Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Asus Promises 12-Hour Battery Life In New High-End Laptop

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the or-until-the-battery-catches-fire dept.

Portables 190

Asus' new high-end laptop could finally be the traveler's best accoutrement, touting twelve-hour battery life thanks to intelligent, second-by-second switching between the two GPUs and automatic, on-the-fly re-clocking of the Intel Core i7 CPU. All this also comes in with a price tag of just over $1,000. "ASUS's solution is different because it's user-transparent; even a novice user will get the fullest possible benefit because the laptop itself is deciding when to switch. The same principle applies to the dynamic CPU clocking. ASUS includes a desktop widget to track CPU clock speed. While using the UL80JT, I could see it moving up and down with what I did; up with program openings and CPU-intensive processes, and way down at idle. Between the GPU switching, dynamic clocking, and ASUS's other power management features, the UL80JT manages to consume less than half as much power as the unibody Macbook while browsing."

cancel ×

190 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728326)

$0
$100
$200
$300
$400
$500
Take a check?
Does it double as a dinner plate?

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (4, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728480)

I can't be the only one that laughed when I read:

"High-end laptop ... with a price tag of just over $1,000."

Maybe I'm just still used to Laptops being well over $1000. The last one I bought was a Lenovo T61 with an Intel graphics card and it was over $1K. I wouldn't consider it "high-end."

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728928)

Well, I just did a quick and dirty check on laptop prices, dividing at 7000 NOK which works out to about 1000$ without the VAT.

199 laptop models below that price
149 laptop models above that price

It's above average but it's not really high-end, but it's tight around there... past 1200$ and there's a much fewer left. Of course, I don't have any volume figures, so this may be wildly inaccurate. Doesn't matter how many models there are if the 500$ laptops outsell them 10:1.

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (3, Informative)

daniorerio (1070048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729406)

Consumer electronics are cheaper in the states, so you can't compare like that. What ships for $1000 often costs EU 1000 (=$1450!) or even more in Europe.

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729882)

American prices are lower and if you check the far east even those prices seam extreme.

Here is my dream machine. Take a current ultra thin, reasonable fast laptop with a 14" screen and weighing under 5 pounds.

Then add a super-sized battery that covers the entire bottom of the laptop (except the fan where it has vents to let the air throgh) and adds 1/2 inch and 2 or 3 pounds.

That beast should give 24 hours of run time quite easily and for those of us who care more about run time, than raw power or weight it would be quite pleased.

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30730158)

You forgot about heat. Batteries generate a lot of heat, especially something that covered the entire bottom surface area of a laptop. You'd be likely to either burn out the computer or start a fire before your first 24 hours were up.

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30729286)

To me, a highend laptop is still 3k. (and really they still are) Heck I still remember 5-8k laptops and 5-8k was a lot more money 15 years ago than it is now...

Plus since when is an Asus laptop highend? Every Asus product I've ever had was a value purchase, and definitely subpar in the quality department.

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (1)

svtdragon (917476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729502)

They've made some high-end motherboards that I've been pretty satisfied with, back when nForce2 was the thing to beat. Aside from the chipset fan issues (to be expected with a half-dollar-sized fan spinning at 12k rpm) I loved my A7N8X-E and its sequel, the A8N-SLI.

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (1)

svtdragon (917476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729560)

Also, you're right about the 3k price point on a good laptop a few years ago. But now you can get an enterprise-grade machine (Dell Precision series, HP EliteBook, etc.) for 1.5k or so, and it's the *line* moreso than the specs of the individual machine that makes all the difference.

When I used to work in PC repair, my boss would give that info to people in a cute analogy: "You have the big numbers on the front of the case for your processor, your of ram, hard drive... but there's no specification for what's connecting them. It's like you have New York, LA, and Chicago connected with dirt roads. What you pay for when you buy a higher line is the superhighways."

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729612)

To me, a highend laptop is still 3k.

You are the reason a 5-room bungalow near Cupertino costs $2.5 million.

I think this article uses >$1000 to mean "high end" because it assumes the people buying them are not insane or status-whores.

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729636)

Maybe I'm just still used to Laptops being well over $1000. The last one I bought was a Lenovo T61 with an Intel graphics card and it was over $1K. I wouldn't consider it "high-end."

