Better Laptop Life

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I've had a lot of laptops, and I work on them regularly as I travel. I tend to be a "just use it" person and don't like to keep changing settings and optimizing things. The same for my mobile device, where I tend to leave the brightness set, location services on, and  just use it. Of course, I barely get a day of battery life.

On my laptop, I get a number of hours, though not 10. I tend to have SQL Server running (usually 2 instances) and a few other services. I do cut off wifi at times, but not that often. I know I could do more to get better battery life, but really, I am not without a power source that often, and if I do, usually I just stop working and read something instead.

It would be nice to get better life from devices, especially as nightly charging is a pain. I love that my watch lasts 4-5 days and wish my phone would do that. I ran across an article on changes that Intel is making and it seemed to imply that mobile CPU manufacturers play some tricks to extend the lifetime of devices. I guess that is good, though it doesn't seem like I am seeing multi day life from many devices.

Apparently Intel is trying to build hybrid processors that combine the power of the big processors with the power benefits of the Atom "small" processors. These should allow better lifetime of devices, if the OS can work out the scheduling between the two different types of cores. Microsoft has been doing some work here, though I don't know when we'll see actual products that work.

The dream might be a device that I can charge twice a week and get some level of usage out of it. Maybe in the future I'll keep a small mobile, a mid size tablet, and a laptop and find a way to use all three in work and only need to charge them every few days. I don't know if we'll get there, but I'm hopeful that device lifetime will improve with some technical breakthrough.

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