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24 Hour Laptops From HP? 205

daveyboy79 writes "This article from the BBC shows HP's new laptop, the HP EliteBook 6930p. Configured with several options, such as the 80Gb SSD and the mercury-free LED displays, it allows users to get 24 hours of non-stop computing." The real question is, are we talking 24 hours of word processing? Or 24 hours of actually using your computer?
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24 Hour Laptops From HP?

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  • by Kentaree ( 1078787 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @08:59AM (#24945239) Homepage
    For many business users, word processors and excel account for the vast majority of time spent on computers, if they managed 24 hours for just that they'd have a viable market.
    • A lot of the laptop crowd have those customer relation management packages that can be database intense. And I guess that means the SSD would be working a bit. I wonder if the power consumption of SSDs increase with use?
    • Not to mention, it should be quite similar to 24 hours of EMACS usage. The only question while programming might be how much battery juice the compiler saps.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      For many business users, word processors and excel account for the vast majority of time spent on computers, if they managed 24 hours for just that they'd have a viable market.

      Plus e-mail. After all, most of what's involved in composing an e-mail is word processing, is it not?

      Editing source code isn't fundamentally different than word processing, either.

      Nor is posting a story to Slashdot.

      Really, the comment about "are we talking 24 hours of word processing, or 24 hours of actually using your computer." is somewhat inane. Not everyone uses their computer for gaming.

      OTOH, while I code, I like to listen to music and perhaps have a browser running. Plus e-mail. So with all that m

      • So with all that multitasking going on there's going to be some swapping

        No. Unless you have 256MB of RAM. I assume this machine have more.

      • by mgblst ( 80109 )

        He is talking about having the wifi on. This is a reasonable drain on the battery, and for most users make the computer useless without it. There is no way it could last for 24 hours with wifi, not yet.

      • OTOH, while I code, I like to listen to music and perhaps have a browser running.

        SWF advertisements in a web browser take CPU time. So is it 24 hours of AbiWord, or 24 hours of AbiWord plus Firefox showing GIF or SWF ads?

    • by einer ( 459199 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:13AM (#24945421) Journal

      For many business users, word processors and excel account for the vast majority of time spent on computers, if they managed 24 hours for just that they'd have a viable market.

      Vast majority implies that there is a market for word processor appliances. It would be easy to produce a black and white appliance that ran a single light office suite that lasted for more than 24 hours.

      This is marketing. Very few people spend a vast majority of their time word processing. I would venture to guess that the time spent word processing is absolutely dwarfed by the time spent browsing the internet.

    • by The Great Pretender ( 975978 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:43AM (#24945725)
      "The real question is are we talking 24 hours of word processing, or 24 hours of actually using your computer."

      What a completely moronic statement.

    • So I will need to turn off my wireless and nic, turn off the backlight, goto monochrome, and power down my harddrive and any other moving part? Actually, why not, I am just doing word processing, who needs more power than that?

      Actually, e-mail is largely wordprocessing too. We could just fire up the wireless / nic for a few seconds to send recieve e-mail every 5-10 minutes, and turn it back off.

    • I bet if you take a look of what the "Power Users" Do it doesn't take that much more computing power. Things that can use up battery life...
      Games Tend to take the full computing power.
      Rendering Graphics. And this is for bulk rendering, the average photo shop filter is nothing, even for large (8x11 printed 300dpi) on modern computers. For most cases if you are going to Render Graphics you are not going to be useing a sub-notebook.
      Heavy Compiling, still are you going to need to do this on a sub-notebook.


    • You don't have to say some stupid poem when you recharge it do you? Because if you do, I'm not buying.
    • That would be awesome for those of us who work 40 hour weeks (that's only 2 charges per week!)

      Considering that most of the stuff I work on is remote (SSH terminal, web pages, database server), I think the most intense stuff that would be running on the laptop would be Firefox and its JS engine, and Pidgin.

      If I only have to charge my laptop as often as I charge my phone, you can sign me up! Especially if it recharges as quickly!

