Results: Browsing The Web
We opened the Google homepage on all four tablets and then let them drop to an idle state before we began logging battery power data.
The Acer W510, Samsung ATIV Tab, and Dell XPS 10 all consume roughly the same 2.8 W for most of the test. After a while, the two Qualcomm-powered tablets drop to an even lower ~2.5 W, outshining Intel’s Atom. We can't really say that we're surprised by this since Alan came to the conclusion that the ARM-based processor cores are very power efficient when they’re not doing anything. So, the fact that Qualcomm’s Krait-based design excels at idle is pretty much what we expected to see.
More interesting, perhaps, is that Nvidia’s Tegra 3 seems to oscillate in the 3 to 3.2 W range, and regularly spikes above 5 W.
Remember that this isn’t about us (or Intel) running power numbers to show how much better Atom is than its ARM-based competition. Intel admitted to this knowing that it doesn’t necessarily have the winning combination in all tests, and we clearly see Qualcomm with a measureable advantage in the last part of this chart.
On Wikipedia, the Krait-based SoC appears to be roughly tied with the Atom Z2760 much of the time. During the page render itself, Dell’s specific implementation appears to lead the pack slightly, while the ATIV Tab and W510 appear swap places depending on the spike you’re looking at. Unmistakable, though, is Microsoft's Tegra-based Surface consistently using more power than the other three tablets.
If you sustain the numbers in this chart for any given measure of time, the Surface depletes more of its battery than the competition, necessitating a larger power source to achieve the same overall run time.
Idling on the Tom’s Hardware homepage is slightly more power-intensive than on Wikipedia, as we see both the Qualcomm- and Intel-based tablets hovering just over 3 W. Meanwhile, Tegra 3 is in the 4 W range.
All four tablets appear to dip lower and spike higher than the previously-tested pages, reflecting the more content-heavy nature of Tom’s compared to Google and Wikipedia. Here, though, Krait’s advantage wanes as the heavier load pushes it ever so slightly beyond the Atom’s power usage. However, this difference is minor in comparison to the Tegra 3-based Surface, which appears to use about 1 W more over the entire course of our log.