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Test Setup And System Specs

Update: Intel Expands Our Battery Testing At CES 2013
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Going hands-on with deconstructed tablets in the dry desert air of Las Vegas necessitated wrist straps and expensive ESD-preventing coats. That's equipment we haven’t used in our lab in many years due to the moisture-rich southern California climate.

Editor-in-chief Chris Angelini in Intel's suite at the VenetianEditor-in-chief Chris Angelini in Intel's suite at the Venetian

We used Intel's test setup to run a number of workloads that we brought with us, logging the power consumption of each platform over time. As in our earlier testing, we used the Atom-equipped Acer Iconia W510 alongside Microsoft’s Tegra 3-powered Surface. This time, we also added the Snapdragon S4-based Samsung ATIV Tab and Dell XPS 10, both of which are rocking Krait CPU cores.

Becasue you can never have enough screens.Becasue you can never have enough screens.

With all four tablets instrumented, we began by testing the effects of Web browsing on battery life by visiting three pages on three different sites to get an idea of the battery power required by each. First we loaded Google’s homepage, then a page on Wikipedia, and finally the Tom’s Hardware homepage. Next, we moved on to video playback testing with the same very transcode of Iron Man used to test battery life in our regular tablet reviews. Finally, we combined Web browsing and video playback by firing up YouTube to watch a little Gangnam Style.

Test System Specs
ModelAcer Iconia W510

Dell XPS

Microsoft Surface

Samsung ATIV Tab

Display
10.1" HD @ 1366x768
10.1" HD @ 1366x768
10.6" ClearType HD @ 1366x768
10.1" HD LCD @ 1366x768
CPU
Intel Atom Z2760 @ 1.8 GHz (Dual-core)
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 APQ8060A @ 1.5 GHz (Dual-core)
Nvidia Tegra 3 T30 @ 1.3 GHz (Quad-core)
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 APQ8060A @ 1.5 GHZ (Dual-core)
GPU
PowerVR SGX545 (Single-core)
Adreno 225ULP GeForce @ 520 MHz
Adreno 225
Memory
2 GB LPDDR2
2 GB LPDDR2
2 GB
2 GB
Storage
64 GB
32 GB
32 GB
32 GB
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8
Microsoft Windows RT
Microsoft Windows RT
Microsoft Windows RT
MSRP
$600
$500
$500
$650
Test Suite
Internet Explorer 10 ("Metro")
Google
Wikipedia
Tom's Hardware
YouTube
Video ("Metro")
Iron Man


The extremely close time intervals reported in these tests allowed us to create graphs depicting power usage over time based on thousands of data points. 

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  • 1 Hide
    amuffin , January 10, 2013 6:00 AM
    Strike a pose for the camera!
  • 1 Hide
    archange , January 10, 2013 7:17 AM
    Are there any news about the 5th companion core in Tegra being supported under RT? Is software patching feasible?
  • -4 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 10, 2013 7:45 AM
    Please tell me the "Metro" reference in IE10 does not mean some forced Win8/Metro style interface. They've lost enough users to other browsers, do they want the rest to jump ship?
  • 3 Hide
    tomfreak , January 10, 2013 8:46 AM
    whatever it is, 5-10hours of battery life is not good enough. 24hours is the ideal length.
  • 7 Hide
    archange , January 10, 2013 8:47 AM
    abbadon_34Please tell me the "Metro" reference in IE10 does not mean some forced Win8/Metro style interface. They've lost enough users to other browsers, do they want the rest to jump ship?


    It's not "forced". On w8 you get applications specifically designed for touch input. Basically, you have two versions of IE10: the "regular" desktop one and the "Metro" version. The latter has re-placed the URL / search bar at the bottom and has larger, finger-friendly buttons. It also hides its bars for a full-screen browsing experience, which comes in handy on smaller tablet screens. Oh, and I don't use it. Dunno why, but it just doesn't appeal to me :p 
  • -7 Hide
    vaughn2k , January 10, 2013 10:39 AM
    AMD should never had sold the (Imageon) Adreno to Qualcomm.. they should have been gaining business in the mobile business by now... Ruiz was a @*!!@$$...
  • 2 Hide
    ojas , January 10, 2013 12:04 PM
    Also an interesting read:
    Anand's pre-CES article b/w Atom, Krait and the Cortex A15:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6536/arm-vs-x86-the-real-showdown
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , January 10, 2013 12:20 PM
    Was interested to read about the predictions for this year.

    Quote:
    In order to get the 5-10 hours of gameplay, Tegra 4 would need to run between 3.8 and 7.6 W. We're immensely curious to see if the company can do this.

    Anand estimated a 8w TDP for a quad core A15, i think it was the Exynos....with that in mind...i think you're indeed right about your estimate...

    The yellow line is the time he's gaming.

    Quote:
    Intel claims that its Haswell architecture will be exerting influence in the same space as quad-core Cortex-A15-based devices by the end of the year.

    True...Ivy Bridge's already dipped to 7w...
  • 1 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , January 11, 2013 5:06 AM
    So... you list those 3 SoCs as defining the 2013 tablet space and completely ignore:

    1) Samsung's A15-based Exynos
    2) AMD's Temash

    The heck?
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , January 12, 2013 1:41 AM
    KyuuketsukiSo... you list those 3 SoCs as defining the 2013 tablet space and completely ignore:1) Samsung's A15-based Exynos2) AMD's TemashThe heck?

    We didn't have that hardware on-hand in Vegas, but certainly would like to add those numbers!
  • 1 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 14, 2013 3:29 AM
    The only noteworthy point i see here is how much Tegra3 sucks.
    Makes me wonder what the hell was MS thinking when it chose T3 as the heart of their main product, and a showcase of WinRT. Has MS management gone completely crazy ?
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 14, 2013 3:31 AM
    Is there any way these tests can be repeated, but with Android as the OS ?
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 14, 2013 3:32 AM
    ojasvy Bridge's already dipped to 7w...


    That was marketing BS. FUD 101.
    Read the updated reports, which clearly say that those chips are 13W really.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 14, 2013 3:37 AM
    @ Chris Angelini :

    Did they give all that power measuring equipment to you for keeps ? Or was it only for the CES ?
  • 0 Hide
    thety6on , January 16, 2013 4:11 PM
    Hahaha nice job with the picture, Tom's. I love Hemingway