    • I use my computer in the following way:

      About six terms open with emacs running, apache for testing before svn commit. Occasionally photoshop.

      I use my laptop in the following way:

      About three terms open with emacs running (smaller screen, no second monitor), apache running for testing before an svn commit. Occasionally photoshop.

      I'm a JS/AJAX/Interaction/Design developer, so I don't need to run heavy things like mysql or such. If I need to be in battery-saving mode, I log in to fluxbox instead of gnome.

      I bet

    • IIRC its 24hrs when you average doing nothing and watching a video. even sonys new 'being honest' policy is just giving users how long their laptop runs watching a film. the numbers are meant for marketing and comparison to other laptops, unfortunately given that the minimum usable brightness and wireless power usage will vary substantially the numbers aren't really that good for comparing laptops either.

  • Who Cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    24 hours of anything is pretty damn good.

  • 24 (Score:5, Funny)

    by rallymatte ( 707679 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:01AM (#24945261)
    Jack Bauer should get one!
  • Marketing speak (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Beatbyte ( 163694 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:01AM (#24945267) Homepage

    It probably means low levels of IO and the display cranked to the dimmest levels all while not using the wireless radio. I think we would have heard about an increase in battery efficiency of this scale in something other than an HP laptop.

    • Re:Marketing speak (Score:5, Informative)

      by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:05AM (#24945307)

      Well, perhaps you should RTFA.

      From TFA
      The company said the record battery life arises from a combination of HP engineering and energy-efficient notebook components such as Intel solid-state hard drives (SSD) and mercury-free LED displays.

      The optional HP Illumi-Lite LED display boosts battery run time by up to four hours compared to traditional LCD displays, while the Intel SSD provides about a 7% increase in battery life compared to traditional hard drives.

      It is worth noting that the 24-hour figure can be reached only by purchasing the ultra-capacity battery and upgrading the base model of the 6930p to include the Illumi-Lite display and 80 gigabyte version of the SSD.

      The company says in addition to preserving battery life, tests have also shown that the new Intel SSD boosts overall performance by up to 57%, and data transfer rates are almost six times faster than traditional hard drives.

    • That's exactly how I use my laptop when I need the battery the most, that is, on a plane or a train. If there's a good access to wifi and bright light, there's usually a power outlet somewhere, at least nearby so you can go and charge the laptop.
  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:01AM (#24945271)
  • 31337 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:04AM (#24945301) Homepage Journal
    15 years ago, I probably would have bought an Elitebook just for the name.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nmg196 ( 184961 )

      25 years ago I would have been reading a book while waiting for Elite to load off the tape.

  • 24 hours of word processing, or 24 hours of actually using your computer.


    • I have a fairly old (>2 years) HP lappy... gets around 4 hours with my usual usage. Only takes like 2.5 hours to fully charge this sucker :D

  • With Sony having just announced a new method for measuring battery life - drastically cutting their own claims, it will be interesting to see how these laptops compare. And also interesting to see the effect on sales between claiming huge figures and much more reasonable figures.

  • Even with the efficiency gains they mention, this battery needs to be in the 15,0000-20,000mAh range. While that would be awesome, I'm really skeptical. When high capacity NiMH batteries came out, the gains turned out to cost battery lifetime (charge cycles). There may be something similar hiding behind this announcement.
    • CDW specs the battery at 6450mAh and this is an add-on unit so together with a typical 4400mAh battery, that only gives you 10,850mAh of juice which means that the 24 hour run time is only achievable with a marathon typing session where the screen is at its darkest setting. This configuration, which likely also turns the laptop into a beast, would really deliver something closer to 12 hour run time in practice.
      • Anything much over 10 hours and the user is going to run out of juice long before the laptop does.
        • Perhaps, but I have yet to see a laptop that recharges in sleep mode (without being plugged in) whereas most humans can.

          I usually carry my Fujitsu P2000 in a neoprene sleeve that just barely stretches over the high capacity battery. Taking the charger with me would be another thing to carry. Also, the P2000 fits nicely in the tank bag on my bike but packing the charger too would cut down on space for a sandwich, drinks, and snacks.

