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Squeezing More Life Out of Your Notebook's Battery Part I

Battery Life Is Only The Second Most Important Purchase Factor

In addition, battery life shows up as the second most important purchase factor in this survey. This is made more interesting by the results of an earlier survey from Forrester Consumer Technographics conducted in 2000: it didn't mention battery life in its list of buying criteria, but it did single out (short) battery life as the most important cause for dissatisfaction among notebook buyers.

At THG we also assume that our readers don't necessarily want to wait for the members of the Mobile PC EBLWG to realize their vision of the eight hour notebook. That is why we also take pains in this article to inform you about the biggest power drains in your notebook, and how you can use onboard functions and intelligent power management strategies to make the most of your existing notebook battery as well.

What Elements Consume The Most Juice In A Notebook?

Before we can tackle the question of how best to conserve power in a notebook, which varies depending on actual user activity and related workload, we'd like to determine which devices create the biggest power draws in these systems. The following chart provides an overview of the power draws associated with individual notebook components.

This data originates from Intel based on the measurement and proportional value for power consumption associated with individual notebook components, taken during a multi-hour battery life test built around Ziff Davis' Battery Life Benchmark version 4.01. In its own way, this test is similar to Bapcos Mobilemark. The Battery Life Benchmark likewise uses scripts to imitate real usage scenarios, so as to best reproduce actual user experiences. The benchmark measures the time required to work through the various scripts to calculate a power metric. In addition, the benchmark also measures the battery life. These results are based on a series of Carmel and Sonoma platforms from Intel, which means they used devices built around the first and second generations of Mobile Centrino Technology. These values don't reflect any single configuration; rather, Intel says the intent of this chart is to illustrate an overall trend, and not to communicate information about any notebook in particular.