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XP Still Beats Windows 7 in Netbook Battery Life

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 73 comments

Windows XP continues to roll on with nice little things.

Windows 7 is here and it brought with it a huge list of improvements that should have many users wanting to upgrade if they haven't already – unless if you have a netbook.

Recent tests from Laptop Mag, Liliputing and jkOnTheRun all show that netbook users will get longer battery life while running Windows XP than Windows 7. This is slightly surprising given that Microsoft have boasted about all the work that's gone into power efficiency and how it's been improved over Vista. While Windows 7 may be better than Vista, it's not besting XP just yet.

Laptop's tests found that netbooks running Windows XP ran for 47 minutes longer than those with Windows 7. Numbers across tests show varying differences in battery life, but the consistent result is that XP is a better choice for those who need all the battery life one can get.

Of course, Windows 7 is a more demanding operating system with its more advanced (and graphically pretty) UI as well as all the added security layers in the background, which may explain the drop in battery life. Either way, it seems that Windows XP isn't quite all washed up just yet.

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  • 20 Hide
    Drag0nR1der , November 12, 2009 5:14 PM
    There was a time when Tom's Hardware would have run a test themselves to confirm this, and then looked at the effect of turning off various W7 features (like aero) to see if this could bridge the gap... oh well.

    Turn off aero and it still looks better than XP (which always reminded me of a fisher price toy for 2 year old, with its giant start button and horrible primary colours ... windowsblinds was a must for me with XP)
  • 17 Hide
    touchdowntexas13 , November 12, 2009 5:02 PM
    Eventually we will just need to invent better batteries...

    The OS and PC components can't continue to get better if the batteries don't get their fair share of improvements
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    brockh , November 12, 2009 5:01 PM
    Yawn
  • 2 Hide
    theuerkorn , November 12, 2009 5:01 PM
    ... and the "7" logo isn't pretty either. LOL
  • 17 Hide
    touchdowntexas13 , November 12, 2009 5:02 PM
    Eventually we will just need to invent better batteries...

    The OS and PC components can't continue to get better if the batteries don't get their fair share of improvements
  • 8 Hide
    marsax73 , November 12, 2009 5:03 PM
    Well duh! If the OS can run on 100 megs of memory and barely touch the swap file, yeah it will last longer. I had Vista on a laptop and all I saw was my hard drive light constantly blinking (and it had 3 gigs of memory).
  • 4 Hide
    tubers , November 12, 2009 5:03 PM
    so much for the supposedly xp replacement :( 
  • 5 Hide
    jerther , November 12, 2009 5:03 PM
    Too bad most laptops can't come prebundled with XP anymore...
  • 3 Hide
    gwellin , November 12, 2009 5:03 PM
    Wait, Stop the press. Are you telling me that a more demanding OS that only been released for a couple of week isn't as battery efficient as a "How many years old highly polished" OS. Thank you captain obvious.
  • 1 Hide
    pbrigido , November 12, 2009 5:08 PM
    and I bet battery life is better with Windows 9x over XP. Speaking for myself, I am more than happy using an OS that is a month old over one that came out almost a decade ago.
  • -3 Hide
    xaira , November 12, 2009 5:10 PM
    whats new, the bloat is still there, i candy= less life, wats new?
  • 1 Hide
    scook9 , November 12, 2009 5:11 PM
    And I will bet windows 95 gets even BETTER battery life....this is why technology advances...?
  • 3 Hide
    lordcrazex , November 12, 2009 5:11 PM
    meh... they just don't make good OS as used to...
  • -3 Hide
    marsax73 , November 12, 2009 5:14 PM
    pbrigidoand I bet battery life is better with Windows 9x over XP. Speaking for myself, I am more than happy using an OS that is a month old over one that came out almost a decade ago.


    In the IT world, most will take time-tested and stable over something new and flashy. The only thing Win 7 does is sell more memory and faster cpu's to handle all of the processes. Poor netbooks don't have a chance.
  • 20 Hide
    Drag0nR1der , November 12, 2009 5:14 PM
    There was a time when Tom's Hardware would have run a test themselves to confirm this, and then looked at the effect of turning off various W7 features (like aero) to see if this could bridge the gap... oh well.

    Turn off aero and it still looks better than XP (which always reminded me of a fisher price toy for 2 year old, with its giant start button and horrible primary colours ... windowsblinds was a must for me with XP)
  • -1 Hide
    jerther , November 12, 2009 5:16 PM
    Oh well my last comment doesn't make sens, the news' about NETbooks. Geez then they just confirm the obvious with this test! But which version of 7 did they test? What about the Starter edition? Since they talk about netbooks should we assume they're talking about Starter Edition?
  • 4 Hide
    sidran32 , November 12, 2009 5:17 PM
    Yes, because all newer OSs should be so well optimized that they can run progressively better and better on progressively weaker and older hardware...
  • 5 Hide
    jerther , November 12, 2009 5:19 PM
    scook9And I will bet windows 95 gets even BETTER battery life....this is why technology advances...?

    I think not. Power Management was really bad on 9x. At least WAY worst than on 2000+.

    I did my own tests back then: on the same machine, IDLE cpu would run HOT with 98, and cool with 2000.
  • -1 Hide
    pbrigido , November 12, 2009 5:21 PM
    marsax73In the IT world, most will take time-tested and stable over something new and flashy. The only thing Win 7 does is sell more memory and faster cpu's to handle all of the processes. Poor netbooks don't have a chance.


    I totally agree. Microsoft did an incredible job at providing us with a beta program for Windows 7 to work out the majority of problems before the release. Windows 7 was time-tested by thousands of people, on thousands of different machine configurations, with thousands of different software installed during the beta releases. Hell, you can even include Vista in the time-test...which was a few years ago. Lots of learning has happened since and Microsoft has done an incredible job with Windows 7

    Moving beyond XP is a must...even as good of an OS as it was. Windows 7 is the perfect opportunity to do so.
  • 4 Hide
    rooket , November 12, 2009 5:21 PM
    My laptop gets 1 hour less now since I found the option to speed up the HDD in bios. Win XP or Win 7 your choice either is cool but I'm not overly impressed with how you have to save power with the hardware that is in some of these things. I don't just go blaming it all on the o/s.
  • 1 Hide
    wildwell , November 12, 2009 5:30 PM
    With all else equal, better batteries are going to increase the price of a netbook. What about an inexpensive, slimmed down version of Win 7? Something still solid in web security (or at least as 'solid' as Windows can be) and pretty looking but without all the extra hardware drivers, etc.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 12, 2009 5:34 PM
    Sorry but......these tests were obviously ran by idiots. The way to increase your battery life is by simply changing the default power save settings that xp's testing was probably done on. For example: screen shuts off after 1 minute of idling, HD shuts off after 30 minutes. This is also assuming your preforming the same tasks in each situation, even browsing at different rates severely impacts your battery due to wireless or even a (draining) Ethernet port.
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