          Furthermore, even in the house I don't want to be moving the charger around.

    • Even with the efficiency gains they mention, this battery needs to be in the 15,0000-20,000mAh range.

      Just out of curiousity, how is that different than the 15-20 Ah range? Or do you just really like zeros? I bet you'd love to have a 20,000,000,000,000 pAh battery. I'm not even going to mention the yAh battery because you'd probably be drooling all over your numeric keypad.

    • The optional battery might be as thick as a NYC phone book.
  • With Windows software?
    • With Windows software?

      Most laptop reviews that evaluate both Linux and Windows behavior for the same system show longer battery life with Windows. The Dell Mini 9 is a good example of this.

      • That's interesting. I always got the impression that a key part of Linux distributions was high efficiency - why is the average battery lifespan lower?
        • Re:24 hours? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Molochi ( 555357 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @02:39PM (#24950407)

          Assuming Linux can get the correct info from your system, the average Linux notebook is probably configured to use power management less radically. The default power mgt settings for ubuntu under battery power are quite zippy. The CPU went to full speed at any hint of Flash on a web page and the LCD was at 100% brightness. By comparison the "Acer ePower Management" in XP under battery (same system) defaulted to a throttled CPU and a dimmed screen.

          Once I changed the Ubuntu settings to control the system the same way, I found very similar performance and battery drain between it and XP.

          As far as whether one or the other OS is more efficient I don't know. I haven't compared battery drain while encoding an mp3, thrashing a hard drive or such, but I don't see a difference when I'm just surfing or typing. I would imagine that power efficiency would depend more on the bloat of the running apps than the OS. If you're bogged down with 9 different kinds of anti-malware, running Aero, or that Compiz desktop in Linux, it's gonna take some kind of a hit I guess. I usually turn all the crap off.

  • Mercury free LEDs (Score:2, Informative)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 )

    Mercury free LED.

    This is a clear case of picking something poisonous and then claiming that you don't have it in your product.

    Arsenic Free Bread - Lead Free Water...

    • by orasio ( 188021 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:27AM (#24945551) Homepage

      Well, I think "mercury free" was irrelevant to the battery life issue, but it's relevant for backlights.

      Usual backlights do have mercury in them, the LED ones are mercury free, like saying "light" SSD, "fast" discrete graphics, or "low power" Atom CPU.

      • by kcelery ( 410487 )

        Just wonder if any manufacturer comes up with a detector on eye-ball, so it tracks where you are focusing your eyes at. And then turn on the white LED in that area of the screen. So when your eyes are off the screen, all LED turned off to save power. And when you are looking at the upper half of the screen, only the upper half is on.

    • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

      The laptop is dolphin friendly too, and does not contain any genetically modified products.

  • Weight and size? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueParrot ( 965239 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:17AM (#24945463)

    It is not difficult to get a long battery life if you use a very large battery, so how large is this laptop, and more importantly how heavy is it? I assume it is not quite the eeepc.

  • "...are we talking 24 hours of word processing, or 24 hours of actually using your computer?"

    Are we talking about doing actual work or downloading pr0n while you doze in your chair at a conference?

    I've seen more people try to weasel out of commitments because there was no recording secretary taking minutes at a meeting than I've ever seen weeping and gnashing their teeth because the 25th PowerPoint presentation of the day died along with a laptop battery.

  • Battery Life (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:51AM (#24945853) Homepage

    Personally, I find modern portable laptops abhorrent in their power consumption. Roll on the domination of the EEEPC (although it's not as power-efficient as you might think) and other small embedded laptops.

    Back in the 80's Amstrad made a portable word-processor, spreadsheet, calculator, BBC BASIC-capable computer that you could run off a set of ordinary (non-rechargeable) AA's for several WEEKS of constant usage. There were no moving parts, no excessive heat, and it even printed to Centronics printers and serial ports, and could store data on JEIDA SRAM cards. What the hell happened that we've taken such an enormous step back all in the name of "being able to run Windows"? The ironic part is that most people would pick up the Notepad's functions much quicker, there's much less distractions and it'd do most of what some people use their laptops for (writing up dissertations, books, etc.).

