Windows notebooks need better battery life

Aurelius

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I was doing some comparison shopping online, and I've noticed something: a lot of Windows notebooks have terrible battery life.

Look at Sony's lineup, for example. Most systems have 3.5 hours of juice. Tops. Even the CULV notebook gets 6, and the VAIO Z gets 7 but also costs about $2,000. And Sony isn't alone. How many Dell and HP notebooks leave people thankful to get 3 hours of battery life? I've known a few people whose batteries died in a year because it could hold so little of a charge that they burned through the useful lifespan that quickly while at school.

Meanwhile, over in Mac land, a $999 MacBook can last for 10 hours. You might be inclined to think it's the Core 2 Duo and integrated video, but even a maxed out 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Core i5 or i7 should get 8 or 9 in ideal conditions.

Yes, Apple is fudging it by using the extra space afforded by a non-removable battery, but there shouldn't be triple the battery life in the Mac for that reason alone. You get the distinct impression that a lot of PC makers are deliberately skimping on the quality of their batteries just to shave another $30 off the price.

Here's the rub: I want to have a full performance Windows notebook with good battery life. But I can't. And being able to swap the battery doesn't count; there's a big difference between running for 7 hours straight and having to stop what you're doing 3.5 hours in to replace a battery. I've had to cover keynote speeches where my notebook battery gave out right at the end, and that was with a Mac (not even the best); I can't flip my notebook upside-down to do 'surgery' in the middle of a live event.

Now if someone can show me a Windows notebook with a real processor and long battery life, I'll be impressed; I would love that. But right now, it seems like a Mac is the only way to go if you can't afford to be tied to an AC adapter the entire day.
 

Bahamut

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When you can have that much control over every facet of a notebook's design like Apple has - where most other OEMs put in orders based on design principles and the laptop makers fulfill the orders as required - you can put more into it, literally from a battery perspective as well as battery life and run-time.

I've got a Dell Latitude E4300 that gets me just shy of 6 hours of battery life (that's usable life, I might add) and it's a full blown Core 2 Duo SP9400 at 2.4 GHz (of course just as with MacBooks, when you're not using it seriously SpeedStep throttles it down). If I toss the battery slice on the bottom I can get nearly 13 - my record is 15.5 or so, using Dell's Extended Battery Life power profile which turns off some aspects completely (optical drive, Firewire, SmartCard, Media Card reader, etc), brightness about 33%, and the wireless was on the whole time also.

Oh, and I paid $200 for the laptop at a pawn shop, and $40 for the battery slice off eBay. psss... and I have Snow Leopard installed too... :D

Apple makes those 10 hour claims so easily, but in my experience of having a few friends with the latest greatest MacBooks, they never seem to get more than maybe 5 with serious use, maybe 7 to 8 tops with less usage. When I saw Apple make those claims when they introduced those new models, I laughed knowing it's not happening even in spite of shrinking the components even further and giving it a relatively large battery internally.

I've yet to read a report from any MacBook owner that says "I get 10 hours all the time" or with serious use.

"Don't believe the hype..."
 

orangeblue

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Well, I'm currently in the same boat. If you take a look at my thread comparing the MBP 13 in and the HP Envy 14, one of my biggest concerns is getting a laptop with good battery life. HP makes the claim that their notebook can get 7 hours of battery life, despite its fairly powerful components, but unfortunately it appears as though people are getting significantly less in real world use (~4 hours).

I guess we have to both keep dreaming (or break down and buy a Mac ;))!

Edit: Actually, HP does offer a slice battery for their laptop which can supposedly double the battery life. If you don't care about sacrificing some portability, this might be a good option for you since you don't actually have to change anything out to use it (when one runs dry, it automatically switches to the other).
 

