Samsung Q1 vs. Q1P: battery test

Discharge_1_1It’s been a few weeks since my initial Q1P battery life test (shown); that’s the one that got folks buzzing about an LED backlit screen in the Q1P. Is the screen LED backlit? I still don’t truly know even though I’ve had bunches of conversation with folks and even took my Q1P apart. I’ll spare you the gory pics because they looked identical to those when Sammy was in the buff last year.

LED backlighting or not, I’m getting more runtime from the Q1P as well as a 40% brighter screen. I’ve shot a note to Samsung’s PR folks inquiring about this, but two weeks have gone by with nary a response. Samsung’s Customer Service was up to the challenge, but PR is falling well short of my expectations. In any case, I ran a scenario past Steve Paine over at Carrypad and then executed it.

Let’s set the stage and tell you what I did:

  • Used Battery Eater Pro v.2.7 to run the units down from a full charge.
  • Calibrated the battery before running the test.
  • Used the same physical battery to keep the variables to a minimum.
  • Ran BE Pro in Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005 on each machine.
  • Put the 1 GB of RAM back in the Q1 so both machines had the same RAM.
  • Created a custom Power Management scheme that essentially used zero power management.
  • Set the Q1 at full brightness; the Q1P at 60% as that appeared to be the same brightness.
  • Disabled any power savings in the BIOS.
  • Disabled Speed Stepping in the BIOS of the Q1P.
  • Turned WiFi on for both units.

Essentially, there are two remaining major differences in the units: the 900 MHz Celeron CPU vs. the 1 GHz Pentium M CPU, and any potential backlight technology. I tried to configure these units as close as possible for the test. BEAR IN MIND: under this scenario, this should simulate pushing the UMPCs as much as possible for the near-absolute minimum runtime. As a result, the runtimes from the test may appear lower than you would expect, but remember, this simulates your usage of the UMPC full-out as long as possible. So what did we find?

Here’s a graph of the Q1 showing a runtime of 93 minutes:


Here’s a graph of the Q1P showing a runtime of 116 minutes. It should be noted the battery might not have had a complete charge as well, however, I’ll throw that out of the equation.


I think Steve said it best when I shot him the results: "So we’re seeing a 25% improvement. 15W drain with the Q1P. 18.7W drain with the Q1." That 25% improvement is relatively sizable, especially if you can apply it linearly in the real world as an example: 2 to 2.5 hours of runtime on a Q1 becomes 2.5 to 3.1 hours of runtime on a Q1P. That’s just a rough translation as usage conditions and power settings are all variable.

I’d still love to see some confirmation from Samsung on the Q1P backlighting, but even without that, here’s what we know:

  • At 280 nits, the Q1P screen is 40% brighter
  • Under nearly identical conditions, the Q1P runs around 25% longer than a similar Q1

This is certain to stir up more conversation, but quite honestly: it’s meant to. There’s gads of folks smarter than me that can understand the power technologies and approaches and there’s also oodles of people that are considering one or the other of these UMPCs, if not one from another manufacturer. The goal here was to provide as fair a comparison as possible and I hope it helps!

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