Well, the one example I can think of, the HP EliteBook 8730, is HP's top-end machine and is priced at $1730 stock. The Macbook Pro 17" is still well over $2000, and is considered by many to be a top-end mobile machine.

From what I've seen, the most dramatic price adjustments have been in the mid-range laptop sector, which has received nice performance boosts over the years. For instance, I got my Dell Latitude E6500, which came with an Intel Core 2 P8600 CPU, 4GB of RAM, an 80GB hard disk (didn't need the space), a nVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M discrete graphics card, the 15.4" WXGA LED screen (which is absolutely beautiful; on par with most high end screens out there) and a pretty good sound card, only cost me $700 shipped. A few years ago, that would have bought me a possibly decent, and definitely heavy, craptop. Definitely a plus.

Nonetheless, even though I didn't think this would happen, netbooks are starting to become versatile enough to replace bigger laptops for most daily tasks, especially with everything beginning to move over to the web. I've thought of swapping this several times with a Mini, since I have no issues with smaller screens after trying a friend's MBP 13" and I really don't need the speed as much as I thought I did. (Not to mention that it supports OS X should I decide to give it a whirl again.)

Re:The Most I'd Pay For a High-End Laptop Is: (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730188)

I just ordered an HP Envy, 15.6" 1920x1080 screen, i5-540 CPU, Radeon 5830(!) GPU, a 500GB internal drive, 6-cell internal battery and an extra 9-cell secondary "slab" type battery. All told, $1400, including shipping. It's as high-end as you get in a sub-16" machine. And I could have gotten it with an i7 had I not wanted the battery life of the i5 and integrated GPU switching. High end doesn't have the price tag it used to.

Turbo Button (3, Funny)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728332)

"Dynamic clocking" my foot! I won't buy it unless it has a big, red "Turbo" button.

Re:Turbo Button (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728392)

Ah the old turbo button. My concern is will be as loud as those P4 laptops when it clocks up. Will java apps cause it to catch on fire?

Turbo Button vs Dynamic Clocking (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729448)

I suddenly want to dig out my old 286.

In all seriousness, with dynamic clocking, why use 2 GPUs and switch between the two? Why not just under-clock and under-volt the primary GPU when you're not gaming?

Doesn't the second GPU just add cost?

Re:Dynamic Clocking vs Two GPUs (5, Interesting)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729760)

My Thinkpad T400 has two GPUs. One is an Intel GMA4500, the other is an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400. Running with the Intel GPU cuts off a full third of my power consumption because it uses the main CPU and main memory instead of dedicated chips. But switching between the two GPUs is iffy at best and usually requires a reboot. If I get stuck on the Intel GPU then I can't play games until I reboot and switch to the ATI GPU, so I usually stay on the ATI unless I really need battery life.

What is significant about what ASUS is doing is the PC will *automagically* switch to the high-performance GPU when you start up a game or a flash video, then switch back when you go back to word processing. This is something that has never been done before and is a major step towards making "switchable graphics" truly useful.

That is, of course, assuming that the ASUS power management app doesn't crash all the time leaving your system in an unstable state.

Re:Dynamic Clocking vs Two GPUs (3, Informative)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729874)

I have a T400 as well, but I can usually (like 98% of the time) switch between cards without a reboot. Are you sure you got the right drivers and stuff? I think if you remove all of the default Lenovo software, you end up with some problems. You need to keep the Lenovo battery/power management software (sweet! two battery gauges).

Re:Turbo Button vs Dynamic Clocking (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729890)

One of the GPUs is, almost definitely, whatever GPU was integrated into the chipset. It'll be weak as hell; but use minimal power and be virtually free in terms of board space and bill of materials.

The second GPU will be whatever they picked for when actual performance is needed. It will add cost, space, and heat; but there is really no alternative if you want to have actual power available. Odds are, it uses more power in its lowest stable voltage/clock state than the integrated GPU does at full power.

Re:Turbo Button (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729664)

Asus' eee laptops do:

echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/cpufv

0 is overclock, 1 is normal, 2 is powersave.

Looks nice. (4, Interesting)

Hazelfield (1557317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728342)

Why hasn't anyone come up with this before? Or if they have, where are the others?

