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!

Laptops with the Longest Battery Life?

Cliff posted about 10 years ago | from the built-to-last dept.

Portables 751

Yi Ding asks: "Recently, I have been investigating laptops for clients, and the majority of the complaints about current laptops is battery life. Most laptops just don't have enough juice to even finish a single DVD or write an article for 4-5 hours in an internet cafe. Of course, one can lug around extra battery packs, but it's a pain and often defeats the purpose of having a laptop in the first place, portability. What have your experiences with battery life been and where can I find the longest lasting, reasonably robust, laptop?"

cancel ×

751 comments

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

The ones with the longest life (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872811)

Are the ones that stay plugged into the wall.

Re:The ones with the longest life (2, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | about 10 years ago | (#9872849)

well my Osborne 1 works great but you need to plug it in. CP/M though is a bit limiting. Lousy for wireless and the tables at Starbucks are a bit flimsy when I drop it on top...

hiii moo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872814)

-bd

Poll: WHICH IS BETTER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872816)

Vote for: [calcgames.org] ceren [satindeath.net]
Vote for: [calcgames.org] perdida [img66.exs.cx]
Vote for: [calcgames.org] perdida's sister [upenn.edu]
Vote for: [calcgames.org] mercatur [mercatur.net]
Vote for: [calcgames.org] taco's wife [cmdrtaco.net]
Vote for: [calcgames.org] cowboyneal [everything2.com]
Vote for: [calcgames.org] rustina [img28.exs.cx]

life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872819)

I haven't managed to find a single one that I don't have to get more juice to quickly.

Toshiba Satellite (5, Interesting)

mokomull (630232) | about 10 years ago | (#9872820)

My Toshiba Satellite A45-S121 gets 4-5 hours of battery life on dim backlight.

Re:Toshiba Satellite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872870)

I'll second this. My Toshiba gets similiar battery life out of it... however, with that said, I don't typically run things like DVD drives etc. Its purely for word processing my writing so I'm not sucking down as much juice by running other hardware outside of the HD, CPU and memory.

Re:Toshiba Satellite (2, Interesting)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | about 10 years ago | (#9872925)

Curse you... I was about to say that. It isn't mine, but my friends Toshiba lasted for all-night goof-off sessions at Dennys after he got some free-ware power-management software. I thought it was bull but it added about 2 hours to his batteries. I'll ask him specifically what it was and try and post back here.

Re:Toshiba Satellite (5, Funny)

nocomment (239368) | about 10 years ago | (#9872948)

How about the new laptop from 3M? They've invented a method by which you use a stylus with an embedded graphite core which actually transposes the text onto a flat and flimsy surface manufactured with some sort of parchment-like material.

Comes with a lot of games [google.com] too!

The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (2, Informative)

cytoman (792326) | about 10 years ago | (#9872821)

Beautiful OS, beautiful construction, loooooong battery life, light-weight... what else can one ask for?

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (1)

form3hide (302171) | about 10 years ago | (#9872845)

I have a 12" powerbook...

It has a loooooong battery life when the screen is at it's dimmest and you're not watching a DVD movie...

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872873)

I have the older 12" 1Ghz. I topped out at about 5 hours or so on dim light and no wireless. Did it a few times at conferences and on flights to the far east.

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 10 years ago | (#9872898)

But I couldn't watch Heat on my 12" Powerbook (1.25GHz) without the batteries giving up before the end.

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (1)

Roofus (15591) | about 10 years ago | (#9872975)

That's only because Heat is like 4 hours long. Great movie though.

HEAT... (1)

Valthonis (607085) | about 10 years ago | (#9872978)

is not a typical movie. Most movies are 90-120 mins, which is well within the capabilities of the PowerBook. Heat, on the other hand, is a whopping 3 hours long [imdb.com] !

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872913)

you mean iBook? given the tasks mentioned, iBook would outlast any PB...

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (-1, Flamebait)

theparanoidcynic (705438) | about 10 years ago | (#9872926)

what else can one ask for?
A second mouse button and a pricetag less than $1000. :p

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (4, Informative)

Gehenna_Gehenna (207096) | about 10 years ago | (#9872936)

My 12" iBook rocks as well. Less power, less sexy, but I EASILY get 5 hours of batt. life and it was considerably cheaper than the powerbook. Runs cooler as well.

Re:The most beautiful 12" Powerbook is the BEST (5, Informative)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | about 10 years ago | (#9872960)

The best part of the 12" is it has a DVD burner (or CD burner, depending) permanently installed, and it has the wireless and bluetooth built-in. On so many other compact laptops you either have a dongle-attached CD-ROM puck, or a CD-ROM in a device bay that you can swap out for a battery, but without the extra battery you get shitty battery life. The Powerbooks gets good life with the optical drive installed, and you don't need a lot of optional junk for wireless comms.

I once watched "The Thin Red Line" DVD on a cross-country airplane trip, so I know the PowerBook gets at least three hours from the battery even with the optical drive, the backlight, and the sound running. Of course I had the wireless devices disabled and the CPU speed set to the minimum.

I've often found... (5, Funny)

craenor (623901) | about 10 years ago | (#9872823)

That if you leave it in suspend the whole time, or bettery yet HIBERNATE...you can get it to last for days.

I've also found... (1)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | about 10 years ago | (#9872839)

that sleeping is a great way to stay active during the day.

Re:I've often found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872858)

Um, can we say "Useless answer".

Re:I've often found... (1)

craenor (623901) | about 10 years ago | (#9872890)

Damn...did I forget to put in the *sarcasm* html tag again? ...crud, gotta use that preview thing.

Re:I've often found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872929)

Sarcasm tag? Now *that's* a useful invention.

Re:I've often found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872896)

Um, can we say "Useless answer".

Um, can we say "Useless response."

how about... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872826)

pen and paper?

Trade off (5, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | about 10 years ago | (#9872833)

Until a more advanced battery technology comes along , battery life is going to be a trade between how long you want the computer to run between recharging and how many features (DVD, etc) you want available. Eventually, some new technology such as fuel cell will enable us to have our cake (lotsa features) and eat it too (very long battery life).

Cheers!

Erick

dell laptops (1, Informative)

Tanaraus (464965) | about 10 years ago | (#9872834)

dell laptops have a battery life of about 2 hours new. They of course always last a little bit less time than they say they do, and as the batteries get old they run for shorter and shorter durations. If you want to play a DVD on a Dell, cross your fingers because it will be a close one.

Re:dell laptops (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872897)

Parent is overly broad. Laptops with P4s may indeed have short battery lives, but I generally get 6-7 hours out of my Dell laptop with a Pentium-M (and its a widescreen laptop at that).

Re:dell laptops (1)

AndruUK (578299) | about 10 years ago | (#9872937)

Dell used to offer an extra battery which fits in place of the DVD drive, and can be swapped very easily. My laptop lasts for about 7 hours with the extra battery and the DVD drive is less useful when you can transfer files over wireless (and making a DVD backup on the HD is easy). I don't know if they still offer this option, but if they do it's worth getting. I find that having charged the battery over night I can use the laptop for a whole day without recharging by putting it in standby when I'm not using it.

Re:dell laptops (1)

Litheroy (221204) | about 10 years ago | (#9872994)

I'm curious to know which Dell laptop you own. My Inspiron 8600 runs for just over four hours on a single battery charge, with the internal wireless card on. While that time goes down substantially if I'm using the DVD player, I've still never had any trouble watching a feature length movie (~2-2.5 hours).

iBooks (4, Informative)

tirefire (724526) | about 10 years ago | (#9872836)

iBook G4's have a very long battery life. I have one, and it lasts a lot longer than any PC laptop I've encountered.

Re:iBooks (0)

Moridineas (213502) | about 10 years ago | (#9872868)

I agree with this. I have a 15" powerbook g4, and can get around 3 hours battery with normal use (including movies, sound, wireless, etc). My PC notebook would be lucky to get 1.5 hours of the same kind of activity (and it weighs more). Only thing I miss about PC over mac is snappiness and speed factor.

Re:iBooks (1)

Nermal6693 (622898) | about 10 years ago | (#9872988)

I agree. I listened to music for 1.5 hours, then watched a DVD (probably about 2 hours) then listened to another hour of music, and still had battery life to spare. Screen on full brightness for the duration of the movie, although it probably turned itself off when I was playing music.

Apple iBook G4 (5, Informative)

crimson_alligator (768283) | about 10 years ago | (#9872837)

My G4-800 iBook has lasted at least six hours, perhaps longer.

