Many consumer devices have become almost exclusively portable. As we rely more and more on our tablets, laptops, 2-in-1s, and smartphones, we expect more and more out of our devices’ batteries. The good news is, we’re getting there. As our devices evolve, so do the batteries that power them. However, efficient batteries are only one component of a device’s battery life. Displays, processors, radios, and peripherals all play a key role in determining how long your phone or tablet will stay powered.
Surprisingly, the most powerful processors can also be the most power-friendly. By quickly completing computationally intensive jobs, full-power processors like the Intel Core™ i5 processor can return to a lower power state faster than many so-called “power-efficient” processors. While it may seem counterintuitive at first glance, laptops and mobile devices armed with these full-powered processors can have battery lives that exceed those of smaller devices. Additionally, chip makers like Intel work closely with operating system developers like Google and Microsoft in order to optimize processors to work seamlessly and efficiently.
One of the biggest power draws on your device is your display. Bright LCD screens require quite a bit of power when fully lighted. As screens evolve to contain more and more pixels, battery manufacturers have tried to keep up. The growing demand for crisp high-definition displays makes it even more crucial for companies to find new avenues for power efficiency.
Almost all consumer electronic devices being produced today have the capacity to connect to an array of networks. LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS — all of these acronyms pertain to some form of radio in your mobile phone or tablet, and ultimately mean varying levels of battery drain. As the methods of wireless data transfer have evolved, the amount of power required for these data transfers has changed. For example, trying to download a large file using a device equipped with older wireless technology may actually drain your battery faster than downloading the same file using a faster wireless technology. Faster downloads mean your device can stay at rest more often, which equals longer battery life.
It’s becoming more and more common for new devices to come equipped with solid-state drives (SSD) rather than hard-disk drives (HDD). By the nature of the technology, HDDs can use up to 3x the power of SSDs, and have significantly slower data transfer rates.
These represent just a few things you should evaluate before purchasing your next laptop, tablet, 2-in-1, or smartphone. For more information on what goes into evaluating a device’s battery life, check out this white paper. To join the conversation on Twitter, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter