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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 11-16-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
oakhilltop
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linux laptop with 6 hour battery life?


Is it possible to find a laptop running linux with even 4 hours of battery life? I know there's a lot of "well what do you want" questions. I'm looking for something with an I3 or I5 processor, probably 14" or maybe 15" display. I've been reading about the so called kernel issues with power management and am somewhat confused if its a kernel issue or just M$ "encouraging" manufacturers not to give out needed info.

Anyway, I have emailed System76 and they said their laptops are good for approx 3 hours. I have to assume that they have applied all of the tweaks available for Ubuntu to max out the battery life. But my searches seem to show some linux users claiming longer battery life.

I'd like to hear experiences from users, especially those who have made recent purchases.

Steve
 
Old 11-16-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
rizzy
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Big thing to consider is what kind of load the CPU/GPU is going to have while working on batteries. On modern speed stepping CPUs it could mean hours difference. Things like solid state drive, size of screen/brightness would also play part in energy consumption. Even a choice of desktop environment has a say, KDE/Gnome shell would probably need more power than AwesomeWM.
The one year old laptop i have - Sony Vaio VPCEF3E1E, would play a film on batts and then die but then it has 17" screen and hungry dual core AMD so i wouldn't expect much more. Just sitting in shell with some basic apps going would stretch the life to 3hrs. I've not done proper tests on how long wondows7 can run for but to me it feels about the same as debian sid.
There are extra capacity batteries available, be it a larger version to fit into laptop or external power pack. Might be a route to take without compromising on CPU/GPU needs.
 
Old 11-17-2011, 02:34 AM   #3
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My Asus EEE PC can last up to 6 hours, but that's because it is Atom-based and has very low power usage. With optimus it could get 8-10 hours (in theory). It depends on what you do with it tho.
 
Old 11-17-2011, 07:42 AM   #4
oakhilltop
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Yeah, choosing a linux laptop is not easy. On top of all the normal laptop options to wade through and figure out which tradeoffs you want, you then have try and figure out if those options will work on linux. Searching can find people with a particular laptop that seems to work, but the models change every few months. I may end up with a System76 machine. That way I know it works with linux and saves me a lot of time hunting for info on others. The pricepoint of their laptops is not that far off.
 
Old 11-17-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
rizzy
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Another idea could be to look for a second hand older laptop and get fresh and new batteries for it: older hardware tends to have better support in linux. Out of two Vaio laptops i have the 2006 model has none of the problems i encounter with the laptop from 2011.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 12:45 AM   #6
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I've found getting a solid state saved me heck of a lot more time.

I have a Toshiba i3 lappie that lasted 5 hours (never noticed it was unplugged). I was using for an SSH tunnel and after 5 hours it went *poof* and I was like, wow that lasted a long time. With a mechanical disk... well nvm to me those are things of the past.
 
Old 11-22-2011, 09:25 PM   #7
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the issue with the kernel starts after kernel 2.6.37
I'm using 2.6.27.12
basically you just run an older kernel til they get it fixed.
you sort of need to know what you are doing.
for instance i upgraded wireless drivers to current within the older kernel.
linux on a loptop aint for the faint of heart.
i never got suspend to RAM working on mine which kind of sucks.
but i got both graphics processors working and got power consumption better than windows7 using laptop-mode.

basically it's doable but don't expect it to be out of the box.
when i first installed slackware on mine both graphics processors were running at once and it was almost too hot to touch.
 
Old 11-29-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
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Well its been years since I posted in these forums but I was googling the exact same thing! :-)

Right now I am using an ASUS U30JC-A1 which runs linux mint beautifully and I can get about 5.5 - 6 hours of battery out of it with 3/4 brightness and wifi on. I get this while I'm browsing the net (no flash video playback i.e. youtube).

If I watch 720p movies or flash content then battery life drops significantly to about 1.5 hrs (again with wifi on and 3/4 brightness).

If anyone has found a better performing laptop (battery wise) let us know cause I am always looking for an upgrade.
 
Old 11-30-2011, 05:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkas View Post
Well its been years since I posted in these forums but I was googling the exact same thing! :-)

Right now I am using an ASUS U30JC-A1 which runs linux mint beautifully and I can get about 5.5 - 6 hours of battery out of it with 3/4 brightness and wifi on. I get this while I'm browsing the net (no flash video playback i.e. youtube).

If I watch 720p movies or flash content then battery life drops significantly to about 1.5 hrs (again with wifi on and 3/4 brightness).

If anyone has found a better performing laptop (battery wise) let us know cause I am always looking for an upgrade.
Is that with optimus ? That's quite good for an i3 processor. Of course, battery usage varies a lot with what you are doing in that time.

I would have to say that I would only need good battery usage if I am not able to plug it in, and typically in times like these, I would not be watching movies, I would be looking something up on the net, because I don't have internet in my room. In that sense, I would always state the battery usage with menial tasks like surfing the net.
 
Old 11-30-2011, 06:24 AM   #10
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No I had to disable optimus entirely as it was not working very well and also to save battery and just use the integrated intel graphics chip. I forgot to mention that I have compiz enabled as well. But for just browsing the web the battery life is excellent. You can get 6 hours easily.

If you disable wifi and compiz I'm sure you can get >7 hours of web browsing (without flash).

I chose this laptop after a lot of market research and battery life was one of the most important things I was looking for. In windows battery life is even better but not by much.
 
Old 11-30-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
Arkas
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Well I was looking for a new laptop with excellent battery life and I came across this:

Lenovo Ideapad U300s
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/la...-series/u300s/

Seems to fit the description of the laptop you are looking for.
The only problem is that is so new we still don't know how well it plays with linux
 
Old 11-30-2011, 05:24 PM   #12
oakhilltop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkas View Post
Well I was looking for a new laptop with excellent battery life and I came across this:

Lenovo Ideapad U300s
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/la...-series/u300s/

Seems to fit the description of the laptop you are looking for.
The only problem is that is so new we still don't know how well it plays with linux
That does look nice. I think 14" is my ideal screen size but would consider the 13". It would be great to hear feedback about the linux compatibility.

One big problem though. I searched for it on amazon and came up with this description:
Processor
Processor Brand: Intel
Processor Type: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 1.6 hertz
Processor Count: 2

Even though there are 2 cpus, I think 1.6 hertz might be just a little bit poky. :-)
 
Old 12-01-2011, 04:45 AM   #13
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The one linked uses an i7:
http://ark.intel.com/products/54617/...he-1_80-GHz%29

The i5 should be good too. It is 1.6 GHz, and that's quite good. Also, remember than these mobile processors can scale CPU frequencies, for example the i7 I listed can go up to "Max Turbo Frequency 2.9 GHz".

Also, remember that the CPU frequencies doesn't mean much today. You may think your P4 at 3 GHz is better than an i5 at 1.6, but you're wrong. The i5 is 10-20 times more powerful.

I know for my Core 2 Quad, a good i7 is at least 10 times more powerful, even tho the CPU frequencies is less.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 12-01-2011 at 04:48 AM.
 
Old 12-01-2011, 09:19 PM   #15
tollingalong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colen219 View Post
laptop with 4.5 hour battery life,only 9 cell...
That depends on a lot of factors I think. I've had lappies last longer without the screen enabled. Extreme example but you get the point.
 
  


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