Re:Looks nice. (2, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729214)

The truth is that every mobile Intel CPU since at least the Pentium M has featured SpeedStep, with OS support dating back to WinXP (although widgets could enable support on Win2K). Back then, SpeedStep would dynamically clock the CPU between 1GHz and 1.6GHz based on CPU load. The voltage would also change accordingly. These days, all their products support it, even desktop and server processors. What Asus might be doing is underclocking further to try to eke out additional savings. That's not really terribly noteworthy.

The thing that's "new" here is the dynamic real-time switching between an IGP and discrete GPU... but that doesn't produce the power savings. After all, the vast majority of notebooks ship with *only* the IGP, so they're already getting the "maximum" power savings for graphics.

The 12 hour battery life probably comes from a variety of sources:

1) Probably using an LED backlight, which consume less power than traditional cold cathode backlights

2) Slight savings from underclocking the CPU more than SpeedStep normally does

3) Various other settings might be tweaked (HDD power settings) to be more optimal than default

4) Big battery

5) Consciously choosing lower power components. Lower power (slower) HDDs, avoiding discrete controllers if the chipset can do it, etc.

This notebook seems focused on getting decent performance combined with good battery life. However, for those of us who just want the good battery life and aren't as concerned with performance, it's not very interesting.

Re:Looks nice. (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729696)

The thing that's "new" here is the dynamic real-time switching between an IGP and discrete GPU... but that doesn't produce the power savings. After all, the vast majority of notebooks ship with *only* the IGP, so they're already getting the "maximum" power savings for graphics.

This is nothing new either. AMD/ATI have had this exact setup around for well over a year now. They called it "Hybrid Crossfire." This isn't even Asus's first laptop to have this technology.

Re:Looks nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30729698)

more optimal? I though something can be optimal, or sub-optimal only...

Re:Looks nice. (0)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730022)

This notebook seems focused on getting decent performance combined with good battery life. However, for those of us who just want the good battery life and aren't as concerned with performance, it's not very interesting.

In other words, bring on the fsckin' ARM notebooks already. I grow weary of this ridiculous trend of trying to shoehorn the power hungry x86 processors into a role in which ARM already excels. It's like making extensive modifications to a Hummer H2 for the sole purpose of improving gas mileage instead of just buying a damn Prius in the first place. As time passes I am becoming more and more convinced that we are cursed to wait until Microsoft poisons the platform's chance of mainstream success with WinCE7.

Asus 'widgets' are shit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30728404)

And only "overclocker xtreme pc" kids, with little real computer knowledge, run them. You know, slashdot readers.

(oh and the asus widget probably isnt a lunix 2.3 feature, why isn't anybody lamenting the lack of Free here?)

(i7s are overpriced, overrated, and sold via cooked benchmarks and fraudulent press)

How good/bad is their acpi implementation? (4, Insightful)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728410)

Promising 12 battery life is one thing.
Actually delivering acpi that is not crap is another.

I guess we'll wait and see.

Re:How good/bad is their acpi implementation? (0)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730332)

Hell, I can give ANY laptop a 12-hour run time. You might get a hernia carrying the massive battery pack around but it'll run for 12 hours. The "article" says nothing about the weight of this miraculous new laptop. Give me 12 hours under 4 pounds and I'll be impressed. 3 pounds and I'll be astonished.

Vendor promises (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728412)

Vendors promise all sorts of things. That doesn't make them true. I'll believe it when I see Tom's Hardware or someone equally competent test one of these things and they actually get 12 hours.

Until then, I'll file this one under "vendors promise the world".

Re:Vendor promises (1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728632)

I'll believe it when I see Tom's Hardware or someone equally competent

That's a bit of an insult to competency.

Re:Vendor promises (4, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728788)

Vendors promise all sorts of things. That doesn't make them true. I'll believe it when I see Tom's Hardware or someone equally competent test one of these things and they actually get 12 hours.

Until then, I'll file this one under "vendors promise the world".

If you want competency, you might check with Anand instead of Tom. My 1005HA EEEPC has more battery life than Asus claimed (I get 11 hours just typing in notepad with the radio off), so I wouldn't be surprised if the 12 hour claim were true. Keep in mind that the quoted number is always for minimal usage.

Re:Vendor promises (0)

nloop (665733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729606)

Using notepad for your word processing and not using wifi on a netbook? Have you ever thought about using paper and pencil?

For a normal person checking email and doing the other things normal people actually use a computer that eee runs for about 6 hours.

