LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 09-30-2017, 05:14 PM   #1
nec207
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 105

Rep: Reputation: 0
Why do most laptops have horrible battery life?


Why do most laptops have horrible battery life?

Most laptops and notebooks have horrible battery life 3 or 4 hours.

Only laptops that have long battery life are Apple, Dell, thinkpad and some of the chromebooks yes 10 to 14 hour battery life and up!!!

https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/a...ting-notebooks

Hank most smartphones and tablets have longer battery life than most laptops!!!

But most laptops running Windows only have 3 or 4 hour battery life when computer is new and after being used only 1 hour battery life or less

I have not seen one laptop 4 years old where battery still holds charge running Windows.

Most laptops and notebooks have horrible battery life unless you go with Dell, Apple, or thinkpad...



My iPad gets 10 hour battery life!!!

Last edited by nec207; 09-30-2017 at 05:15 PM.
 
Old 09-30-2017, 07:09 PM   #2
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 16,333

Rep: Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907Reputation: 1907
In a nutshell run time is basically (capacity amp-hours)/(amps required to run the device).

While there are many factors that affect run time like internal components and how you use the computer the faster the processor the more current required. In addition the bigger the screen running at full brightness requires a lot of energy.

In general tablets and phones use lower spec devices which do not require as much power nor require cooling.

Lithium-ion batteries are typically rated by number of full charge cycles. Most are around 1000 times which if charged everyday is around 3 years. How you use the device can also affect battery life. Batteries will degrade and lose capacity after each charge cycle so run time is shorter.


http://batteryuniversity.com/index.p...attery_runtime
 
Old 09-30-2017, 10:42 PM   #3
IsaacKuo
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Distribution: Debian 9 Stretch
Posts: 2,278
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 362Reputation: 362Reputation: 362Reputation: 362
It's just different expectations and tradeoffs. A bigger battery means less space for other stuff, and that tends to mean the laptop is less good as a desktop replacement.

A lot of people use laptops as desktop replacements. This requires a lot more computing power than a typical tablet, and it also doesn't even require any battery life if it's just going to sit on a desk.

Tablets tend to get used as media playback devices, where it is carried while playing videos or whatever. In contrast, laptops tend to be used for productivity due to the availability of useful productivity software and input device (keyboard in particular). But the way most laptops work, you close the lid when moving from one place to another. But modern laptops default to going into suspend mode when the lid is closed. As such, battery life requirements are lower.
 
Old 10-01-2017, 10:37 AM   #4
fatmac
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants Border, UK
Distribution: AntiX
Posts: 1,950

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
What nobody has said yet is the fact that mobile devices use a totally different architecture, most are running Arm processors, which were designed to use little power. Whilst desktops & laptops are developed as 'business' machines in the main, they need to process lots of information, whereas tablets & phones usually just display information.
 
Old 10-01-2017, 10:50 AM   #5
enorbet
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
Distribution: Slackware has beern Main OpSys for decades while testing others to keep up
Posts: 1,498

Rep: Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458
Since the Power Supply, whether AC or DC, is the single most important part of any electronic device that naturally works the hardest, they are never the cheapest. The only thing that tends to keep laptop power reasonable is that essentially it is external - batteries or wall wart added. A penny in production cost often translates to at least 4 pennies sale price so this is the reason that IBM, Dell, and Apple/Mac usually have more reserve. They command a higher price and therefore can afford to employ larger more expensive batteries covered within that higher selling price.

Lesser laptops are all about economy and the easiest way to cut production cost is to transfer it to the retail buyer - replaceable batteries and converters.

That's ultimately why.
 
Old 10-01-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
nec207
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 105

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Since the Power Supply, whether AC or DC, is the single most important part of any electronic device that naturally works the hardest, they are never the cheapest. The only thing that tends to keep laptop power reasonable is that essentially it is external - batteries or wall wart added. A penny in production cost often translates to at least 4 pennies sale price so this is the reason that IBM, Dell, and Apple/Mac usually have more reserve. They command a higher price and therefore can afford to employ larger more expensive batteries covered within that higher selling price.

