Guide to Buying Notebook/Laptop Computer With Long Battery Life

Laptop/Notebook computers and their cheaper budget Netbook cousins may all look quite similar but one feature which varies a heck of a lot is the manufacturers claimed battery life which can be anywhere from 2 hours to 11 hours+

Photo of ASUS 1101HA with battery removed

The best Notebook/Laptop computers should be able to pass the “acid test” of being used all day with the confidence that you won’t have to scramble to find the power charger cable and a powerpoint to recharge the battery every 3-4 hours.

A few weeks ago I did exactly that, taking a media loan ASUS 1101HA netbook computer to the Media140 Sydney conference

ASUS claims that the 1101HA has upto 11 hours battery life. However keep in mind when manufacturers quote notebook computer battery life it’s usually under very specific conditions with the screen brightness turned down, WiFI access off and the computer being used for light tasks, not playing video, downloading/uploading from the internet etc.

Impressively the 1101HA displayed a 10% battery warning after being on for 9 hours and 5minutes. During this time I was connected to the shared conference internet connection and used the laptop to type notes and upload lots of photos to Flickr from my SDHC camera card.

From experience if you’re in the market for a notebook/laptop computer I would suggest taking the claimed battery life and assuming that it actually lasts about 2/3rs (66%) as long eg: 6 hours claimed = 4 hours in reality. From testing the 1101HA it looks like ASUS notebook/laptop computers can be expected to last closer to 80% of claimed battery life.

3 thoughts on “Guide to Buying Notebook/Laptop Computer With Long Battery Life”

  1. I thought most manufacturers have been using a standard test for a year or so? Which includes regular conditions like wi-fi.

    Apple switched to it about 2 years ago – even they admitted in their Keynote that the “claimed” times would see a drop for the new models. But since then they have gone up and most “real world” tests show they are pretty close if not a little under.

    Was this a first up charge, or had the machine been through a few cycles? I usually find the first couple of charges seem short but then the battery goes a lot longer.

    EDITOR: These are ASUS’s battery testing conditions . The laptop I was testing had already been tested by other people so it had gone through a few recharge cycles already.

  2. In response to the above posts, I was always told to let a new battery discharge completely before attempting to recharge it. That you will get the best out of the battery life. If someone knows differently please let me know. Great blog by the way.

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