*ONLY* two hours?!!

Hmm frustrated, tech-unsavvy users nowadays can actually make life hard for computer companies. Today I happened to (over)hear the ranting of a really dissatisfied guy who recently bought himself a new $350 consumer notebook PC and he had “heard” the battery life of his computer model was 3 to 3 and a half hours. But in his usage, he could only get “less than 1.5 hours of just web surfing, without wifi and on Windows Vista’s power saver mode too” out of his computer. It also seems that the computer company managed to perform testing on his notebook and THEY could get around 2+ hours of web surfing, WITH wifi AND maximum screen brightness. Either way he was pissed and had pretty much convinced himself to think there’s something wrong with his notebook PC because he couldn’t achieve that “three plus hours” that he wanted… and so he spent about two hours in a conversation, debating with some customer support guys about that.

One of his other argument points was that with technological advancements today, battery life should be the same or better nowadays – in some way, that’s true but on the other hand, I feel that people should be aware despite the fact that processors and hardware in computers nowadays may be more power efficient, they are also more powerful and pack more processing power (ie Dual core Core 2 Duo versus a single core P4 chip). What does that mean? Let me give an example: If you say “Ultra Low Voltage Core Duo”, then we’re talking, but otherwise for regular Intel Core and AMD processors, any “power efficiency” benefits may well be negated or reduced by the fact that processors today are much more powerful and hence use equal or negligibly less amount of power versus processors from say, the Pentium 4 era.

This guy was comparing apples and oranges. He expected his new notebook’s dual core 2.0 GHz AMD processor to his old notebook’s Pentium 4 single core 1.8 GHz processor! Maybe comparing the power efficiency and speed of a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom versus 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 would be more fair in an “old versus new” comparison.

However, a quick check, google and in fact a few people I know own that specific model of that notebook PC reveals that the battery life of that notebook model itself is around 2 hours on average and 2.5+ hours of power. And as far as the rest of the world is concerned, just about every recent consumer notebook out there with a 14 or 15 inch screen averages around 2 hours of battery life and I’d say the guy was being unreasonable. I didn’t bother to listen in on the rest of the conversation, but that was a pretty interesting two hours of my day this week while I was typewriting some articles on my HP Mini Note 2133, then I went off for dinner.

What do you guys think?

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