Lesser laptops are all about economy and the easiest way to cut production cost is to transfer it to the retail buyer - replaceable batteries and converters.

That's ultimately why.
So if I understand you saying the reason is cost? 8 hour or 10 hour batteries cost lot more than 4 hour battery.

Also that link I posted of all those computers 10 hour to 18 hour battery have lower specs? Than most laptops?
 
Old 10-01-2017, 06:10 PM   #7
jlinkels
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Bonaire, Leeuwarden
Distribution: Debian /Jessie/Stretch/Sid, Linux Mint DE
Posts: 4,703

Rep: Reputation: 731Reputation: 731Reputation: 731Reputation: 731Reputation: 731Reputation: 731Reputation: 731
Battery life is proportional with battery weight.

Buyers look at laptop specs. If the laptop weight is too high they won't buy it. Putting a heavy battery in a laptop cannot be denied.

Specified battery life is something different. First, the specification is made on a brand new battery. Secondly the exact test conditions might be public, but for sure they are not in the specification. (Did you ever own a car which gas consumption equaled the the brochure numbers? And yet they used a standard and published test method.)

So, for a laptop manufacturer it is easier to get away with a short battery life than with a heavier battery. So much that after-market suppliers sell extended batteries for those laptops where owners choose to buy a heavier battery to get a decent running time.

jlinkels
 
Old 10-01-2017, 11:19 PM   #8
enorbet
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
Distribution: Slackware has beern Main OpSys for decades while testing others to keep up
Posts: 1,498

Rep: Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by nec207 View Post
So if I understand you saying the reason is cost? 8 hour or 10 hour batteries cost lot more than 4 hour battery.

Also that link I posted of all those computers 10 hour to 18 hour battery have lower specs? Than most laptops?
Almost. What I'm saying is that everything comes down to cost benefit and in any design some interdependent features are conflicting and incompatible. For example a 500 HP car can't have a cigarette pack sized radiator, get 40 mpg, or sell for $2000.00 at current money value. Because of interdependency (can't get something without paying the tab or have your cake and also eat it) there are always tradeoffs.

Users, prospective buyers want it all, naturally. We all want in the case of laptops, ultra thin, ultra light, ultra powerful PCs with huge screens and long battery life... all for essentially no money. Obviously that is an impossibility so manufacturers must pick the tradeoffs they think will sell well and not create much negative blowback in tech support, warranty repair, etc. not to mention bad reviews. They try to choose a balance between actual possibilities designed for a fairly specific demographic and that, too, is a tradeoff. They have to do this all the while creating glowing ads that maximize it's benefits and minimize it's costs.

Can you imagine an ad that stated, "Our Model ZX-4000 may give you a backache and look clunky but for the money it's very powerful and will last all day on one charge" or "Our Model XYZ-4000 may only run for 2 hours on a charge but it is only 1/4 inch slim, not too slow, and so light you may forget you were carrying it". Maybe, just maybe, they might sell 2 when they need to sell thousands or give up the game.

Now to be fair and include Time as a factor, battery technology is improving and power demands dropping exactly because of our somewhat dreamy, unreasonable demands but that just moves the curves around a bit. The tradeoffs that must be met are still there, just improved a wee bit. That, and as a market (demand) grows the selling price can come down because the seller's benefit, profit, won't likely be damaged. While this may seem simply obvious, it is extremely complex but still all boils down to cost/benefit at every level.

Last edited by enorbet; 10-01-2017 at 11:22 PM.
 
Old 10-02-2017, 05:32 AM   #9
brianL
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Oldham, Lancs, England
Distribution: Slackware & Slackware64 14.2
Posts: 7,557
Blog Entries: 56

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
That was/is the only problem with the refurbished Thinkpads (T410 & X200) I got off ebay. Both laptops were in excellent condition, but both batteries only charge to 47%.
 
Old 10-02-2017, 06:48 AM   #10
enorbet
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
Distribution: Slackware has beern Main OpSys for decades while testing others to keep up
Posts: 1,498

Rep: Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
That was/is the only problem with the refurbished Thinkpads (T410 & X200) I got off ebay. Both laptops were in excellent condition, but both batteries only charge to 47%.
Good point. Most Lithium-based batteries and a few others will not retain a full charge if they are not completely depleted and fully charged after at the very least the first few times and it is good practice to do a full discharge/recharge often. They will "remember" their utilized capacity.
 
