’ power drain and it was only in the high-end tests where we saw the ULV processor being significantly more efficient. In this article I continue the testing and compare the LV and ULV cores directly. The results are blow.
Measuring ‘system’ drain on two different systems isn’t the most scientific of tests so a discussion broke out in the comments about how we could measure a true difference in efficiency between ULV and LV processors and whether it could be possible to run low-voltage processors at slower clockrates and get the same efficiency as a ULV processor.
The theory says ‘No.’ If you run a CPU at the same frequency but with a higher voltage, the power usage goes up.
Giving battery life figures for any modern notebook will always be a difficult task due to the huge dynamic range of the mobile platforms used in notebooks today. Take the Samsung 900X1B I’m testing at the moment. It’s not an Ultrabook but it’s built on the same platform to the same dimensions and it will run at anything between 2.8W drain and over 10X that figure. In this article I’ll give you some results from some fairly detailed testing I completed today. In summary, the Samsung 900X1B has excellent battery life for the size, weight and battery capacity. It’s efficient.
The Samsung 900X1B runs on a Intel Core i3 2357M platform. It has a nominal 1.3Ghz clock speed but can speed-step down to 800Mhz. There’s an Intel HD3000 graphics unit, a video encode/decode unit and, of course, lots of busses, components and connectivity. There’s also a 11.6″ 1366×768 screen with a relatively powerful back-light. The battery capacity is 42Wh [I recently corrected our database which showed in incorrect 40Wh.]
The tests I did today were aimed at finding how low the platform can idle and what sort of drain you can expect some of the components to add, all the way up to maximum power usage.
The Powerocks Stone 3 portable power pack for iPad and Galaxy Tab solves a problem. It’s all very well having a common interface for charging but when people break the specs it becomes less useful. The iPad and Galaxy Tab charge using very high currents through a USB port that excedes the capability of the USB port you’ll find on nearly all laptops and PCs which means you generally have to carry the mains charger around with you. I found a portable power pack at IFA that supplies the correct current to allow full-speed charing on the go and it works. At least with the Galaxy Tab I tested with it.
There’s no European distributor for the Stone 3 yet so you’ll have to keep your eyes open for availability. Alternatively, wait a while because I’ve got a unit coming from Znex. The Power-Pack IP is said to do the same so i’m looking forward to testing one that’s available right now.
Here’s a video and you’ll find some images below that.
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