I'm a Linux user but Mac laptops are lovely, with excellent battery life. Too bad Airport Express (and power management?) isn't supported on Linux PPC.

Re:Apple iBook G4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872935)

I have to agree that Ibooks/Powerbooks seem to have the edge although recent Vaio's are pretty good. Dell, Compaq, Acer and Toshiba have pathetic batteries and are not to be considered as seriously portable in my experience. Unofrtunatly I haven't seen too many Transmeta based systems in Europe and I have high hopes for Efficeon..

Lost Life (1)

RazorX90 (700941) | about 10 years ago | (#9872841)

My Vaio seems to have lost its length of charge over the past two years...

I think it went from around 6-8 hr to about 4 hrs or so.

linux power problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872846)

Ive never been able to have any luck with power management through linux on my dell so I guess im stuck with xp

Plug it in, Plug it in! (1)

DJHeini (593589) | about 10 years ago | (#9872847)

or write an article for 4-5 hours in an internet cafe.

You could ...gasp... leave it plugged in if you're just sitting at a table.

Re:Plug it in, Plug it in! (2, Funny)

dhakbar (783117) | about 10 years ago | (#9872864)

Geek-scented Glade plug-ins have shown to be rather unpopular, especially in a public place.

PowerBook (4, Informative)

Sethb (9355) | about 10 years ago | (#9872848)

I've got to say, my new 12" 1.33Ghz G4 PowerBook really has some great battery life. Well over 3.5 hours with "normal" usage, even with the screen brightness cranked up. I haven't done any DVD playback testing though. You can probably get improved battery life for DVD playback by ripping the DVD to your hard drive, so you're not spinning the optical drive that whole time...

Re:PowerBook (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872972)

3.5 hours is not that much considering I used to get that kind of battery life with my 3 years old HP omnibook.

Electrovaya (4, Informative)

Awperator (783768) | about 10 years ago | (#9872850)

Werent they the ones that touted the longest battery life? Of course, they specialize in Tablet PC's (which are pimp - get a motion m1400VA... so nice) Back to topic... yeah I think electrovaya had the longest claims (9 hours), and the longest life (7-8 hours that people have been getting) - Awperator

New Thinkpads and plugs. (1, Flamebait)

Jaywalk (94910) | about 10 years ago | (#9872851)

IBM makes some great laptops, but the battery life has always sucked rocks. But according
to this article [pcmag.com] it looks like the latest model has gotten up to a six hour plus lifespan. Of course, it still costs a bundle.

I live on my laptop and it's an older IBM model, so the battery life is pretty rotten. My solution has just been to find a plug. If I'm on the road, I keep a power converter [shop.com] in the car and plug the laptop in so I can run at a full charge. It's also good for keeping the three-year-old entertained [thomastoybox.com] on a long car trip.

Re:New Thinkpads and plugs. (1)

wnknisely (51017) | about 10 years ago | (#9872928)

I have one of the new Centrino thinkpads. I get about 3.5-4 hours of work on the small internal battery pack. When I swap out the CD drive for a second battery I can easily see six hours of lifetime.

There's a version of the Thinkpad that comes with a larger internal battery pack. One of my friends has that and he gets a whole day's worth of work done (8 hours+) without needing to plugin until he's home for the night.

IBM X31 -- 4 n change hours (5, Interesting)

mrgreenfur (685860) | about 10 years ago | (#9872854)

I have an IBM X31 and the standard battery. With the low power settings on (you're just writing an article, right?), wifi on, and the dock at home, it lasts just under 5 hours.

If you want to burn cd's, bring the base and put a batter in it and it'll last another 3 or so hours.

If you want ultra long battery life, get the super extended batter that clips onto the bottom, just like a base. It'll give you almost 9 hours!

This laptop is incredible. I highly suggest it for anyone who doesn't want to lug around a 6lb laptop.

Do your research (2, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | about 10 years ago | (#9872855)

On IBM's web site, for instance, they state what power-saving settings they use to get the battery life specs they claim (hint, if you need the screen more than 1/2 illuminated, you're screwed).

One man's long life is goign to be another man's power hog. It all depends on how you use the machine and how you set up the power saving features.

