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All posts tagged "battery life"


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Battery Recharging Myth-Busting: Don't Completely Drain Your LiIon Batteries

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 01:30 PM

http://lifehacker.com/#!5789794/avo...ps-battery-life

"Battery-centric web site Battery University explains the real relationship behind battery life and charging. Lithium-ion batteries-the batteries present in most modern smartphones and laptops-don't need to be fully discharged every once in a while to retain battery life, as many of us have been told. In fact, it's quite the opposite..."

Over the years, I'm sure we've all heard a lot of crazy battery advice: don't recharge your phone/laptop/MP3 player until it's completely dead; don't charge it too often; when you're not using it, take out the battery, etc. Much like telling someone they need to defrag their Wi-Fi connection, some of these "tips" just aren't true. This article gives you some important tips about how to maximize the battery life on your portable device.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Zune HD Rumours: Possible Price Points and Insanely Awesome Battery Life?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 12:44 PM

Another week, another couple of rumours about the forthcoming Zune HD. First up, price points: the 16 GB and 32 GB capacities seem all but confirmed at this point, and now Electronista has some information about the price point of the 16 GB Zune HD being between $249 and $279 USD. The price point make it a little less expensive than the 16 GB iPod Touch, which is a good move for Microsoft. No word on the pricing of the 32 GB Zune HD, but I'd guess we'll see it in the $349 to $379 realm. There's also a rumour about a 64 GB Zune coming "down the road", which isn't shocking - this is all about the price point of Flash, nothing more. Microsoft could release a 128 GB Zune HD, but it would probably cost $899. So for all of you who have full Zune 120s, this is not the device for you.

Moving along to the issue of battery life, we have (supposedly) a Microsoft employee who likes to blab to a fellow named Ryan Rea (Volvoshine), and the result is a claim of 5x battery life over the current iPod Touch. The iPod Touch 2nd gen unit is rated for 36 hours of audio or six hours of video. If the 5x factor proves to be true, on paper at least we'd be looking at 180 hours of audio or 30 hours of video. That seems virtually impossible - I'm expecting to see some battery life gains by moving to the OLED screen and the Tegra chip, but 5x? I'm calling hoax on this one. I hope I'm wrong, because that kind of battery life is game-changing, but when something seems too good to be true, it usually is...


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Power Woes: It Shouldn't Be This Difficult

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 08:00 AM


All our gizmos and gadgets need power, and for the most part I only get grumpy about power issues when it's time to go away on a business or personal trip. This time, it was our two-week vacation in Japan, and I was extra grumpy about power. Why you might ask? I called Air Canada two weeks before our trip and was informed that the plane we were flying on had no power plugs for laptops in economy class - it seems like every long-haul plane in the world has power except for Air Canada's.

Normally that wouldn't have bothered me because I've been rather fortunate when it comes to laptop power: for nearly two years I used a Fujitsu P7010 laptop, one that I could remove the DVD drive on and insert a second battery to get a solid 10 hours of power. To get even more juice on the go, I tried out a Valence N-Charge that gave me a huge battery boost - can you imagine 20 hours of laptop battery life? I was living the dream. I also had a Proporta laptop battery that gave me less in terms of extended power, but was much more portable. I was completely covered...until I got a new laptop: the Dell XPS M1330.

The M1330 is an impressive laptop, balancing portability with punch - I got mine last September, decked out with the best Dell had to offer: 2.2 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 200 GB 7200 hard drive, 4 GB RAM, and the NVIDIA GPU. It's fast, it chugs through RAW photo files like the bad mother that it is, and I'm generally quite pleased with it - until it runs out of power. Sure, I got it with the biggest battery possible (a 9 cell), and I've gotten used to the "hump", but after about four hours, the laptop is dead. Here's where I get frustrated: the Proporta battery, which I was so enthusiastic about when I had a laptop that worked with it, doesn't work with the Dell. At first I thought it was the lack of an adaptor (the M1330 uses this bizarre six-sided plug), but I eventually found one of the plugs that fit - yet even switching the Proporta battery between both voltage modes, it wouldn't power the XPS M1330. Damn. Read more...


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Zune Battery Life - Let's Be Realistic...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 05:00 AM

http://zunecorps.com/?p=49

Charlie over at Zune Corps posted a reaction article to Cesar's post about the battery life on the Zune. Here's a short quote from Charlie:

"I currently get under 8 hours of battery life from my 5th generation iPod due to the fact that I like to crank the volume up, and enjoy browsing through my music and pictures on the train to avoid making eye contact with angry commuters in the morning…think about what the Zune will be realistically capable of with a larger screen and wi-fi!"

Battery life is an important issue, and everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion as to how the device is going to work for them under the scenarios they find themselves in. But I have to challenge Charlie's post a bit - the scenario that seems normal for him is certainly not normal for the majority of people that I see using digital audio players. I have no hard facts beyond basic observations of people out in public, friends, and family - but the vast majority of people I know tend to listen to their digital audio players, not watch them. Video is an emerging trend, yes, but it's still quite early on in adoption and not something I'd consider to be "normal" yet. There are always going to be extreme scenarios, and no device maker is going to use an extreme scenario to quote battery life - I think what Cesar published was quite fair.

If you stop and think about it, statistically most people are probably going to be putting MP3 files on there, likely in the 128 kbps range, and MP3 files tend to take less CPU cycles to play than WMA files (something to do with the compression decoding), so the battery life may be a bit better for some of us. I have no idea what the default level for the volume is, but I usually test with volume around 75% or so - though it depends on each device. It will be interesting to see what the battery life is like playing DRM'd tracks from the Zune Marketplace. DRM'd tracks tend to take more CPU cycles to play (overhead) so testing that would seem to be vital. The good news here is that the WiFi chip on the Zune sounds extremely efficient - there's not much difference between when it's off or on. It would have been interesting to see what the battery life would have been like with a few transfers thrown in there - say, a dozen or so over the span of the test...although it's highly unlikely one Zune user will encounter another Zune user anywhere in the world for some time - they have to sell a few million units first....

Tags: battery life

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