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Update: Intel Expands Our Battery Testing At CES 2013

Test Setup And System Specs

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 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.

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

Display10.1" HD @ 1366x76810.1" HD @ 1366x76810.6" ClearType HD @ 1366x76810.1" HD LCD @ 1366x768CPUIntel 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)GPUPowerVR SGX545 (Single-core)Adreno 225ULP GeForce @ 520 MHzAdreno 225Memory2 GB LPDDR22 GB LPDDR22 GB2 GBStorage64 GB32 GB32 GB32 GBOperating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8Microsoft Windows RTMicrosoft Windows RTMicrosoft Windows RTMSRP$600$500$500$650Test SuiteInternet Explorer 10 ("Metro")GoogleWikipediaTom's HardwareYouTubeVideo ("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. 

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • amuffin
    Strike a pose for the camera!
    Reply
  • archange
    Are there any news about the 5th companion core in Tegra being supported under RT? Is software patching feasible?
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    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?
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    whatever it is, 5-10hours of battery life is not good enough. 24hours is the ideal length.
    Reply
  • archange
    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
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    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 @*!!@$$...
    Reply
  • ojas
    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
    Reply
  • ojas
    Was interested to read about the predictions for this year.

    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.

    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...
    Reply
  • kyuuketsuki
    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?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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!
    Reply