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Summary:

I’ve been reading comments here and there on the web about less battery life when running Vista and just got a note from Hector along the same lines. Hector tells me that he’s using the Samsung Q1 with the 6-cell battery and notices that the OS […]

Vista_powerI’ve been reading comments here and there on the web about less battery life when running Vista and just got a note from Hector along the same lines. Hector tells me that he’s using the Samsung Q1 with the 6-cell battery and notices that the OS reports a difference in the remaining runtime:

  • XP Tablet Edition 2005: between 6:50 and 7:25 on a full charge.
  • Vista: 5:49 on a full charge.

Just for kicks, I did the same on the Q1P with the 3-cell battery (WiFi on) a few minutes ago:

  • XP Tablet Edition 2005: between 2:49 and 3:02 on a full charge
  • Vista: 2:17 on a full charge

The Windows Vista Team Blog mentions that Vista sets the WiFi adapter power settings at "Maximum Performance", which could be the culprit, although the blog post indicates that this setting has nothing to do with additional battery drain. ArsTechnica delves into the details as well and alludes to a newly implemented "sleep" mode in the 802.11 spec. I’ll be doing additional research but I’d be curious to see what current Vista RTM users are finding.

  1. Kevin,

    Bizarrely, perhaps, on the Asus R2H, I’m getting about 20 minutes more reported on a fully charged battery than I did with XP. I have had no time to really test this or look into it further, but it does fly in the face of what most others are seeing.

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  2. Unfortunately the extended battery for my P1610 arrived the day before I installed Vista, so I didn’t get a chance to test it under XP. With a full charge on Vista though, I’m getting about 5 1/2 hours of battery – a far cry from the “9am – 3:30pm with 58 minutes remaining” report that James gave back in November.

    This is with the screen at about 50% brightness, WiFi on, and BT off. I’ll be taking it to Chicago for a 4 day business trip next week, so we’ll see how it does using Bluetooth with my BlackJack and WiFi off. Rather disappointing so far, and if a magical solution doesn’t appear soon I may go back to XP – I’d trade off Vista for a couple of hours more of battery life any day of the week, since as it stands I probably won’t make it through an entire day after draining both the standard and extended batteries. Of course if the stupid screen toggle button actually toggled the backlight under Vista instead of just turning it off, I could use that as I did under XP to extend the battery life by disabling the backlight when I’m not using the machine – but having to lift the screen to reach beneath it and use the hotkeys to turn the backlight back on is more of a pain than it’s worth.

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  3. Warner are you sure you didn’t get the “R-squared-H” model? I hear that one increases performance exponentially! ;) Seriously, that’s very interesting and more of what I would have expected. Vista is touted to have more performance and power savings, not less….

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  4. Ok, I’m out.

    I just plugged my P1610 back in and noticed that it is no longer charging the battery. If I hover over the battery icon it says “plugged in, not charging”. I have the same issue on my son’s laptop (which is also running Vista), and up until now I just thought that it was a bad battery that needed to be replaced – I didn’t think about it being a Vista problem. A quick search on Google turned up several hits from other people having the same problem though, and that’s pretty much it for me – Vista looks pretty and has some nice new features, but frankly I’m just not interested enough in it to put up with it any longer. Reduced battery life, noticeable performance hit, games that don’t work (an issue on my son’s machine), ridiculously long amount of time to open large installation files (because of the UAC – also only really a problem on my son’s laptop and there are workarounds, but it all piles up), and now charging issues. No way I’m going out of town on business with a laptop that might decide to stop charging its battery!

    Not sure if it’s related, but the only thing I changed before plugging it back in was to install the Fujitsu-supplied wireless driver. I have been just using the Vista drivers for the Atheros card, but hoped that maybe the Fujitsu driver had some different power management options (it doesn’t). Don’t know why that would make the machine stop charging the battery, and at this point I’m done wasting time on it – back to XP for me…

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  5. Kevin.

    What run times are you getting? Are they different in Vista and XP or is it just a difference in the battery life reports?
    This is still an open question from the ‘LED Screen’ tests of a few weeks ago.

    Regards
    Steve.

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  6. Dave Z, like most people, I don’t have my PC on all day while I’m running around, although I probably do have it on most of the time when I’m stationary. I think the “not charging” phenomenon you mention is by design, I saw the same thing under both XP and Vista. The Fuji apparently won’t start charging the battery until it drops below ~95%. I believe this is by design to protect from over-charging, perhaps in light of all the exploding batteries that have been in the news. I have watched this for weeks and this is always the case. Let it drop below that magic level and it will start charging again.

    Re: the lower battery times in Vista. I haven’t been running it long enough to give real-world impressions but I too see ~25-30% lower battery remaining time reported by Vista over what I experienced with XP. I had intended to write this up but Kevin beat me to it. My gut feeling is that Vista does shorten the battery life over XP, enough to notice too. I expect we should start hearing about this all over the web soon.

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  7. MathProfJohnson Tuesday, February 6, 2007

    JK, Thanks I noticed that with my 1510 and didn’t know the magic # 95%

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  8. Wow, this is really interesting. But I think that we need some facts. The task bar battery prediction time is not that accurate to take it seriously.

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  9. jk and Dave Z. I agree with jk’s point about not charging if the battery is above a certain level. I’ve seen this on several machines. It is a designed behavior to prevent over charging. I do not know one way or the other if that level is 95% or so.

    Kevin, I agree, that would be the expected behavior. I just wish I had had the foresight to do some more testing before leaving XP for Vista on the R2H.

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  10. Well mine was at 90% when it refused to charge, so I’m not sure if it was that or if something else was going on (or maybe it’s 90% and not 95%?). I deleted the Microsoft AC Adapter device and rebooted, and it’s now charging again. I did the same thing on my Averatec laptop (the other one running Vista – that one was down to 20%) and the battery didn’t start charging again until I pulled the battery and put it back in, which I had tried before with no luck. But now both machines are charging like they are supposed to.

    I found a post on another site from someone who suggested deleting the AC adapter device, so apparently something is going on there.

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