    Amstrad got a lot of things right with the Notepad. Unfortunately, it hit a market at the wrong time and was never really sensibly updated (the next version put a 720k floppy in but whacked the requirements up to D-cell batteries and you get less life out of it). Imagine if you could have the Notepad (hell, stick with the greyscale LCD screen if you want, just make it a little wider and a little taller) which used USB flash and could connect to Ethernet instead (wireless might be a stretch because that's quite power-hungry). Authors, casual users, word-processors would be using them everywhere you go. And with modern battery and CPU technology you could have an ultra-light one that worked for just as long as the Notepad did but with more going on in terms of raw CPU power.

    My GP2X - a 2 x 200MHz ARM Linux-capable computer, with colour LCD screen can run for about 5 or 6 hours easily from a set of 2 x 2700mAh AA batteries - that's a total of 8.1 Wh, so that's 1.5W constant for "ordinary use" power consumption (which is capable of running a SNES emulator at full speed, or playing full-screen video on it's TV-out). Next to me is an old (1.5GHz single-core) laptop - apparently it has 60Wh batteries that can keep it running for about two or three hours in "extremely low" use (i.e. sitting on the Windows desktop/screensaver). That's about 24W at idle for a "clean" install (i.e. no antivirus etc.). Now I'm not saying that either of those devices are the most or least efficient devices I could find but if you are just typing up a plain text document, consuming 24 times as much power as is actually necessary to get the job done is an incredible waste, not to mention the extra calories it takes to lug the full laptop with all its batteries and chargers somewhere to do it. I love my GP2X partly because it takes plain, ordinary rechargeable AA batteries (it can run off Duracells or equivalent for a similar time but I don't buy one-shot batteries any more) - higher capacity ones are obviously better and are available just about everywhere now because of the advent of digital cameras.

    People have laptops not to get work done on the move (because there's almost always a PC wherever you happen to go now, and there are much better alternatives to do it) but because they are a fashion item. Power-hungry, extremely heavy, hard to repair, expensive to buy, fragile... laptops are not a common-sense choice for most things. Even those people who work "in the field" would probably be better off in the long run with the old-fashioned "portable" PC's rather than an ordinary laptop. A lot of people I know have even bought laptops and then leave them permanently plugged in on their desk, because "it looks nicer".

    It reminds me of the time a salesman from a large educational company came in to "price up" for the school I work at. He had a top-of-the-range tablet touchscreen PC and all the gubbins (remote control, Bluetooth dongle, mini-Projector in a bag etc.). What did the engineer from the same company who came in to fix the server have when he arrived the next week? An old IBM Thinkpad from the 300MHz era and

  • by call -151 ( 230520 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:53AM (#24945879) Homepage

    I've wondered what the battery life of an old Powerbook Duo would be with a modern design battery. Those machines got great battery life (6+hours) if you did some tricks, like using a RAM disk to avoid HD usage. The oldest ones had passive LCD monochrome displays. A modern battery design, with the expectation of driving Wifi, a bright screen, optical drive etc. for hours would probably be pretty remarkable in either an old Duo or a machine designed to maximize battery life, like this one. So it sounds promising but of course not for everyone.

    • Take a look at the life ARM-based handhelds get. A 600MHz ARM chip is faster than anything that ever made it into a Powerbook Duo, and the newer units are starting to come with a decent 3D chip and a lot come with 800x480 LCDs which are eminently usable.
  • More battery! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LoudMusic ( 199347 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @09:55AM (#24945909)

    They achieve this run time with more efficient parts and ... more battery! I wish other manufacturers (APPLE!) would take this approach. Another pound of battery in laptops, or a couple ounces in phones, and they'd hit a seriously useful run time. In most cases this would more than double their time between recharges.

    • by ethanms ( 319039 )

      More Battery! --AND-- the ability to insert a 2nd battery to keep things moving while changing the 1st battery!

      That was a GREAT feature of my old C-series Dell notebooks... if you carried 3 batteries with you could pop a battery into the media bay while you swapped out the primary for a fresh one...

      My D-series lack's that feature, I haven't checked the E-series, but I bet they don't have this feature either ;^(

      • Yep, that's a great feature. I cheaped out and bought a new HP tx2500z for about $800 but I kind of which I'd bought one of the Fujitsu tablets I was looking at.

        I had priced one out at slightly over $2000 including a hi-cap battery, a regular battery, and a drive bay battery, plus a stand alone charger to charge a battery outside of the laptop.

        I decided to save the extra $1200, but I do sort of regret it. I have three batteries for my Fujitsu P2000 and it's great to be able to remove a battery and install a

  • The real question is are we talking 24 hours of word processing, or 24 hours of actually using your computer.

    I use my computer for word processing, you insensitive clod!

  • Why would you need 24 contiguous hours of battery life?
    Most of us sleep at least 8 hours out of every 24.

    • Because, if it can charge overnight, this means that you never need to have it plugged in while in-use. 24 hours means 'as long as you'd want to use it at a stretch, with some headroom.' The only people who need more are the ones who spend several days away from the mains. For those of us who sleep inside, it's ideal.
  • The Intel Atom is only half of what it should being stuck to all of those full-sized mobile chipsets. I imagine that it must be using atom+poulsbo to achieve it. I think Intel delayed Poulsbo's availabity just so that they may make all previous Atom products obsolete in one sickening blow...the asshats!

    On a side note, the dell inspiron mini 9 finally makes no-moving-parts a reality in a mainstream laptop! ...I value that more than an increase in battery life--not to say that increased battery life isn't aw
    • by Arimus ( 198136 )

      "On a side note, the dell inspiron mini 9 finally makes no-moving-parts a reality in a mainstream laptop! ...I value that more than an increase in battery life--not to say that increased battery life isn't awesome, but we all know that no moving parts is teh hawt, holy grail."

      One small snag. It has moving parts... the screen opens and closes, so there is a hinge involved somewhere - possibly even a catch to stop the screen from opening accidenatlly, the keys are movable (I hope - none tactile keyboards suck

  • From the article:

    "Intel architected its new line of high-performance solid-state drives..."

    I'm not normally a grammer nazi, but this one has me curious. Is "architected" actualy a word? I'm american, could it be a different dialect (british, ausie, etc.)? It's also possible that the Intel employee quoted isn't a native english speaker but I'd love for someone to clarify.

    • It's not a dictionary word, but I hear it more and more - so I suppose it will be a dictionary word pretty soon. Feel privileged to witness the birth of a verb.

  • ...its battery has a heart attack and explodes, guaranteeing that the user will have exactly 24 hours of use.
  • "The real question is are we talking 24 hours of word processing, or 24 hours of actually using your computer."

    So word processing is not 'actually using your computer', as opposed to, say playing WoW, or slandering people you don't know on blogs...

    Or responding to marginal content on /.

    Wait. Nevermind.

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @12:34PM (#24948463) Homepage

    The typical laptop claims four hours and gets about two. My iPod claims eight hours and gets about four.

    Peace to all the battery hypermilers who can actually get the stated life by turning off this, selecting that, and uninstalling the other thing. I believe you. I'm talking about me and the battery life I get.

    HP claims twenty-four hours, so in real life it's probably about twelve. It's still a lot.

    In the 1960s I loved an almost-forgotten comic strip called Smokey Stover. (Aha! Not so forgotten! [] Doesn't seem to be a searchable site... one that I loved and wish that I'd clipped and framed involved Smokey and an assistant are drilling a hole in the ceiling with a brace and bit. Smokey says "That's funny, this one-inch bit is making six-inch holes." In some inexplicable manner, the bit is drilling a perfectly round, clean, six-inch hole.

    The assistant says, "Well, try this half-inch bit--then you'll only get a three-inch hole."

    (Meanwhile, the OLPC people claimed twenty hours for the XO laptop, but it actually gets about four. That's not "fudge," that's some other brown substance.)

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.