KillaChaos

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I looked into some CNET reviews, and it looks like you are right.
http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/apple-macbook-pro-spring/4505-3121_7-34058848-2.html?tag=rvwBody
While the Vaio Z held its ground in performance it only had 3.5 hours of battery life (Keep in mind this is a battery drain, far more demanding than any average usage) But the MBP 13 had twice that. I am willing to bet that its not only the larger battery, but the OS may be more in tune with the hardware, something that will never happen on Windows.
 

pxc

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How many Dell and HP notebooks leave people thankful to get 3 hours of battery life?
The last two Dells I've owned have gotten between 5 and 5.5 hours using default power saving options (6-6.5 with extra effort, as described below). Not bad for 17" and 15.6" models with superior specs compared to MacBook Pros, and at half the price of those Apple models. There are budget Dell or HP models (esp the $400-$500 range) which get crummy battery life. Cheap laptops have major compromises.

Seriously, what does a MacBook Pro with i7-720qm, 4GB, 500GB HDD, 15.6" 1080p LED backlit LCD, HD 4670 1GB and slot load Blu-Ray/DVD-RW drive cost? I bet nowhere near less than $1000. :p I bet more that Apple doesn't even offer such a "high end" model even though this is at the bottom of the pack for quad core laptops.

I wouldn't mind getting more battery life, but I also don't want to pay an arm and a leg on a "lifestyle" laptop when perfectly suitable ones are available for 1/2 the price.

Plus there's a difference between Apple's claimed battery life, which you're comparing to some generalized/generic low end real use on Windows laptops. For example, Apple's latest "10 hour" ("8-9 hours with WiFi") models actually only got 8 hours with the display majorly dimmed under this condition at AT (Anand loves his Macs): "this test represents the longest battery life you can achieve on the platform while doing minimal work." 9 hours, how? Turn off the display completely? :p If those are valid conditions, my last 2 Dells have 6 and 6.5 hour battery life ratings with WiFi browsing, and my current one (6.5 hours) at least has a discrete video card.
 

heatlesssun

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Ever heard of this thing called a replaceable battery? I can go 10+ hours with my tm2 and a spare battery at just over 5 lbs total weight. If I need to go longer I can get another battery. Plus I can rotate my batteries. Try that on an MBP. Plus I hear TONS of Mac users saying they don't get anywhere the spec numbers.

Tied to an outlet? I smell trollin' !;)
 

rive22

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That's what netbooks are for. If you need longer than the 10 hours battery life a good netbook gives then you should be plugging your machine into a wall anyway. Or just buy a spare battery or two.

If you want a full performance machine with 10 hour battery life what are you doing typing outside? Go sit at a desk and plug that thing in. lol.

Hey I'm all for the even more battery life. But 7, 8, 10 hours today, I'm not complaining, I am THRILLED because just a few years ago 3 hours tops was about it.
 

Aurelius

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That's what netbooks are for. If you need longer than the 10 hours battery life a good netbook gives then you should be plugging your machine into a wall anyway. Or just buy a spare battery or two.

If you want a full performance machine with 10 hour battery life what are you doing typing outside? Go sit at a desk and plug that thing in. lol.

Hey I'm all for the even more battery life. But 7, 8, 10 hours today, I'm not complaining, I am THRILLED because just a few years ago 3 hours tops was about it.

I don't think some folks here propely read my original gripe.

The point is that the Macs can realistically get several hours (not the claimed amount, but a long time) without needing a battery swap. Very few Windows notebooks can, and that sucks.

I'll give you a usage case example of why a strong single battery (or just very efficient management) can be important. I've had to work on web content using only a 3G modem for my Internet connection. Not near a power outlet. That shortens the battery life no matter whose system you're using, but on a current MacBook or MacBook Pro, you'll still have a few hours of solid use. If I were using heatlesssun's tm2, I'd be replacing the battery after maybe two hours at most - and if it's critical that I stay active, that means I've failed.

Doesn't the tm2 use a CULV processor? If so, that's not really a convincing case, is it? If you're using a slow, low-voltage chip, of course you can extend your power. The MacBook user has enough power to get some serious work done. Like image editing or some heavy duty multitasking.

For that matter, having to buy a second battery to get significantly longer juice sort of defeats the cost savings advantage, doesn't it?

