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Testing: Pre-Test Setup, Battery Life - BatteryEater Pro

5 Featherweight Powerhouse Ultraportables
By , Barry Gerber

Pre-Test Settings

Before beginning any tests, we:

  1. Install a fresh copy of Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Service Pack 1
  2. Update the graphics driver with the latest from the notebook manufacturer
  3. Install the actual benchmarking software and no other programs
  4. Set the screen resolution to 1024x768

Battery Life: BatteryEater Pro v2.70

BatteryEater Pro v2.70 does not test notebook batteries in real-life scenarios; rather, it beats up on a notebook’s battery, forcing it into submission usually long before it would die in normal situations. Additionally, when used on Windows Vista notebooks, BatteryEater cannot detect hard drives, and thus, does not run its hard drive stress test. All of this means that the numbers we present for battery life are useful for only comparison. You can compare BatteryEater Pro scores run on Windows Vista notebooks, but you should expect relatively longer battery lives for all tested notebooks in most real-world situations.

Our settings for BatteryEater Pro are relatively simple.

  1. Set BatteryEater Pro to a resolution of 1024x768. With the display and BatteryEater Pro set to the same resolution, the BatteryEater Pro test screen almost fully covers the display, preventing other windows or the Vista desktop from affecting battery discharge.
  2. Assure that the Windows Vista power scheme is set to Balanced
  3. Set both Turn off Display and Put the Computer to Sleep to Never both for On Battery and Plugged In
  4. Set Critical Battery Action > On Battery to Shutdown
  5. Turn off Low Battery Notification On Battery
  6. Set Screen Saver to None
  7. Disconnect all external drives and any USB devices

When BatteryEater Pro shows Battery Status to be High and the charged capacity is 100%, pulling the AC power connector starts the BatteryEater Pro test.

BatteryEater Pro Test Results

The following chart shows BatteryEater Pro scores for the five ultraportable notebooks included in this roundup.

Calculating The Battery Life Score for Each Notebook

In the discussion of each notebook, you’ll remember that we presented a score between 1 and 5 for each notebook’s battery life. To calculate this score, we gave a score of 5 to the notebook scoring the highest in the BatteryEater Pro tests, then set all other scores relative to the highest scoring notebook by dividing the runtime of each into the runtime of the winner. In this case, we gave a score of 5 for the highest performing notebook in the battery life tests, the Sony, then used its result of 207 minutes as the basis for the other scores. For example, for the Lenovo we divided its battery life score of 91 minutes into 207 and multiplied by 5, which resulted in a score of 2.20.

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