Old 10-02-2017, 09:52 AM   #11
sundialsvcs
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: SE Tennessee, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 8,607
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997Reputation: 2997
You should also be sure that your [Linux ...] recognizes when the system is running on battery, and/or when the laptop lid is closed, and switches among appropriate power-profiles to minimize battery consumption.
 
Old 10-02-2017, 12:45 PM   #12
ondoho
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2013
Posts: 6,760
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628Reputation: 1628
laptops started off as
- the same stuff you have in a normal desktop
- squeezed into a flat shape

i think power consumption wasn't really a thought in the design of the original IBM compatible PC's, and laptops had to struggle with that legacy for a long time.

only in recent years hardware development is catching up with it.

and that means not better batteries, but devices that consume less power.

it also means devices that are further and further away from the original ibm compatible pc.

so much is geared toward that nowadays - processor and motherboard architecture, amoled screens, and operating systems aren't so simple to design anymore - which especially we linux users feel.
 
Old 10-02-2017, 02:56 PM   #13
nec207
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 105

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
That was/is the only problem with the refurbished Thinkpads (T410 & X200) I got off ebay. Both laptops were in excellent condition, but both batteries only charge to 47%.
I have no experience with Thinkpads how good the battery is at holding it charge over the years. But Thinkpads where made to go mobile not to sit at computer desk.

Also not sure if you can install Linux on Thinkpads.

I know some Dell computers you can install Linux.

Last edited by nec207; 10-02-2017 at 03:06 PM.
 
Old 10-02-2017, 03:04 PM   #14
nec207
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 105

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Battery life is proportional with battery weight.

Buyers look at laptop specs. If the laptop weight is too high they won't buy it. Putting a heavy battery in a laptop cannot be denied.

Specified battery life is something different. First, the specification is made on a brand new battery. Secondly the exact test conditions might be public, but for sure they are not in the specification. (Did you ever own a car which gas consumption equaled the the brochure numbers? And yet they used a standard and published test method.)

So, for a laptop manufacturer it is easier to get away with a short battery life than with a heavier battery. So much that after-market suppliers sell extended batteries for those laptops where owners choose to buy a heavier battery to get a decent running time.

jlinkels
Apple solution to it put battery in side the case. Not like most laptops for Windows that have big bulky battery dock.


Well battery dock may be easy to swap out old battery that does not hold charge or battery not holding all it charge it big bully. Apple idea thin and lightwaight you have to open up the laptop case to get at it.
 
Old 10-02-2017, 06:24 PM   #15
enorbet
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
Distribution: Slackware has beern Main OpSys for decades while testing others to keep up
Posts: 1,498

Rep: Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by nec207 View Post
I have no experience with Thinkpads how good the battery is at holding it charge over the years. But Thinkpads where made to go mobile not to sit at computer desk.

Also not sure if you can install Linux on Thinkpads.

I know some Dell computers you can install Linux.
Dell is somewhat less compatible than IBM not to the point of not being able to install Linux but at the hardware level especially in power supplies. I have an old Dell tower I inherited that multiboots Windows and Slackware. However I have a T61 Thinkpad I bought off eBay that has excellent battery life and runs Slackware only. Thinkpads are rarely thin and fashionable. They are thoroughbred workhorses.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Laptop Battery life.. Does Distro affect battery life?? jeevanism Linux - Hardware 6 07-09-2011 03:16 AM
how's your laptops battery life on Linux compared to Windows? Knightron Linux - General 8 07-07-2011 11:33 PM
Windows: 4-5 hour battery life, Gentoo : ~2:30 battery life numerous Linux - Laptop and Netbook 3 01-17-2005 09:39 PM
windows, good battery life -> fedora, bad battery life daedalusq1115 Linux - Laptop and Netbook 1 01-17-2005 07:40 AM
Battery life on Athlon 64 laptops Entropius Linux - Laptop and Netbook 4 11-20-2004 10:15 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:38 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration