Ever wanted to know how batteries work? You should. They power your laptop and all your mobile devices.
A single Li-ion cellHP recently held a battery life event in Silicon Valley – or more specifically, the birthplace of Silicon Valley at the HP Garage at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, Calif., where in 1939 Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard established the Hewlett-Packard partnership.
HP brought the media there to highlight one of its business laptops, the EliteBook 8460p, and its impressive claim of a 32.5-hour battery life (according to Mobile Mark). Such a battery life estimate is at the top of the industry, but also does carry an asterisk on HP's page about how it's achieved:
Up to 32 hours requires HP 9-cell (100 WHr) Li-Ion primary battery, separately purchased HP BB09 Ultra Extended Life Notebook Battery and customer download of the latest Intel graphics driver and HP BIOS. Notebook must be configured with Intel graphics, optional Intel 160GB SSD drive, HP LED HD Display and requires Windows 7 operating system. Battery life will vary depending on the product model, configuration, loaded applications, features, wireless functionality and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and usage.
We went hands on with the fully-battery-loaded model and HP's battery life boasts, while still industry-leading, can drop for power users who are demanding constant effort from their machines. Light use will definitely allow the CPU to enter idle states, leading to more than a full day of run time. Those who foresee long lengths of time away from an outlet will see a great feature in the extended battery accessory. For those who actually have to carry their laptops around, however, the additional heft is considerable – such is the relationship between battery capacity and weight. The "Ultra Extended Life" battery is a bolt-on accessory, so the added weight can come on only at times only when needed.
Dr. John Wozniak, an HP distinguished technologist in power technology, helps to engineer the battery technology that goes into the company's portable products. He gave a talk at the historic dining table in Palo Alto talking about what powers our mobile devices while we're away from an outlet.
We were able to capture the majority of his presentation at the HP Garage, which we're pleased to present to you below. It's nearly an hour in total length, but we assure you that you'll come out of it with a new understanding of the thought and engineering that go into your laptop and other mobile devices.