Apple (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872857)

I have a two year old battery in my Powerbook and it still lasts about 4.5 hours. The damn thing goes forever. Just keep the screen brightness down. Besides, they look pretty and all the girls in the coffee shops come up to you!

Electrovaya (1)

Erwos (553607) | about 10 years ago | (#9872861)

I forget which site did the review, but I think it was Anandtech. Anyways, Electrovaya notebooks would seem to get almost unbelievable battery life. They're not THAT much more expensive, either, IIRC.

-Erwos

Just Portability (-1, Troll)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 10 years ago | (#9872862)

Portability is good, but that's the ONLY advantage in a laptop. You can't play games as well, the battery sucks, it's expensive. Tablet PCs are just the same. The cons far outweight the pros.

Batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872863)

I know that there are a couple models out there that actually use 2 batteries. It was either Fijitsu or Toshiba.

IBM T41 (1)

whizkid042 (515649) | about 10 years ago | (#9872865)

I can get nearly 8 hours out of my IBM T41 with the larger battery when I'm just using a word processor or something similarly non-CPU intensive. Easily watch at least one full DVD.

Centrino Based (3, Interesting)

DrAegoon (738446) | about 10 years ago | (#9872866)

I've been very happy with my Thinkpad R40. It has a 1.4 GHz Pentium M. As long as I use low power settings I usually get about 6 hours of life. I've heard of better, but they're usually ultraportables with tiny screens.

One problem, you won't be gaming or doing anything really CPU intensive if you want to save power. On power conserving settings, the processor runs much slower than the normal speed and the screen is not as bright, but that's going to be the case for any laptop to get the battery life it claims.

Dell Latitude D800 kicks (0)

claytronics (125047) | about 10 years ago | (#9872867)

I have a Dell Latitude D800 (Pentium M 1.4 GHz). I can get a solid five hours out of it if the screen brightness is down and the processor isn't too heavily loaded.

It's a welcome jump from many other notebooks where the battery could be more accurately labeled "UPS"...

-1: Offtopic, +503: Service Unavailable (0, Offtopic)

kzinti (9651) | about 10 years ago | (#9872869)

Ever since that upgrade a couple of weeks ago, Slashdot has been reallllly flaky. Of course, there's the dreaded 503 error we've all (?) been seeing several times a day. Then there's this article, the one this comment is attached to: appeared on the home page, but for the first couple of minutes afterward, I got nothing but "Nothing to see here. Move along". What's the secret forum ID to see the discussion of what the @#$! is going on at Slashdot? Anybody got a clue?

Re:-1: Offtopic, +503: Service Unavailable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872979)

I think the nothing to see here message is some type of odd way to fight GNAA and other types of possibly scripted comment postings. I also think not all of us are being given the ability to post at the same time. Since the update I swear there are people 15 comments late trying to get a fp

It's a trade-off (1)

scdeimos (632778) | about 10 years ago | (#9872874)

I recently purchased a Dell Inspiron which gives me nearly six hours use between charges. This does weigh-in at about 3.7kg, though.

If you want long battery life then you're going to have to accept something a little heavier. There's a limiting factor called power density, which is a measure of Ah/g (or Wh/g) you can extract from a power cell. This is improving with newer cell technologies like Li-Poly (Lithium Polymer), but Li-Po's have some interesting charging requirements which make me *not* want to have one charging in my laptop while it's sitting on my lap. :)

Centrino (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | about 10 years ago | (#9872877)

Not to sound like an Intel commercial, but that's largely what Intel's Centrino platform is all about. It's designed as a mix of processor and chipset that allows the system to maximize battery life.

I have a Fujitsu Lifebook 5010 that reliably gets me just under 5 hours battery life, maybe more like 4 hours if I have wireless enabled (and there's a hardware switch on the case). Something like playing a DVD is going to suck even more battery, because of the need to spin the drive motor, but I'd wager I have enough juice for that most times.

Centrino isn't a blindingly huge advantage, though. Fujitsu makes a non-Centrino version of the same laptop that comes with 802.11g, and I understand it only gets marginally shorter battery life, and that's all from anecdotal accounts. Centrino does a good job, but a big reason this model's battery lasts so long is because it's 900MHz (so doesn't run as hot, so doesn't need as much energy to run the fan) and it only has a 10 inch screen.