I like Windows 7. I would love a Windows notebook. But right now, you're largely forced to choose between speed or battery life and can't have both. That Latitude story is heartening, but I want to see something on the order of the HP Envy 15 or Sony VAIO F with a good enough battery (and reasonable enough GPU choices) that I can actually use it for the majority of a working day. Some of us don't have the luxury of a wall outlet or work our systems hard enough for a continuous stretch of battery life to matter!
 

heatlesssun

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Yes the tm2 uses CULVs and you'd be suprised by how fast it is when configured properly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQKbXEQQyHw. Try that with a MBP 13. And try like 4 to 5 hours running 3G which I have integrated in my tm2, no need for a card BTW. And they should be a bit faster with the i5 and 5450 upgrades in the new models and get the same battrey life. Two batteries gives you all day and great performance and it won't give you second degree burns if you put it on your lap. Some of that battery goes to powering a proper fan which is one way MBPs cheat, they have shit for cooling. People have hacked their tm2's and found that if you disable the fan you can extended battery life as much as 90 minutes. Personally I'll take the cooler running machine.
 
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Bahamut

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When I made that earlier post I was setting up for a test of sorts. I made sure the battery was topped off, and at about 12:15PM or so (~45 mins after that post was made) I unplugged this E4300 from the wall and went to the battery only, and I'm sitting here typing on the laptop and it's still going, and it's 6:31PM Pacific as of this sentence.

I don't know what people expect, really, but I'm damned happy with the 6 cell battery (3% wear, 1.5 years old, just recalibrated it on Friday) and the 5+ hours I get whenever I use it (and I just passed the 5.5 mark ~15 minutes ago).

I do have to add that I'm using RMClock to throttle the processor to 800 MHz however. ;) People think "Oh, 800 MHz sucks" without paying attention to this being a real Core 2 Duo, not a ULV version, and I'm still going. The setup currently is as follows:

- Core 2 Duo SP9400 throttled to 800 MHz (6x multiplier, it's a 2.4 GHz processor at full bore)
- Display brightness at 33% (there's 15 steps of adjustment, it's at 5 - 15 is brightest of course)
- It's an LED backlit display, 1280x800
- Intel 4500HD GPU
- Dell Extended Battery Life power profile, disables the optical drive/media card/Firewire/SmartCard/etc to save more power
- I run Firefox in a RAMdisk, completely. Firefox exists solely in RAM on this machine, it does not use the hard drive for cache at all, even that is in RAM also.
- Intel 5300AGN wireless card, and I don't even have it set for serious power savings in Device Manager, the transmit power is still set to highest.
- I use a USB optical mouse as I can't stand the touchpad or pointing stick unless I don't have a choice, so that's 5V being used up as well, could probably add a few more minutes if I didn't use the external mouse at all.
- 7200 rpm SATA II Hitachi hard drive set for performance mode (AAM), could get a few more minutes from altering that setting too I guess.

That's about it. Since I have Firefox running directly from RAM and using RAM for all caching too, the hard drive never takes a hit at all - I can sit here and hit all sorts of sites over and over again and use Resource Monitor to watch disk activity and not once will Firefox.exe show up on the list - it just doesn't happen. :) It's Firefox Portable, by the way, been using it for years now without issues, and running it from RAM (with all caching in RAM too) makes it pretty damned fast.

If anyone thinks you can do serious work with a MacBook of any kind for 10 hours, they're deluding themselves and drinking too much Apple Kool-Aid, really.

I slap the battery slice on this thing and I'm looking at 12 hours minimum with respectable usage with how I use this machine, and that's NOT using the Dell EBL power profile either - if I use that I can hit 15 without even breaking a sweat.

I would not choose any consumer level laptop for battery life, not even MacBooks of any kind. If I wanted serious battery life like I'm currently getting or even more, it'll be a Dell Latitude with some extended battery support or an HP EliteBook or ProBook with the same extended battery support. Hell, HP has a few models that, with the 12 cell battery slice, offer 20+ hours of usable runtime and I know clients that actually get 20+ hours in real world usage.

Not everyone will, that's a given, but you can get fantastic battery life out of a Windows-based laptop.

Just stop looking for the chintzy glitzy shiny shit and you'll find it... the Envy and those Sony machines? Forget it... get a real laptop. :D

Currently showing 18% battery left, says 37 minutes... I'll let it hit the 5% mark and then plug back in... probably 6, maybe 6.25 hours... and Wi-Fi has been on the whole damned time and used quite frequently too, I'm even streaming my iTunes library off the storage drive in my Wife's desktop for the past ~3 hours as well.

Pretty damned good for a $200 laptop, I'd say... :p
 

heatlesssun

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I do have to add that I'm using RMClock to throttle the processor to 800 MHz however. ;) People think "Oh, 800 MHz sucks" without paying attention to this being a real Core 2 Duo, not a ULV version, and I'm still going. The setup currently is as follows:

The Core 2 Duo ULVs are REAL Core 2's, they are simply underclocked and undervolted to extended battery life. Clock for clock they are just as fast as non-ULVs. And a tm2 will trounce the machine that you listed at gaming with a dedicated GPU. It's why I bought it and is the same concept as the m11x, just with a less powerful GPU and those suckers are pretty fast little buggers.

But you are correct in that the world of business class machines has many more and better options like slices, bay batteries and even hot swappable batteries. MBPs need not apply to the real world of long battery life.
 
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Bahamut

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Yah, I knew you'd pounce on me for that but but but... ;)

Just got the 5% warning so I plugged in about 1 minute ago, so that's roughly 7 hours of battery life, from ~12:15PM to about ~7:16PM, on a 1.5 year old laptop with a 6 cell battery and Wi-Fi the whole time. I always wondered what I could get from a 9 cell but the Latitude E4300 really can't accommodate such a battery (not sure anybody even makes them), hence the battery slice (6 cells).

Needless to say I'm pretty happy with it... it works for me and all I have to do is slide the battery slice ($45 off eBay) onto the bottom and I'm staring at nearly twice that without needing the EBL profile either.

Might try a battery life test doing streaming video later on, got some 720p rips on the Wife's machine and see how much I can watch back to back... even with this throttled at 800 MHz it plays those clips just fine; the Intel 4500HD supports DXVA so it's like 25-35% CPU usage, nothing at all really.

And I don't play games so that's not a concern, just for the record. :) I know some folks do but, it's just not my thing.
 

Aurelius

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I'm sorry, but the main reason that tm2 is doing well in that clip is because it has a dedicated GPU. I do think that's a sweet advantage for gaming, but not for anything else. A MacBook runs at 2.4GHz to start and is fairly well-balanced with that GeForce 320M. Get back to me when you're showing me how well Adobe Premiere can encode a video or something that also depends on the CPU.

And as for that Latitude... yeah, you just admitted that you're using a seriously downclocked system with Intel graphics! My whole point was that, in Windows notebook land, it's usually an either/or dichotomy: either you have a slow system with long battery life or a fast system that peters out in 3 hours. Where's the 15-inch notebook with dedicated graphics and a Core i5 that still lasts for several hours? I want that.

Having to use an underpowered business notebook and paying for an extended battery pack isn't for everybody. Some of us have more to do with our computers than run Office. That Latitude, as nice as 20 hours of use may sound, just wouldn't be up to the job.
 

Bahamut

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Where's the 15-inch notebook with dedicated graphics and a Core i5 that still lasts for several hours? I want that.

HP EliteBook 8540W

and

HP 12-cell Ultra-capacity Battery

will tear a 15" MacBook Pro a new one, twice over, for about $100 less...

But you already sound to me like you know the path you're going to take so, then this whole thread becomes an exercise in futility. "PC" laptops offer too much variety in configurations to be able to nail down extremely long battery life.

I've been working with computers since the mid-1970s, and honestly in all my years, old bastard that I'm turning into, I've never seen any situation in the working world where a person would actually require a laptop that provides a full "standard" workday of power - meaning 8 hours, give or take a few minutes - and a situation where the person using the laptop never has access to a power source to access, be it a wall socket, a power strip, a power converter in a vehicle (12VDC to 120VAC or whatever), or anything like it.

I mean really, who the hell actually carries around a laptop in today's modern world and uses it for 8+ hours a day and isn't capable of plugging it in someplace?

I would simply say that for people who are serious about portability, a true "Road Warrior" of sorts, they're going to do what's necessary to get the battery life they require on the go, even if that means an extra battery or two, a slice or two, several various power cords/adapters, etc. I mean, I get that MacBooks have "claimed" long battery life but, in all my years I still don't see real people using the damned things in the real world. Just hipsters at Starbucks and college pukes, but not real working people... (my opinion, take it as such) :D

Having to use an underpowered business notebook and paying for an extended battery pack isn't for everybody. Some of us have more to do with our computers than run Office.

It's pretty funny you say that, considering that you need to note the fine print at Apple.com for the battery life:

The wireless productivity test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing various websites and editing text in a word processing document with display brightness set to 50%.

That's not serious use, and I'd barely even call it casual as it's a test designed to do something by repetition, a piece of software doing the same stuff over and over again. They don't actually sit a person in front of a laptop for the entire time, so, as expected, Apple's marketing is going to say "Tell 'em the absolute best case scenario battery life, whatever that is..." and hence, 8-10 hours is what they claim but very very few actually get, even with brand new hardware.

If you think you're gonna be doing serious work with Premiere on a MacBook/MacBook Pro and get more than a few hours of battery life, man... they simply ain't all that.
 
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jay2472000

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Tell ya what, you figure out the cost of the MacBook you want to match battery life of, and then find what Windows machine you want it done on. Give me the difference between those 2 and Ill fabricate you a battery/charging solution.
 

heatlesssun

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That's right some of us do more with our machines that run Office, we game!:) I mean this is kind of a gaming site. But I also write software on my tm2 and it runs Visual Studio 2010 just great, not a light application to say the least. The MBP 13 better balanced than a tm2? How's that possible with a shared memory a GPU? Where's the balance there? And that deidicated GPU can accelarate ANY 3D task not just games BTW. So yes, the MBP has a CPU that's clocked 50% higher, and if it's running flat ouy at top speed you ain't getting 10 hours out of the battey any more than I can play CoD:MW2 for 5 hours on a tm2. Yes, for CPU intensive tasks the MBP 13 should perform 50% better. But then you're going to get zilch in battery. You can't have it both ways.

That 10 hour claim on the MBP is VERY suspect. From things I've heard the battery life isn't that much greater than my tm2 in with real world usage, if at all, certainly not tripple, that would be like 15 hours with is 50% than even Apple claims.

This just gets to be a very complex subject and it all boils down to how the machine is being used. But a MBP 13 getting TRIPPLE the battey life of a tm2. LOL!:D Come on man, I immune to Job's BS!;)

And really, how is a MBP 13 more powerful compared to business class machines with much better battry life? Core 2 Duo with a a shared memory GPU? That's kind of like the specs in most business class machines you know.;)
 

Dangman

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Yes, Apple is fudging it by using the extra space afforded by a non-removable battery, but there shouldn't be triple the battery life in the Mac for that reason alone. You get the distinct impression that a lot of PC makers are deliberately skimping on the quality of their batteries just to shave another $30 off the price.

Well there's a whole variety of reasons why Apple gets a longer battery life than some Windows based laptops, many of which have been covered by others:
- Yes that extra space does in fact help further extend the battery as there's now more room for a larger battery. Consider this: The early 2009 17" Macbook Pro had a removeable battery that had roughly 50Wh. The shift to a non-removeable battery upped that to 73Wh, roughly a 31% increase in available power meaning a 31% increase in battery life give or take.

- Apple is using a lithium-ion polymer battery in their laptops whereas a majority of Windows based laptops today uses a lithium ion battery. The lithium-ion polymer batteries do offer better battery life than lithium ion batteries but do cost significantly more.

- The significantly tighter integration of the OS and hardware is also a major factor

So the above three factors are the cheif reasons for the Apple laptops having a better battery life than Widnows based laptops. So when you're looking through those laptop reviews/comparison think of this: What's the Wh of those laptop batteries? Are those lithium ion or lithium ion polymer batteries? Comparing the CPU specs, RAM and even HDD specs is fine. But without comparing the actual amount of power in those laptop batteries, you're leaving out critical information.
 

heatlesssun

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Here's an example of a business class tablet that should easily rival an MBP 13 in performance with hot swapable batteries, ruggadized, yes WAY better build quality than an MBP, and get this, even a better screen than the best MBP, AFFS the best IPS implemenation out there and its outdoor readable! This is the machine I REALLY want it puts what we think of tablets to shame, but it STARTS at $2200 and the version I want is $3200. This is the REAL deal when it comes to in the field portabilty and usuability, remember its got an outdoor screen, and as much battey life as battries you have.

http://www.motioncomputing.com/buy/buy_J35.asp

Macs aren't really that exspensive. They are well built overall for consumer devices and attractive but when people say its the "ultimate" in build quality and battery life I chuckle. You could almost literally take a J3500 and hammer an MBP in half. And when motion says 7 hours, they MEAN 7 hours in real world use.
 
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W.Feather

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uhhh....the Apple laptops dont get good heavy use life....just like the post above me said, its with the same type of stuff running as the windows pc's that will get 8 hours.......i'm willing to bet that the 10 hours they get is not with the 2.4 GHz speed, but probably 800 MHz or so.....its essentially the same exact hardware.....

just my 2 cents
 

illuminate

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Man, there's too much Mac hate in this thread...

I love having a netbook and my macbookpro. My netbook, running Ubuntu gets 6.5 hours with wifi on and screen half way. If i actually took the time to configure it more, I could get 7.5-8 out of it (9cell battery). When it ran windows, it was 8-8.5 hours with wifi on and backlight around 33%.

Now, on my macbook pro i get 7.5hours with screen 33%, key lighting off, and wifi on. That is perfectly usable for me. You can still see and read stuff fine and see everything. If I have brightness all the way up, keys 1/2 way, and wifi on I get 5 hours. (it's a brand new 2.53ghz i5 mbp, just fyi).

I'm just throwing that out there...
 

Bahamut

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I don't hate Macs, really, even in spite of owning 4 myself and returning them all for being defective (truly defective, hardware issues) but that's a long time ago (just after the Intel switch).

What I hate are lame marketing gimmicks and just tossing out numbers. ;)

What you just said about the 7.5 hours is actually something someone might get with casual usage and still well below Apple's marketing claims of 10 hours, somewhat lower than even the 8 they mention. That's all most of us can really gripe about is Apple's BS marketing.

Are MacBooks/MacBook Pros nice machines? Damned right they are, but if someone knocked on my door and handed me a brand new 15" MBP maxed out as far as it could go (including an SSD), I'd yank the SSD and swap it for the 250GB drive I have in this Latitude and then put the MBP on craigslist a few hours later. I'd take the proceeds and get a ProBook maxed out, maybe a low-ish end EliteBook Pro, or a Latitude E6500 because those machines just fuckin' kick ass. :D

I think it's safe to say most people will stick with what works for them. I've had Macs and a MacBook as well as an MBP, and they didn't work for me, so I'm not interested in giving them another shot (not saying that this thread is about buying one, of course). Dells, HPs, honestly I've never had one fail on me or give me reason to not buy them consistently.
 

heatlesssun

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Man, there's too much Mac hate in this thread...

Not at all, at least from me. It's just some of the claims made here are very suspect. A MBP isn't going to run with it's speed advantage over say a tm2 and have tripple the battery life and how can it be better balanced with no dedicated GPU? That's the same crap PC makers dom sell very fast CPUs with Intel IGP.
 

pxc

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Man, there's too much Mac hate in this thread...
The tone was set by the OP. Selective outrage? The problem I have is the misleading battery life claims and cost. I have no problems with the product itself. The MacBook lines are fine and OS X 10.6 is a very nice OS. But (unsurprisingly) the claims made by the OP are more the result of drinking the kool-aid than of actual technical merit.
 

heatlesssun

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Are MacBooks/MacBook Pros nice machines? Damned right they are...

+1. Only someone who's brainwashed like some of the more rabid Microsoft fans don't see this. But like Bahamut Macs don't work for me, desktop or laptop. First of all, look at my sig, the tech simply doesn't exist in the Mac world. Secondly, I've not bought a conventional laptop in 7 years, all of my "laptops" are convertiable Tablet PCs, once again a technology that doesn't exsist in the Mac world.

Macs are great machines, but there's just a lot beyond their capabilities. And only brainwashed Mac fans don't understand that.
 

Bahamut

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Oh, I did mention I'm running Snow Leopard on this Latitude, right? :D Only thing that doesn't really work is the Intel Wi-Fi but I can always slap a compatible USB Wi-Fi stick in it if necessary.

Oh, yeah, try this for a reason if you actually need it:

Can a MacBook/MBP do mobile broadband natively, like 3G support, or even WiMAX/4G? Hardly... and yes I know you can get USB sticks if necessary but, the hardware simply doesn't support it natively whereas I've got a mobile broadband (WWAN) card in this Latitude...

For anyone interested in true mobility, they're not going to be hassled with having to do all sorts of funky tethering (ok, not so funky but I'm just saying...) or looking for Wi-Fi hotspots.

That's one thing I demand support for in my own laptop, won't even consider one without it anymore.

I know the OP didn't mean for this thread to turn into a MacBook vs the world thing so, I'll back off for now, I've said my peace I suppose. :D
 

heatlesssun

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+1 again on the integrated WWAN which of course the tm2 has a well. I love taking this thing shopping and checking prices, much faster than any 3G phone, and making notes for further reasearch in OneNote that get automatically synched up to my OneNote share when I get home, even my handwritten notes are now on my desktop, fully searchable as if I had typed them, just powerful and useful.

I guess the thing that bugs me most with the Mac crowd is that they just don't seem to be willing to admit that the PC world has some just freakishly powerful technology that has no Mac analog. I've never had an issue with admitting the Mac's strengths. Macs are better built in the consumer space than PCs overall. Apple's screens are definitely better hear. And YES MBPs overall get better battery life than the typical cheaper PC laptop. OS X has far fewer issues with malware (not getting into the whys just the simple matter of the fact Macs just don't have these issues nearly as bad the typical PC) and Mac users don't have to deal with crap and bloatware.

Now if I go to a Mac guy and say hay that's all cool but I can take my tm2 and turn into a REAL notebook, you know the kind made out of paper, or say hey look I'm running games at 5760 x 1080 in 3D no less, the first thing a lot of them say well that's just niche, nobody cares. I guess like hackers don't seem to care about writing malware for Macs.

So just a rant and I know there are the unreasonable fanatics no matter the technology but as for me I can appreciate Macs. But I just don't see a lot of Mac guys willing to admit Mac weeknesses or the flat out truth that the Windows platform is loaded with tech that Macs simply DON'T have. Like writing this post in bed with a pen and having it converted to text with near perfection in real time.
 

Bahamut

n00b
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
0
Maybe this one will be useful to someone:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/12/toshiba-protege-r705-review/

Engadget said:
The Portege R705, which is exclusive to Best Buy for now, changes that formula. And in celebration of the big two-five, Toshiba's put out a 3.2-pound, Core i3-powered stunner that's less than half the price of past Porteges. Oh, and did we mention it has an on-board optical drive, 500GB of storage, Intel's wireless display technology and promises 8.5 hours of battery life?

That's pretty significant considering it's an $800 machine... and damned nice all around.

Hell, my Latitude E4300 weighs 3.3 lbs... :D

And the weirdest or strangest part depending on your point of view?

It's sold at Best Buy - whereas in the past Porteges were only special/direct order availability, they were never offered in retail channels, so this marks a huge HUGE change in Toshiba's way of doing things. Oh, and it's like, 1/2 the cost of what Porteges in the past were going for, sometimes 3x less at that $800 price point.

Amazing... any way you look at it that's a significant improvement in many respects over the baseline MacBook at $999, I'd say. I'll bet the battery life works out to almost the same in real-word casual usage too. Might not have discrete graphics but, even so... fantastic machine from the specs.

ps
And yes Engadget harped on the battery life, supposedly 4:25 in their testing. Could require some power profile tweaking, etc - the i3 and newer CPUs are "new" enough that they haven't matured to the point where a Core 2 Duo has, etc. All sorts of reasons for it, honestly.
 
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heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
Ah yes, those 25th Anniversary Toshiba machines. The COOLEST one by a bunch, the Libretto W100. I'm doing everything I can so snag one at launch which is next month but it looks like they are going to VERY rare at first.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
4,004
Hey, I never said I bought Apple's claims! I know full well they're ideal conditions, albeit ones you can actually hit if you're careful (see AnandTech's MacBook Pro tests for an example).

The point is that the choice on the Windows side, right now, seems largely either/or. Either you get 20 hours of battery but have to scale back to specs that would only have been good three years ago, or you get a decent (or very good) performer which conks out in three hours at most. Certainly at retail, but even a lot of the direct-order systems suffer from that. What appeals about the MacBook is that it's in a middle ground that a lot seem to ignore.

As for balance, the GeForce 320M is much, much better than Intel's GMA architecture. It's closer to a low--to-mid-range dedicated GPU (probably closer to lower, but still). For a 13-inch system, that's well-balanced.

Before you go on: I will say the Toshiba R705 is a pretty hot machine for the price and features. The one buzzkill is the graphics: Intel video still rules out for a lot of tasks, even with a good CPU in the mix.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
Where to start with this. 320M much, much better than the on-chip Intel GPUs in the i3/i5? That's a stretch. Better ok, still nothing like even a low end dedicated GPU.

Look all I know is that I can get about 4 to 5 hours (can get more by turning off Aero and some other tweaks) on my tm2 running 3G under work tasks, Outlook, Visual Studio, OneNote and that's just not that much off from what I see MBP 13 users getting on average. An MBP 13 ain't tripling it for sure and I do have the option of switching out the battry and easily surpasing an MBP 13 disconnected.

Without precise useage specs this is all conjecture really. My tm2 will smoke an MBP 13 at gaming generally and runs great so this whole notion of giving up performance for battery life is just BS, you need SPECIFIC USES to prove this claim. Sure CPU itensive tasks would run better on an MBP, and kill your battery while doing it so sorry, you ain't gaining speed AND battey life no matter what machine you're using. Not even Steve Jobs can break laws of physics.
 
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pxc

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
33,064
320M much, much better than the on-chip Intel GPUs in the i3/i5? That's a stretch. Better ok, still nothing like even a low end dedicated GPU.
I'd say yes to both. The 320M *is* a lot better than Clarkdale graphics *and* it's inferior to some low end discrete GPUs (however it is faster than the discrete Mobility HD 5430, which has dedicated memory). ;)

GeForce 320M: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-320M.28701.0.html
Intel HD Graphics (Clarkdale graphics): http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Graphics-Media-Accelerator-HD.23065.0.html

There's no comparison really (games running at 1024x768 or 800x600):
Cinebench R10 shading 320M 3477 HD 2097
3DMark Vantage (no PhysX) 320M P1865 HD P339
BFBC2 (low) 320M 36fps HD 16fps
CoDMF2 (low) 320M 69fps HD 26fps
Risen (low) 320M 47fps HD 20fps
DIRT2 (low) 320M 43fps HD not playable (single digit fps scores are not shown)
Anno 1404 (low) 320M 59fps HD 26fps
etc...

I'm happy with my Mobility HD 4670. ;)
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
Those are a bit better numbers than I would have thought, fair enough. I imagine that its not that great for the battery life however.;)
 

Bman123

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
5,087
My last laptop got me 5-6 hours of battery life which honestly is more then enough for me, I just bought a new compaq cheapo laptop today for $299 so I'll have to see how this thing holds up on battery life. Its almost fully charged now, I'll test it tonight and see how it does.
 
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