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Summary:

Every time I get a new mobile device to evaluate I start getting asked "how long is the boot time?" by a lot of folks.  It’s invariable, get a new device, get asked about boot time.  I have to admit I don’t understand the importance of […]

Time_2Every time I get a new mobile device to evaluate I start getting asked "how long is the boot time?" by a lot of folks.  It’s invariable, get a new device, get asked about boot time.  I have to admit I don’t understand the importance of that question so maybe I’m missing something.  In years past how long it took Windows to boot up a given device was important because it was something we had to do every day.  You want to use a machine you have to start it up.  These days with sleep and hibernate on Windows, both XP and Vista, there is no need to boot devices on a regular basis.  I rarely boot Windows on the various devices I use because I don’t need to.  I put the devices to sleep at night and simply wake them up in the morning.  When I am going to head out with a device I put it to sleep and throw it in my bag.  I’d say the only times I routinely boot Windows are when some software installation or Windows Update requires me to reboot to finalize that process.  Otherwise I never boot Windows so why so many people are interested in how long a given device takes to boot up surprises me.  Why does it matter to you?

  1. Unfortunately sleep and hibernate don’t always work. It’s for those times when Vista decides to reboot your machine or when waking up from hibernation fails that we need good boot time.

    Just look at the EEEPC. One of the features people find most impressive is the quick boot time.

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  2. I never shut my machines down, I either sleep or hibernate. If updates force it I will reboot but other than that I don’t, I can’t see the advantage.

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  3. It all depends on the machine.

    For instance, with the Eee PC, the battery drains so much when the device is sleeping, it makes the entire process impractical. Because of this, the fast boot up on the Eee PC is a must. Without it, the Eee PC wouldn’t be nearly as useful as a portable device.

    On the flip-side. When I had a Macbook, I never shut the thing down. The deep sleep of a Mac is extremely useful. It’s about as close to an “instant on” computer as you can get, and the battery drain is non-existent.

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  4. Its funny that you bring it up that way, after reading your post I wonder why I was ever one of those “how fast it boots” people.

    In fact this was one of my big issues with the gOS on the Cloudbook. I have since installed XP on it, but also rarely if ever actually turn it off, instead just put it to sleep when its not in use.

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  5. Spot on, James. I’ve also wondered why boot time matters much in mobile devices. Like you, I rarely shutdown or reboot my laptops and UMPCs. Only time I reboot is when Windows update or installed software mandate it. I must be lucky, but all the laptops I’ve had recent years had zero problem in sleep or hibernation. I used to prefer hibernate, but these days I use sleep mode more often since with larger sized RAM becomes standard, hibernation takes too long to complete.

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  6. I’m a sleeper too. The only time I EVER use hibernate is if I don’t think my battery has enough juice to stay in sleep mode for a few hours, which is very rare. I’ll go weeks and weeks without choosing to reboot a PC, pending any required shutdowns for an update.

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  7. For us tech challenged guys… Just what are the meaningful differences between Sleep and Hibernate? eg… When would you use one vs. the other? How does it affect power usage?

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  8. Sleep saves your current computing environment into RAM memory which requires a very small power draw. While it will use your battery in this state, the advantage is: it goes into sleep in a few seconds typically and wakes up quickly as well.

    Hibernate saves the current computing state to the hard drive, which takes longer to do. It also takes longer to resume…a minute or two in some cases. The benefit over sleep: it uses no battery juice.

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  9. The boot time is really needless information to me. I put all my machines to sleep and they all wake up in a matter of seconds. I cant imagine the point of a mobile pc like if i had to wait more than 10 seconds to be able to see my desktop on the fly.

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  10. My 1GB/1.2GHz sub-notebook requires over three minutes to fully wake up from sleep mode. In addition, Vista can become twitchy after waking up — hardware buttons stop working properly, fingerprint scanner software hangs up the processor, etc. As a result, I usually idle the computer in low power state instead of putting it to sleep.

    Tasks such as checking calendar availability or recording contact information require instant-on capability. I want my mobile computer to wake up as quickly and dependably as a mobile phone. There is significant opportunity for improvement.

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