Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Laptops: Need A Battery Life War

One of the things about being a mobile warrior is the ability to take your work with you. With the introduction of the 10-hour plus battery life on the iPad and the 9-10 hours on the Macbook lines, Apple really does understand that its important that being mobile means not just using a handset or laptop but not worry about being near an outlet.

Now, this sounds like a fan-boy thing but it’s not. But if you pick up a Windows laptop from Best Buy or off Amazon, you are not going to get one with a 10-hour battery life. And if you do, it’s gonna weigh a ton.

I checked out stuff from Acer, HP, Dell, and Sony. You can get 9-10 hours of battery life if you are willing to pay more for a beefier battery (as in bigger or with a tail). So you have to pay extra and put up with the extra weight.

Okay, I’m willing but that’s exactly the point. Now, I’m not saying Apple is better, which they are in this area, but it’s time the whole industry really takes another look at mobile through the lens of battery longevity.

Make no mistake that a lot of progress has been made. Even my first generation unibody Macbook has 4-5 hours, longer if I turn off certain features. I think the cut off time for most notebooks geared for true mobile users need at least 5 hours of use.

Personally, I’m not hopeful. There are only two companies I think have the ability and interests to make this happen: Apple and Sony. Apple is already making it happen and Sony is kind of coasting at the moment, not sure of its own mobile future. As for the rest, it’s about a race to the bottom to maintain market-share. And they’re not interested in making laptops with 9-10 hours of battery life.

I think there ought to be a new war like the Mhz war fought between IMB, Intel and AMD in the 90s. This time around, it should be the battery life war.

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