Posts Tagged efficiency

Microsoft Surface Pro 2. Real-World Battery Life Review

 

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This is a post by Surface Pro 2 owner Hector Gomez who shares his battery life report after one month of usage…

When Microsoft announced the first Surface Pro it got hit with many reviewers claiming battery life was only around 3.5 hours. I personally got a good 5 hours, and yes, if I watched a  lot of videos on it, it did drop down. Though I was able to get a full work day use out of it I accepted I would always have to carry the power supply with me for full-days of usage. That changed with the Microsoft Surface Pro 2

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10 hours Battery Life on an Ultrabook. Test and How-To

P1130862While Ultrabooks generally perform to similar efficiencies under load there’s quite a difference when it comes to near-idle operations and that can seriously impact the length of time you can use an Ultrabook as an offline word processor. As a blogger that’s a very important scenario for me and I suspect that if you’re offline and answering a bunch of emails or writing a presentation or report, this scenario is important to you too. If you choose the right Ultrabook you can get 10 hours of typing on one battery charge.

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Why an Efficient Ultrabook is Better Than a Big Battery

Thanks to the exploding world of mobile, the computer industry has seen a refreshed interest in high efficiency components. Though Intel has always made a wide range of processors, until lately the company’s low-power products were sometimes seen as second-class citizens of the CPU world. Sure, they used less power, but this was often achieve this with lower clock speeds, fewer features, and sometimes the disabling of cores in the case of multi-core processors. With the Ultrabook initiative Intel has renewed emphasis on efficient processors that are not just on equal footing as the rest of their offerings, but rather showcase the extent of Intel’s processor prowess. The latest Ivy Bridge Core U-series processors found in Ultrabooks are more than just low-power — they are highly efficient processors capable of a high dynamic range of computing tasks. By packing the latest and greatest processor technology into a package that also has practical limits on how much power it can draw and how much heat it can produce, these CPUs present an alternative to using a standard CPU and simply slapping in a big battery; But which is better?

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Why I’m not a Fan of Wireless Charging

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?

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Battery Life and Efficiency Review – Lenovo U300S

It’s time for some extreme testing. Seriously, skip to the summary if you just want to know if the Lenovo U300s has good, average or poor battery life. Stay with us if you want to learn more about how efficient this neat little Ultrabook is. We’ve completed a suite of tests here that we hope gives you an idea of how the battery life would work out for your use case.

Lenovo U300s by Chippy (18) (1024x757)

In summary we were a little disappointed in the Lenovo U300s we have here. Background power usage is much higher than many other Ultrabooks and the screen requires a lot of power to make it bright enough to use. The U300S has a relatively large battery which helps to provide good battery life figures despite the so-so efficiency.  Turbo seems to work well and cooling performance is good. The fan is there when needed but doesn’t give us any nasty surprises.

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Power Efficiency – Intel Core ULV CPU vs Intel Core Mobile CPU

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.

Part 1 – Ultrabook ULV vs Notebook Mobile CPUs

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.

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