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Benchmark Results: Battery Life

Tom's Definitive 10.1" Netbook Buyer's Guide: Fall 2010

Gateway and MSI both tie for the top spot when it comes to battery life, which isn’t too much of a surprise considering they both use high-density batteries. Remember that HP is at a disadvantage here because our unit came with a 3-cell battery. The 6-cell configuration will provide battery life similar to the Asus and Lenovo models seen here.

Our “Typical System Use Power” (TSUP) is similar to processor TDP except that we are measuring power consumption of the entire system under our workload. Remember, this is on the DC side, so it is unlike the power consumption numbers we use in other reviews. This factors out PSU inefficiency. It is apparent that the Atom platform still reigns supreme when it comes to low power consumption. The Lenovo S10-3 runs about 1 W higher than other similar N450-based notebooks simply because it has a more aggressive WiFi power setting and an LCD panel that consumes a little more power.

Charging times are a double-edged sword. Ideally, you want a nice slow charge so that your battery lasts more than a few hundred charges. Fast charge times keep you away from the wall socket longer, but in the long run it cuts down on the health of the battery. Manufacturers utilize a variety of charging schemes to strike a balance, which is why we are showing two benchmarks. Usually, the rate of charge starts to slow down somewhere in the 80% to 95% region, which is why the charging time from 0% to 10% is faster than 90% to 100%.

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