Testing power usage on Haswell Ultrabooks is difficult due to the huge range of scenarios that the next generation Ultrabooks have. They’ll stream music for days and yet if you try to do too much gaming on them, you might be out of juice in as little as two hours. What we can say though, without a shadow of a doubt, is that the battery life on Haswell Ultrabooks, compared to Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks is hugely improved. We’ve got a Dell XPS 12 with Haswell here that proves it.
It’s not like we weren’t expecting this. We had a good idea last September and wrote about Haswell’s potential to increase battery life back in Jan. Intal have released some slides today that show some more details.
The new Core i7-4650U, a 15W TDP part, could offer 50% more video playback time over the Core i7-3667U (which Intel cheekily calls a 20W TDP platform now that it matters!) It’s the same story as we saw on Intel Clovertrail last year and that improvement is likely to rise for smaller-screen Ultrabooks and tablets. More importantly, standby time is improved although Intel haven’t talked about Connected Standby here which means that with Windows 8, Metro apps can be running in the background while the desktop is off. Expect to see some figures for that over the next few days as more details are made public and Computex press events happen tomorrow (Monday morning in Taiwan.)
Remember that these are very specific scenarios but even in general use we’re expecting the much lower background drain to bring big increases in battery life.