Better Laptop Life

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Better Laptop Life

  • I don't know when they'll hit the streets but they starting to experiment with graphene-based processors (and other things) that are supposed to use only 1% of the energy as today's devices while being (supposedly) 10 times faster or more.  I'm sure they'll cost a fortune at first.

    --Jeff Moden

    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Professor Goodenough might be of interest.


  • I read that your watch lasts 4-5 days.  That's crazy.  My smartwatch gets me a month on average.

    I think part of the problem is if battery life improves, device manufacturers will just make the battery smaller.  So battery life in things like laptops and smart phones will not improve, but the weight of the device will improve.

    Have you seen the Energizer's phones?  Things like the Energizer Power Max P18K Pop has an 18,000 mAh battery in it.  For comparison, the iPhone 11 pro max has 3969 mAh battery in it.  That energizer beast should last for days.  Unfortunately, battery life is all it has going for it.

    As for laptops, if you pay enough money, you can get a higher end laptop with a decent battery. The Asus ExpertBook B9450 claims to have a 30 hour battery for example, but comes in at $1700 USD.  Me, I'm happy with my 3-4 hour battery life and spent $350 CDN on and a bit more for some enhancements (bigger M.2 drive, external USB 3.0 drive, logitech trackball).  My laptop has some limitations to it for sure (only 2 USB ports, Mini HDMI output) but has some nice features (12.3" screen with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824).

    David Poole - that Glass battery sounds very interesting.  I hope they develop that more soon!

    Jeff Moden - The graphene based processors have been talked about almost as much as quantum computers unfortunately and I think it will be many years before they hit the mainstream market, and I'm not even sure it CAN be used to build a CPU can it?  If I am not mistaken (which I easily could be... the articles I read on graphene were from 2014-2015 as I couldn't find anything more recent) it is not a very good semiconductor.  It is highly conductive.  From what I was reading, Titanium Trisolphide  would be a better option as it is a good semiconductor like silicon, but can also be shaved down to a single atom thick like graphene.

    Now that being said, IBM did make a graphene chip back in 2014, so it is not impossible, but IBM's chip still was missing the band gap and thus is not a good semiconductor.  Instead they were focusing on nano tubes at that time which work as a good semiconductor.

  • It all depends on your smartwatch. Apple watches need a charge most every day. My wife's Samsung needs it every 2-3 days. Mine has GPS, music via BT, and other tracking. If I don't track exercise, usually it would go a week. If I use the GPS for a few hours, I probably need to charge every 2-3 days.

    There are a lot of factors here. Certainly brightness, processes, and more mean that my laptop, which advertises at 12 hours, gets around 4. I can live with that, instead of constantly starting/stopping things. My kids get a day and a half from smartphones with low brightness, no GPS, airplane mode w/ wifi and more.


  • Your watch has more features than mine.  And mine does have some limitations (screen brightness isn't that bright so it is hard to read on sunny days, is a black and white screen, no GPS, but does track heart rate and steps and can do some BT features like notifications and very minor music control (play pause with 3rd party addons)).  It is a pretty old watch too (3-4 years old and still works like new).

    I have a second one that uses a normal watch battery and needs changing roughly once per year that is a very minimalist smart watch - it only tracks steps and is a fully analog display.  But it still connects via BT and looks really nice.  Best part - you set the time over bluetooth so it syncs the time to your phone.  downside - you need to re-sync when changing time zones and need to calibrate it after changing the battery, but still it is a nice watch.

    Cell phones are huge battery sucks it seems.  With Android, you can do a bunch of tweaks to improve battery (change governors, change min/max CPU speeds, change schedulers, "power saving profiles", etc) but, as you said, it isn't an out of box thing.

    Me, I like tweaking things to make it work how I want.  Finding that perfect balance between battery and performance is what I like to do.  Finding a generic sweet spot is difficult for the phone manufacturers.  If they aim to have the settings set for "best battery", there will be some users out there who would complain that the device is too slow even though there is nothing wrong with it; it just needs to be tweaked.  If they set it to "best performance" the battery life is horrid.  What I think that phone and laptop manufacturers should do is have a universal battery benchmark tool.  One that simulates "average use", one that simulates "heavy user", and one that simulates "light usage".  I know some cell phone manufacturers will list that their phone lasts for 3 or 4 days on standby, but who buys a smart phone to leave it sitting unused for 3-4 days just so it can sit in standby?  Show me  what happens when you play some heavy  hitting game on it for 6-7 hours.  Will the phone battery survive or be dead?  Same thing with laptops.  Can I play games for 10 hours or is the 10 hour battery claim with screen brightness down all the way, airplane mode on, no USB devices and nothing running apart from Windows and just sitting idle on my desk?

  • My fitness tracking watch varies depending on the amount of exercise I do.  The thing buzzes when you achieve certain goals and also when certain distance units are achieved and that drains the battery.

    • Walking = 1 mile
    • Cycling = 5 miles
    • Outdoor swimming 500m

    GPS is a drainer as well.  Outdoor swimming drains the least because the GPS can't talk to the satellites while the watch is under water.

    The last interview I read with Prof Goodenough was that he was trying to get the battery to the point where it could function in temperatures as warm as a cold Michigan winter.  At that point the cooling requirements are reasonable.

    Battery tech is not a stagnant field of research.  It does help that Elon Musk has energised (no pun intended) this field of research.  Whether Elon Musk is successful or not is not important, what is important is that he has shown an alternative way of thinking.

  • I very proudly stuck with my "stupid" phone for many years precisely because the charge lasted over a week. All it could do was handle texts and phone calls (and take very poor pictures), but that's all I needed. To me, the point of a mobile phone is that it doesn't have to be plugged in charging most of the time (ie. it's actually mobile). Unfortunately the dog ate it, so now I have a smart phone and the charge lasts about a day if I'm lucky.

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