Centrino-based ThinkPads (2, Informative)

bcs_metacon.ca (656767) | about 10 years ago | (#9872880)

Centrino-based ThinkPads have great battery lives... six hours and upwards, depending on usage patterns. The Centrino chipset makes a big difference in power consumption!

15" iBook (2, Informative)

gellenburg (61212) | about 10 years ago | (#9872881)

My 15" iBook G4 regularly gets 7 hours+ worth of battery life if I'm not playing any DVDs (backlight dim, and in auto-power conservation mode). If I'm playing a DVDs or doing heavy disk I/O then I usualy get 5 hours. Maybe 6.

Re:15" iBook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872961)

you mean 14" iBook? 15" PB?

Fujitso (1)

Cavalkaf (656724) | about 10 years ago | (#9872882)

I have a Fujitso Laptop (with an "upgraded" battery) that can handle 8-10 hours on (wifi off most of the time) pretty well. Fujitso makes extremly small laptops, and most of them have low power chips (Centrino or Transmeta Crusoe).

Power interruption (1)

slobber (685169) | about 10 years ago | (#9872883)

For me, the battery should last long enogh so I can unplug my laptop and carry it to a different location (as in kitchen to living room). My laptop is 12 pounds though (Inspiron 9100) and portability was limited to "get it from home to work and back" . Of course, YMMV depending on what you do.

If you... (1)

Kjuib (584451) | about 10 years ago | (#9872884)

are at an altitude between 6000 and 6025 feet and have the screen tilted at an angle of 48.2 degrees will sitting on a tinfoil chair, and your computer on your right leg, facing towards the equator, then your battery life will double.... go ahead and try it... I promise it works.

Powerbook 12" = Not too bad (1)

TylerMoney (654621) | about 10 years ago | (#9872886)

I get anywhere from 2-4 hrs on my powerbook. Working with heavy programs sucks juice quicklly, but if I'm just surfing or typing, I can get quite a lot. Working with the back light dimmed helps a lot. Computer technology is just too far ahead of battery technology...one of these days they'll even out, or at least we'll get more sufficient battery life.

Centrino (4, Informative)

Robotdog (669611) | about 10 years ago | (#9872887)

Look for a laptop with Centrino processor/mobo/wifi. The processor is either an older Banias (still good) or a great Dothan core. These are Intel processors designed for laptops, so they put power consumption at a minimum. You can also choose a slower spinning hard drive for longer battery life, and the cost of some performance.

Macs! (1)

teknokracy (660401) | about 10 years ago | (#9872891)

I used to own a PowerBook G3 Pismo, and it had the best battery life I've ever seen - and it was a used one about two years old too! Of course, you can't buy them new any more, but current Apple laptops have pretty good battery life. It helps if you dim the screen a bit, use CPU power conservation methods, and if you copy the DVD to the hard drive (sounds complicated, but isnt) you'll get a lot more life. It's the constant spinning of the drives combined with lots of video and cpu power usage that will kill your laptop easily. Apple laptops, for what they are (smaller and more compact than bulky and pointy PC laptops), have really good battery life. On a flight from Toronto to Vancouver, I had my powerbook running the whole time - and this is a 5-6 hour flight, and it was also only at 80% life when I started the flight. With the screen off and only playing MP3s, it said "0%" for about 3 hours!

iBook/Toshiba (1)

ev1lcanuck (718766) | about 10 years ago | (#9872892)

I got about 6 hours out of my iBook G3 500MHz once with an average of about 5 hours. My Toshiba P15-S479 (a ginormous 15" Media Center Edition laptop with a full blown Pentium 4 and all the extras) can get around 2-2.5 hours when I'm watching tv shows or dvds off the hard drive. If you want the ultimate in portability, durability, and battery life I would definitely not hesitate to recommend an iBook.

Re: 12" iBook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872894)

The Apple G4 800mhz 12" iBook can run a DVD for 3 hours, and 4-6 hours doing mixed work that's not very disk/CD intensive. The batteries are so small and light, that carrying around an extra isn't too bad either:

Extra Battery (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#9872895)

I understand your complaint about carying around extra batteries, but many laptops let you put an extra battery in a bay where a floppy/CD drive goes. Mine does. I use that to double my battery life. It does make the laptop heavier, and it's not an option on small notebooks, but many larger ones allow you do this. On top of that, my laptop is "3 spindle" which means I have room for two batteries while still having the integrated optical drive in my laptop. I don't lose my CD/DVD drive. The only time I every take a battery out of my laptop is the rare occation I need to use a floppy disk.

Other than that things like forcing the laptop to stay in ultra-conservative power miser mode, or getting a laptop based on a low power processor (Pentium M, Transmeta Crusoe, etc) can help. Also, if you are willing to pay for it, see if there is an extra battery for the laptop you are buying that has a higher capacity than the one that ships standard. Replace the stock with the high capacity, and you've got more battery life.

My experience (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 10 years ago | (#9872899)

You'd be surprised how easy it is to go to the 'net cafe owner behind the counter and ask politely if you can plug into that wall socket there...

Honestly it works. I work regularly in cafes for entire days. It just takes looking like a fool for a minute, asking permission, then pluging my stuff and setting up my "office" in front of everybody, I can stay there for the whole day. And also, if you go through enough cups of coffee, I guarantee you the owner won't ever ask you to get lost, because what he earns on you certainly outweighs what he loses in electricity.

Re:My experience (5, Funny)

caluml (551744) | about 10 years ago | (#9872987)

You'd be surprised how easy it is to go to the 'net cafe owner behind the counter and ask politely if you can plug into that wall socket there...

But that involves breaking the cardinal rule of geekdom - i.e. never speak to anyone if at all possible. Gruff barking/grunting should be about the tops for a general social encounter such as that.

Dell 600m Centrino - 8 Hours (3, Insightful)

Carbonate (13973) | about 10 years ago | (#9872900)

My Dell can get about 8 hours of battery life under minimal load. Of course it does have a spare battery in the media bay.

is there a technological barrier? (1, Interesting)

LrdHlmt (560099) | about 10 years ago | (#9872901)

This is probably the thing that bothers me the most about laptops. I long for a "Moore's law" for batteries so your laptop would last 4 hours this year, 8 the next, 64 in two years and so on.

I know there must be some technological barrier or limit just as there is with semiconductors. If anyone has comments on that area it would be nice to hear them.

Toshiba Portege R100 - 6 hrs! (1)

samfreed (572658) | about 10 years ago | (#9872906)

I bought the lightest, slimest, bestest, cruelest laptop available at the time. It is still an amazing machine - The Toshiba Portege R100.

It gives me 6 hours of real work, with the "large battery" attached. And it weighs all of 1.6 kilos / 3.5 lbs with that large battery.... I even wrote a page about installing Debian on it [freed.net] - it runs Linux well.

IBM T42 (1)

jronald (642427) | about 10 years ago | (#9872908)

IBM's T series has been great. 4 hours has not been a problem for me. Not every laptop has to have a "spare" battery to get additional life. The IBM T series, and others can add a second battery in place of the DVD drive which adds some additional life. I don't have one because I haven't needed it. The best timesaver is to really have the system shut down everything that is not being used, and shut down quickly when you are not using the system as a whole.

ThinkPad (1)

napesjp (801494) | about 10 years ago | (#9872912)

The new ThinkPads with Pentium Ms last around 4-4.5 hours, or so I've heard.

What OS (1)

bdigit (132070) | about 10 years ago | (#9872914)

With my IBM thinkpad t40p I get around 6 and a half hours with a 9 cell battery in windows on the highest power saving setting. In linux I get a lil over 4 if I recall correctly using acpi.

Toshiba Tecra M1 with Li-Ion (2, Informative)

HeelToe (615905) | about 10 years ago | (#9872915)

I have one of these for work.

I can watch TWO DVD movies on a plane with it on a single charge.

When I bring it home and work on it in the evening, it can sit on until I go to bed with its WiFi card on full power and not run out.

I typically get 5h+

Battery = UPS (1, Interesting)

Scarhead (701131) | about 10 years ago | (#9872916)

Who actually uses a laptop without plugging it in anymore? Batteries are pretty much mini-UPS systems that allow a few minutes of work here and there. I get nervous if I'm unplugged for more than a few minutes.

I think I would like a laptop with a small super-light battery since I'm not going to rely on it for long anyway.

compaq (1)

mikeeeeeee (748191) | about 10 years ago | (#9872921)

i have a compaq presario laptop and it is one of the worst computers i have ever owned. i dont know if other people have had the same problem but after about the first 6 months of use the battery life has decreased significantly, is it just a part of having a lithium ion battery or did i get ripped off?

Car Battery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872923)

This summer I've been spending time on various islands in Alaska. I find that although I get 4-5 hours on my laptop with dual batteries (Which is a very good way to get much more time if you have a slot for it), I end up using 12V car batteries, an invertor (Depending on whether I have the correct adapter or not), and solar panels to suit my needs.

If 4-5 hours isn't good enough then you should probably carry around a 12v battery or fuel cell in a back pack.

At low levels, they can last surprisingly long (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 10 years ago | (#9872927)

For DVD playback, that's a problem, but working on an article for several hours shouldn't be a problem for most laptops. I found my two-year-old Dell Latitude C840 still running with the fans full-bore three and a half hours after I accidentally put it in the case without completing a poweroff (I was leaving in a hurry). The thing was almost too hot to touch, and I only knew because I heard the low battery warning, but it still had 7% battery left on the original 66WHr/4480mAh battery.

This is going to sound like an ad for IBM (3, Informative)

pritchma (169341) | about 10 years ago | (#9872938)

but my laptop seriously rocks.

I work as a developer and requested an IBM R50p with 1Gb RAM, which is plenty to handle Tomcat + IntelliJ + Firefox + Outlook + other crud.

On the occasions where I have to go to meetings all day, I've got 8+ hours out of the battery (taking notes, wireless network etc). Admittedly, this is the extended battery (hangs a little out of the back), but with a DVD writer, 60Gb and IBM sturdiness, its definitely the best laptop I've used.

Sharp mm20 (1)

mahonri5 (708013) | about 10 years ago | (#9872939)

While it's normal battery life is only about 2 hours, with the extended you've got roughly 7 hours (give or take). Now you did complain about extra battery packs, but since this puts the mm20 up to a total of 4 pounds, it's not that big of a deal. Also, the mm20 works well in linux [mahonri5.net] . Of course if you want a CD/DVD drive you'll have to find an outlet anyways...

Fujitsu P2120 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872946)

Fujitsu P2120
With extended main battery and the bay battery installed it'll get over 10 hours off the battery (12 hours as quoted by Fujitsu).

3 hours - 5 hours (1)

Eudial (590661) | about 10 years ago | (#9872949)

My IBM R40 has 2-3 hours untweaked.

When downclocked to 100 Mhz, minimum illumination, 4X cd speed, highest hdd spindown time and that linux ioctl that caches hdd writes i can get 5-6 hours.

Dell Latitude. (1)

caluml (551744) | about 10 years ago | (#9872950)

I used to use an old Dell Latitude. With it in console mode, running Kismet, in a rucksack, I could get 4 hours from it easily. :)

Sharp Actius MM20 (1)

chizu (669687) | about 10 years ago | (#9872955)

The Sharp Actius MM20 [sharpsystems.com] gets some pretty amazing battery life. With the extended battery they really do get 8 or 9 hours running most anything.

iBook G3 (5, Informative)

bedouin (248624) | about 10 years ago | (#9872958)

Mine regularly lasts close to 6 hours on the battery, at least while doing non-intensive tasks and keeping the brightness at a reasonable level. Not to mention it never heats up to an unbearable level, even on a summer day; I've heard its fan come on maybe 5 or 6 times since I've owned it, and its usually been when I had it on a heat conductive surface (like a blanket or thick carpet).

Nothing beats Apple laptops in my opinion, especially in the low-end. Something comparable to a 12" iBook in size, weight, and battery life, ends up costing $1500 in the PC world (at least when I checked out the Thinkpads).

Laptops with the Shortest battery life? (2, Interesting)

BobWeiner (83404) | about 10 years ago | (#9872964)

Okay, so everyone's got great battery life with their laptop has posted in. What I'd like to know is: which laptop's have the shortest battery life? Was battery life a major factor in your laptop purchase? How many people here use their laptop as their desktop (i.e. plugged into the wall socket regularly)?

