What You Need to Know About Battery Life

Battery life may vary substantially by use, system configurations, and settings. Among other things, battery life depends on the size and age of your battery, what your power settings are, how bright your screen is, what applications you are running, and whether you are using wireless or Bluetooth® technology functions while mobile. Battery life also depends on system design, including the memory, processor, and operating system installed on your computer, and how your use your computer (e.g., playing a game or watching a video online consumes more power than word processing).

In addition, actual battery life may not match the theoretical battery life reported by a benchmark for other reasons as well. Benchmark testing is normally done on new computers with fully charged, properly conditioned batteries, yet batteries lose capacity over time and after repeated use. Moreover, users may not fully recharge or properly condition their batteries.

No single numerical measurement can completely describe the performance of a complex device like a microprocessor or a personal computer, but battery life tests can be useful tools for comparing components and systems. Nevertheless, the only totally accurate way to measure the battery life of your computer system is to test the actual software applications that you use on your own system. The battery life test results published by Intel may be inapplicable to your component or system.

Benchmarks and other performance tests are only one kind of information that you may use during the purchasing process. To get a full picture of the performance of a component or system you are considering, you should consult other sources of information (such as battery life information on the exact system you are considering purchasing). If you have any questions about the performance of any Intel® microprocessor, please view the detailed performance briefs and reports published by Intel.

The CPU (the Intel® processor) is not the primary consumer of battery power in a laptop. Lighting the screen uses the most power, and depends on the brightness setting of the screen. A hard disk drive uses more battery power than a solid-state drive (SSD). The latest Intel® processors manage the overall system to conserve power, and therefore preserve battery life. For example, with Intel 6th generation processor technology, if the system is running an HD video, the processor will automatically lower the power usage of anything else within the system that is not in use at that time.

About 5 year old systems and their batteries: Assuming that most people generally do not bother with the expense and difficulty of replacing the laptop battery, we do not replace the batteries with brand-new batteries. However we do test the batteries to ensure they hold charge normally and do not appear defective. Further, we do additional calculations, based on the power draw of the system and the original battery capacity (when the battery was new), to make sure the measurements make sense.

Intel Reference Platform:

As described here, we test products before launch on an 'Intel Reference Platform'. It's intended to be similar to, although not exactly the same, as the products we expect our customers will create with our components. The performance of Intel® processors on the Intel Reference Platform may be different from actual shipping systems (once available).

View Intel Reference Platform details ›

Comparison Testing:

We typically compare battery life on the Intel Reference Platform to battery life on a 5 year old laptop, as many people today are using laptops five years old and even older. If we do not have 5 year old systems in our labs anymore, we go to eBay* (or similar marketplace available to an average consumer) and purchase some 5 year old systems. When we do this, we choose products that were on the high end at the time they were released, and which were built with Intel® processors which we made and shipped in high volume.

View configuration details ›

Battery Life Testing Details

All testing was done internally, in Intel's Labs

System

Battery Size

Screen Brightness

Battery Life, Measured (Video Run-Down)

Battery Life, Calculated

Acer* Aspire

48 WHr

170 (max)

159 min (2.7 hr)

170 min (2.8 hr)

Lenovo* B560

47 WHr

201

151 min (2.5 hr)

173 min (2.9 hr)

HP* Pavilion DV6

55 WHr

182 (max)

149 min (2.5 hr)

158 min (2.6 hr)

Fujitsu* Lifebook T580

62 WHr

195 (max)

161 min (2.7 hr)

182 min (3.0 hr)

Acer Aspire 1830T

60 WHr

164 (max)

214 min (3.5 hr)

218 min (3.6 hr)