Re:Vendor promises (2, Informative)

Brianwa (692565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730060)

I have the same model of EeePC; I've gotten 8 hours of usage with wifi on and moderately intensive web browsing (no movies though) and had at least 20% battery capacity to spare. I'd say it is conceivable to get close to the advertised 10.5 hours of battery life - at least when the battery is brand new. You'd have to be in a relatively dark room, the LED backlight has some pretty dim settings that save a lot of power.

Re:Vendor promises (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729832)

But who just types in notepad for 11 hours on a "high end" laptop? I'd assume that buyers of a "high end"laptop would actually be using it for, you know, "high end" applications. What use is it for performance users when it lasts just as long as any other laptop when running full power?

Re:Vendor promises (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729838)

Keep in mind that the quoted number is always for minimal usage.

This always annoys me.

I guess it's good to know how long the battery will last if I do basically nothing... But how long will it last if I'm actually using the wireless to surf the web? Or if I'm playing a game? Or watching a video?

Obviously it'll be less than what's advertised on the box... But how much less?

Of course I can figure this out for myself fairly easily just by trying it out and timing how long the battery lasts. But that doesn't help me much when I'm trying to make a purchasing decision.

It'd be much more useful if they printed the minimum battery life on the box. Then I know, no matter what, I'll get at least that much time out of the battery... And if I'm not actually working it that hard, I'll get more.

Re:Vendor promises (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730098)

It'd be much more useful if they printed the minimum battery life on the box. Then I know, no matter what, I'll get at least that much time out of the battery... And if I'm not actually working it that hard, I'll get more.

That would be nice, but given the nature of Lithium-Ion batteries it would still be unrealistic. Anyone who has a laptop or a cell phone knows that after the first few times you use it, the battery loses a great deal of its charge capacity. What I really want to see is how long the battery lasts, after you've been using the machine for a month.

Re:Vendor promises (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730052)

I get 11 hours just typing in notepad with the radio off

How did you discover that? Most people I know replace notepad with something else long before 11 hours.

Re:Vendor promises (2, Informative)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729132)

This reminds me of my iPhone and Apple bullshit that the battery has a standby of 300 hours (12.5 days)... 300 hours my ass... more like 30.

Re:Vendor promises (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729616)

If you don't use the thing at all, have WiFi, bluetooth, email checking, and push notifications disabled, and have solid reception, those numbers are realistic. But if you're actually treating it as a smartphone, that drops like a rock (which to be fair is true of all smartphones).

My iPhone is definitely a "charge every night" device. While I don't actually talk on the phone much, the battery has everything except screen brightness going against it (I keep all of my devices at low brightness, partly to save power but more because all of these screens are way too damn bright in everything but direct sunlight).

That said, any laptop which even claims the ability to be another "charge every night" (rather than every few hours) device is quite intriguing. Even if it gets 2/3 of the claim, which seems to be a reasonable estimate if other devices are anything to go by, that's still at or near a full work day on a single charge.

Re:Vendor promises (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730128)

Know what you mean, but I have bluetooth off all the time and I tried to Wifi off, I might get an additional half-day of standby. I still think it's a lie, maybe only if the G3 signal would be so strong that the phone would charge from it :D otherwise I find those 300 hours a fairytale.

Re:Vendor promises (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729804)

This reminds me of my iPhone and Apple bullshit that the battery has a standby of 300 hours (12.5 days)... 300 hours my ass... more like 30.

So I guess we should expect to see a "news" article on how bad the Google Nexus' battery standby time is in about 30 minutes.

I actually read one of these Appleturfed articles today about how several "independent technology consultants" say that buying an unlocked phone is a terrible idea because you lose the "protection" that a tied-in service contract offers.

I'm not kidding.

Re:Vendor promises (2, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730166)

What "protection"? Unlocked phones should be mandated by law like in EU (or at least some countries of EU).

Re:Vendor promises (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729652)

Until then, I'll file this one under "vendors promise the world".

I think they're only going to get so much battery time by playing games with "dynamic" processing power and other types of power management.

I don't think we're going to see really useful battery life times until there are some more advances in battery technology.

Re:Vendor promises (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730164)

I don't think we're going to see really useful battery life times until there are some more advances in battery technology.

Or advances in components to make them use less power. Screens, HDs, and processors all seem like good candidates for this sort of advance. Or advances in both...

Re:Vendor promises (1)

Gud (78635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730206)

I have ASUS UL80VT and have had it for over a month, it promised 10 hours, I have used in the office whole
day without charging, that is email, web, coding, jabber, and meetings using WiFi, my guess is I used the
computer for about 6 hours, and 3 hours standing idle/sleeping and there was still some juice left and I got
2 hours at home out of the same charge, that is close enough to 10 hours for me, this was in power saver mode.
I like the switching between the two graphics chips, works like a charm, for most applications there is no
need for the fast one.
I have got about 5 hours of game playing in on battery with the fast graphics on.
My only issue with the machine is that I do not care for the "mouse" buttons, but a USB mouse
solved that problem when lots of clicking is needed.

In short I like this machine a lot and highly recommend it.

CPU downclocking is not news (2, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728434)

This thing is as old as my beat up Pentium III Inspiron 5000. Varying GPU clocks is also old.

What is interesting is seamless switching between GPUs. Everything else is just marketingese for "we do what everyone else does and we actually bothered to put some extra effort into power optimization".

Re:CPU downclocking is not news (3, Interesting)

btcoal (1693074) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728506)

This thing is as old as my beat up Pentium III Inspiron 5000. Varying GPU clocks is also old.

What is interesting is seamless switching between GPUs. Everything else is just marketingese for "we do what everyone else does and we actually bothered to put some extra effort into power optimization".

But enabling non-expert users to look under the hood and moderate behavior accordingly is new. Healthy skepticism aside, Asus has built up mad street cred recently and deserves the BOTD to some degree.

Re:CPU downclocking is not news (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729126)

But I fail to see how this is different from any mobile CPU + ondemand governor + CPU Frequency Scaling Applet on Gnome Panel.
Perhaps from Windows point of view this is novel, but I see nothing groundbreaking here.

My FSC Amilo Pi 2515 has a "Fan" button which lowers CPU frequencies to minimum and increases fan temperature threshold. So the notebook goes silent and powersaving, so it is a Turbo button in reverse.

Re:CPU downclocking is not news (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729314)

Nah, you can set minimum and maximum clock speeds in Windows without difficulty, and third party apps like RMClock give you a lot of fine control including undervolting. This is really nothing new except for dynamic GPU switching.

Re:CPU downclocking is not news (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729888)

But enabling non-expert users to look under the hood and moderate behavior accordingly is new.

The idea is not new. The decade-old OS that I'm using right now has a feature that lets me choose whether to power down components due to inactivity.

Power management has been around a while. This may be a little more detailed than previous systems, but we'll just have to wait until we actually get our hands on the product before we'll know how well it works.

I just have doubts as to how much more battery time we're going to squeeze out by dynamically cutting down on processing speed, switching GPUs, etc. I mean, you can get much longer battery time if you turn your laptop off, but it defeats the purpose.

Re:CPU downclocking is not news (1)

m85476585 (884822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728652)

The latest processors have greatly improved power management features. My Pentium 4 3GHz used something like 20 watts idle according to my motherboard's power meter utility. My new Core 2 Quad (9550) uses about 6-9 watts idle, and it's overclocked to 3.4GHz. A lot of the improvement in these laptops may come from Intel, since there's only so much Asus can do.

Re:CPU downclocking is not news (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729622)

I'm not sure how old my motherboard is but seamlessly switching between GPU's isn't even that new.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_Hybrid_Graphics [wikipedia.org]

Just over $1,000 (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728444)

I know netbooks have really pushed the low-end prices downwards, but is slight over a grand really considered "high-end" these days?

Re:Just over $1,000 (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728548)

Apparently. Unless you want a real unobtanium notebook that costs $3grand, but that's usually due to the price of a $1000 i7 extreme edition cpu and $600+ Solid State Drive.

You can get a high end laptop for about $1200-1400 these days which is quite impressive. My mid range gaming laptop cost me $1650 2 years ago, now you could get a laptop with a gpu 3x faster for $500 cheaper.

Re:Just over $1,000 (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728640)

I bought a Lenovo laptop a few weeks ago with an i7, Nvidia 240M, 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive for $999. If that isn't high end, I'm not sure what would qualify.

Re:Just over $1,000 (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728764)

You're missing an i7 920XM, a GTX280M, 8gb of RAM, a 256gb SSD, etc. :P

Intel is a little confusing in that they call dual cores and quad cores i7s.

Lies. Slander. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728456)

thanks to intelligent, second-by-second, switching between the two GPUs and automatic on-the-fly re-clocking of the Intel Core i7 CPU. All this also comes in with a price tag of just over $1,000.

So what they're saying is... as long as you don't use the laptop for anything more sophisticated than notepad, you'll get 12 hours. How about watching DVDs? How long will it last then? -_-

Re:Lies. Slander. (2, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728576)

Thing is, for, say, students (and not necessarily HS or undergraduates, this applies to law/med/grad as well), this is nearly the perfect blend. A laptop that *can* last for 5 hrs while note-taking and yet be used for gaming or general more sophisticated work with stats packages/modeling tools/etc as well. At $1,000 price point it's still not that expensive, in the same ballpark as the base model macbook/macbook pro. If this does get the battery life they claim, or close to it, I could see myself buying one...

Re:Lies. Slander. (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728594)

*can last for 12 hrs - ugh, I need to proofread my posts

Re:Lies. Slander. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730094)

I just ordered an Envy 15 from HP that has a Radeon 5830 in it, as well as an i5-540M. Get the extra battery and it's a little weighty but it should do quite well on battery. And a 5830 in a 15" laptop is a hell of a GPU.

Re:Lies. Slander. (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729680)

I wish they'd start speccing battery life numbers based off h264 playback rather than DVDs. Or more to the point, include a dedicated lower-power decoder chip. I haven't touched DVDs in quite a long time, but between ripped movies and web streaming, there's a ton of h264 playback going on. I haven't done benchmarks on battery drain, but the extra CPU juice required (compared to mpeg2/4) seems to more than offset the savings of not having a dvd drive spinning the whole time. The high WiFi activity during most video playback doesn't help either.

Asus (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728476)

God I love asus, glad to see them actively pushing the envelope on the Windows side. Hopefully they'll kick apple into higher gear with this kind of stuff too. Their products themselves look and feel slick too, not a cheap part to be found.

User-transparent (2, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728496)

ASUS's solution is different because it's user-transparent; even a novice user will get the fullest possible benefit because the laptop itself is deciding when to switch. The same principle applies to the dynamic CPU clocking.

So what they mean is that the laptop will be deciding when it should be fast or slow, with no input from the user? How's this different than the gazillion power management settings we have now (except switching between GPUs of course)?

I am also not sure I like the sentiment of "user-independent" is somehow more beneficial to the user. It sounds too much like the drivel from the RIAA/MPAA: "we will enhance customer value by increasing the price and decreasing what they can do with it."

Re:User-transparent (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729582)

Its not meant for us ;) Think of the typical person who knows NOTHING about computers or the differences between the GeForce and Intel graphics... they're not going to make the best choice as to which card should be active. On the other hand as the computer knows what its trying to do it can.

Re:User-transparent (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729928)

So what they mean is that the laptop will be deciding when it should be fast or slow, with no input from the user? How's this different than the gazillion power management settings we have now (except switching between GPUs of course)?

I am also not sure I like the sentiment of "user-independent" is somehow more beneficial to the user. It sounds too much like the drivel from the RIAA/MPAA: "we will enhance customer value by increasing the price and decreasing what they can do with it."

If you know enough to dig into the power settings and get everything set up just right for your own usage patterns, then this laptop is not aimed at you.

This laptop is aimed at users who don't know enough to configure their own power options. The whole point is that the laptop's hardware will make decent guesses as to the necessary power settings and switch as necessary - hopefully getting you performance when you need it, while still saving power when you don't.

Which can be accomplished right now, if you know what you're doing.

holy shit man holy shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30728512)

can you imagine it using your computer and seeing the cpu speed actually like CHANGE as you do shit man what a trip someone tell those gnome people those boys ought to make an applet or something that did that but i bet it wouldn't work because of the illuminati keeping the acpi out of the linus' garden with the deer eating the bushes in the snow wow it would be cool so cool

Re:holy shit man holy shit (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728650)

i already can watch my GPU and my CPU speed change as i do things....(im a linux/gnome user BTW...)

Re:holy shit man holy shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30728892)

EPIC WHOOSH

Re:holy shit man holy shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30729278)

WTB Mod: (-1) Feeding the trolls.

How long on a Low end laptop (2, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728570)

If they can do 12 hours on a laptop that, presumably, has a fast CPU & stuff - how long could they go on a laptop with a modest CPU ?

These guys always seem to want to show speed and power in a laptop -- but what I need in a laptop is long battery life. How much CPU does it take to do a bit of web browsing, run up emacs & ssh. I have a PC at home or stuff that I ssh to if I need to do fast compiles or run databases & other heavy stuff. These guys just don't get it, I thought they had when they brought out the original eeepc -- but subsequent models have just turned to bloat (OK: I do like the larger screens, but that is all).

Re:How long on a Low end laptop (2, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728656)

The best you will get is about 14 hours on an atom pinetrail based eee pc 1005PE currently.

Re:How long on a Low end laptop (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729738)

Any chance of getting something like that in a 12-13" casing? I find the netbook keyboards completely unusable, and I have pretty small hands. Take the space that would normally hold a dvd burner and pack in twice as much battery. Better battery life benefits users all the time; how often do you find yourself using optical media these days (or, do you find the lack of a dvd drive in netbooks to be problematic)?

Re:How long on a Low end laptop (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730264)

Take the space that would normally hold a dvd burner and pack in twice as much battery. Better battery life benefits users all the time; how often do you find yourself using optical media these days (or, do you find the lack of a dvd drive in netbooks to be problematic)?

I suspect that the issue there is weight. Most people apparently would rather have a light laptop that lasts 4 hours in real use than a heavier one that lasts 8 hours. Personally, I'd rather have the extra runtime...but this must be a feeling that is only held by a minority of users, since no manufacturer seems willing to beef up their battery sizes.

Of course, batteries cost more than optical drives, too...

Re:How long on a Low end laptop (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729476)

If they can do 12 hours on a laptop that, presumably, has a fast CPU & stuff - how long could they go on a laptop with a modest CPU ?

In practice it depends on how big a battery is reasonable to carry around, it scales very linearly with that. The question is, does anyone regularly need a 30h laptop? Or is there those that need a day's charge (for the hours they use it, not necessarily wall time) and those who are really off the grid for weeks and need a different solution anyway? I would tend to think so, there's not many today who has a "base" without electricity. Maybe there's a weekend market, but if you're spending the entire weekend in front of it you might as well stay at home...

Asus battery life claims believable (4, Informative)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728580)

I have an Asus U80 laptop ($650) with a stated battery life of 7 hours (without Wifi). I've gotten 6 hours with Wifi and 8 hours without. Even with fairly heavy web browsing and CPU usage, I can get 4-5 hours in Battery mode. Thus, while many battery life claims are bullshit, I am inclined to believe Asus. Note that Asus uses some proprietary Windows software to reduce power usage. Without the software, the battery lasted 33-50% less.

As an aside, they also have excellent RMA service. I discovered that my laptop drive had several bad sectors. I called Asus, and after less than a 5 minute wait was talking to a human being. I explained that a low-level drive scan showed several bad sectors on the drive, and that this indicated a hardware rather than software problem. Rather than having me reinstall Windows, or some other bs, I was told I could return the laptop or the bare drive for service with a 2-3 day turnaround. I shipped the bare drive, and received a replacement 2 business days after they received the RMA drive. Not bad.

Re:Asus battery life claims believable (1)

lendacon (1714178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729506)

here in Slovakia Asus RMA means 8 days without a laptop...

Re:Asus battery life claims believable (2, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730126)

8 days for an RMA turnaround? That's not bad at all. It can be a month or more here in the US, depending on who you're RMAing to.

Re:Asus battery life claims believable (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729518)

Agreed. I've posted this in another /. thread, but on my Asus netbook, I get 6.5 hours consistently while using the thing at full tilt. Brightness all the way up, wifi on, compiling code, etc, etc. One review I read claimed 11 hours, but I haven't gotten that personally.

Promises, promises (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728582)

Yeah, and we'll have a man on Mars in 2035, Obama will change Washington, and Duke Nuke'em Forever will be out any day now.

Re:Promises, promises (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729782)

and we'll have a man on Mars in 2035

Alive or dead? ;)

Useless widgets (0)

Chryana (708485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728636)

ASUS includes a desktop widget to track CPU clock speed. While using the UL80JT, I could see it moving up and down with what I did; up with program openings and CPU-intensive processes, and way down at idle.

So basically it's like the task manager?

Re:Useless widgets (2, Informative)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729574)

So basically it's like the task manager?