Original PowerBook G3 and other suggestions (1)

adzoox (615327) | about 10 years ago | (#9872965)

The original PowerBook G3 line (still very capable and even upgradeable) had two battery bays - the expansion bays could fit batteries or media devices. You can get high capacity batteries for these units and actually the g3 and G4 upgrades for these PB's increase battery life.

Dimming your screen always helps - you can dim it and get some privacy by buying A HOODMAN [hoodmanusa.com]

And I relize you said you didn't want extra bulk, but adding a solar battery extender and sitting near the window is a definite possibility - I could eaily get 7 hours from one battery with an iBook or G3 laptop.

Really? Portability hampered by a battery? (5, Insightful)

switcha (551514) | about 10 years ago | (#9872966)

Of course, one can lug around extra battery packs, but it's a pain and often defeats the purpose of having a laptop in the first place, portability.

Oh, come off it. The handful of ounces a battery weighs pales in comparison to most of the other accouterments a mobile fellow or gals carries around.

Besides, for most laptops, two batteries worth will far outlast any "long-life" laptop's single charge life. I'm not saying it's the ultimate in convenience, but if long life is really, really important to you, get the machine you really want and will be productive on, and then cough up for another battery.

want power? get a desktop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9872976)

Sony Vaios
I managed to score a pgc-z600ne vaio laptop about 6 months from a client. its small. its not the greatest laptop power wise, but it runs debian nicley, I can watch movies on it, etc etc, and it lasts between 4 to five hours. I did beef it up a bit though. Upped the ram to 256 and the HDD 40Gig.
Dispite having a non 3d vid card and only a 650 P3 processor, I still wouldnt trade it with my friends P4 2.6GHz with double the ram and the same size hard. Its so darn cute and much more portable.

Its made me think why there is a good reason why its hard to get these sorts of laptops secondhard: Hell no-one wants to part company with them.
my perspective of what makes a good laptop has changed as a result of having this laptop.

IBM Thinkpad T42 (1)

Devil's BSD (562630) | about 10 years ago | (#9872980)

This is just my experience, but my IBM Thinkpad T42 2378FVU (1.7Ghz Pentium-M Dothan, Radeon 9600) gives me plenty of juice to finish a DVD movie, and lasts a shave over 4 hours. It doesn't do half bad on benchmarks either. I got 19522 on Aquamark3, 9728 on 3DMark2001SE, and 2515 on 3DMark2003. That's on AC power, but if you set your battery on max drain (a bit over 2 hours or so of battery life) it can maintain that performance. By putting it in suspend when I don't need it, my Thinkpad lasts all day at work.

7.5hrs on Thinkpad T40p (1)

Atomic Frog (28268) | about 10 years ago | (#9872982)

7.5hrs on a single battery, the standard one that it comes packaged with.

It edges out slightly the T41p due to difference in graphics chip apparently.

I have one and I can attest that it is no lie. I ran it at full-speed (OS/2, not Windows, Windows chews more) and battery was about half empty at over 3 hours of usage.

With battery mode turned on (Intel Speedstep), I did get well over 7 hours from this baby. Screen was not even at dimmest setting.

apple (2, Interesting)

austad (22163) | about 10 years ago | (#9872985)

I get 5-6 hours out of my ibook if I turn the screen brightness down. If it's doing nothing but playing mp3's with the screen blanked, it lasts for about 10.

Apple laptops aren't much, if any, more expensive than a PC laptop, and the battery life issue alone makes it worth the investment. Toss Virtual PC on it if you need windows stuff, but I've found that it does everything that my PC did, only better. Except for one thing, Visio VSD files. Hassle the Omni group to add VSD functionality. They already support VSX, but Visio saves in VSD by default, so you won't be able to read/edit pre-existing visio docs.

Personally... (1)

skittixch (777368) | about 10 years ago | (#9872989)

I have minimal experience with laptops outside my own 14" iBook G4, but I can say that it lasts a remarkably long time for any laptop. In fact, the only time I ever run the batteries completely down is when I fall asleep to iTunes in my bed. (yes, I sleep with my iBook. If you had one, you'd understand)

Intel Centrino (2, Informative)

Sir Homer (549339) | about 10 years ago | (#9872995)

Yes, Intel Centrino is more then just marketing hype, all Centrino laptops have longer battery life then typical laptops.

linkage [cnet.com]

The catch however, is Centrino laptops are also underperformers compared to regular laptops.
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>