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.
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.
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|
|Model||Acer 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 225||ULP 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|
|Internet Explorer 10 ("Metro")||Google|
|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.