Umm, no. The task manager only shows CPU usage as a percentage of maximum usage at either present or maximum clock speed. This widget duplicates a graph shown in the Win7 Resource Monitor and tracks the actual CPU clock speed (in gigahertz), because the auto-clocking software changes the CPU speed in response to demand. My Win7/Core2 machine does this, but presumably ASUS is more aggressive in clocking down the i7 chip.

Re:Useless widgets (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730000)

Actually, it sounds more like Resource Monitor (think an improved Task Manager plus a decent portion of Process Monitor from Sysinternals) as found in Vista and up. Among other things, ResMon will not only show you the second-by-second CPU usage, it will also show (as a second line on the graph) the portion of maximum clock rate the CPU is running at. Many (not all, but many) tools report CPU usage as a fraction of current clock rate, in which case you will see 20% CPU usage reported when the CPU is running at 5% of its maximum utilization, but underclocked to 25% by the OS. It also leads to weird shifts in CPU usage - as usage increases the utilization display jumps to 100%, then drops down dramatically as the CPU speed increases (this may repeat a few times if the CPU didn't jump to maximum speed in one step).

Today, even among gadgets which correctly current usage out of maximum clock rate, almost none will show current clock rate out of maximum rate. It sounds like this ASUS gadget works around that. Furthermore, the CPU scaling tends to lag somewhat behind change in demand for CPU resources (producing the spikes and drops described above). In an ideal implementation, the CPU would utilize 100% of its current clock speed at all times, while instantaneously increasing the frequency as needed. The current implementations are definitely not ideal, which costs efficiency and therefore battery life.

Maxwell (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728742)

Saving power by way of second by second switching? I know it doesn't really apply, but Maxwell's Demon [wikipedia.org] comes to mind.

Bloatware? (4, Interesting)

meustrus (1588597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728910)

Looks to me like the software to accomplish this is one of those programs the manufacturer bundles on your computer, not an architectural change. If I have to tolerate a 6 month trial of MS Office, Norton Antivirus, several dozen casual games distributed as adware, and whatever other "productivity" software they decide I want, then no thanks. Bundled software should be possible to separate from each other.

Another important question: will it run Linux?

$1000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30728938)

People still buy $1000 laptops? How quaint.

am i missing something? (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729046)

Can't long endurance laptops be easily built by designing in a larger capacity battery?
How large a proportion of the laptop's cost is the battery?
Surely if there is a big demand for battery life the manufacturers can just make a thicker, heavier version of a current laptop for a hundred bucks more?

Execs? (1)

snmpkid (93151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729110)

And the first thing every executive that gets it will do is change all the power saving features because the screen is not bright enough for them.

Seems familiar... (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729332)

So, they have basically redefined ondemand governor and build Windows variant for CPU Frequency Applet I used to use in GNOME?

SilentPCReview has a review, got over 9hrs (2, Interesting)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729342)

There's a review at:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/asus-ul80vt [silentpcreview.com]

They got a runtime of 9hrs 11min while web browsing, but it was running faster than expected so they thought that 10 hrs wasn't out of the realm of possibility.

Re:SilentPCReview has a review, got over 9hrs (1)

evol262 (721773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729590)

That's for the (older) UL80VT rather than the UL80JT. The VT uses Core2 ULV, a GeForce 210, the switchable graphics have a noticeable delay (like Thinkpad T400s), etc. This is presumably a newer version.

And because 8 hours really means 2 hours, (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729400)

12 hours then means 3 hours. Yay.

My laptop now is my mobile phone. It’s enough to watch movies with headphones in the bed, on the toilet or outside. And if I want more, I always have my full home cinema, server and workstation at home.

Ok but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30729512)

Ok but does it run Linux?

Re:Ok but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30730042)

duh, obviously no. What did you expect?

PROMISE is the key word. (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30729646)

A company can promise lots of things. Most companies hope that people forget those promises. The real question is whether they'll follow through or not.

12 hours battery-life (1)

DonCarlos (222830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730088)

"Asus Promises 12 Hour Battery Life In New High-End Laptop"

did the forgot to mention "with display off"?

bleh (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30730150)

I want 12 hour battery life in a low end laptop. Free phones will last 8 days on a single charge. I want my laptop to run for days, and I don't care if it doesn't have enough grunt to play Halo 3.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>