Toshiba Netbook BIOS Upgraded, Battery Tests Coming Soon

Toshiba NB205Here’s a quick note on my Toshiba NB205 netbook which is dual-booting Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 7 Ultimate. Now that the Toshiba fully supports Microsoft’s newest operating system, I plan to run a battery test on each operating system. I had hoped to do that prior to now, but there were two things holding me back. I was waiting for Toshiba to provide its power management utility — which it made available last week — and I wanted to ensure I had the latest BIOS.

I’ve actually had version 1.60 of the BIOS since early September, but it simply wouldn’t install. Over the weekend, one of our readers told me he finally got his BIOS updated (thanks Hector!) by re-downloading it. I did the same, and it worked like a charm, so my netbook has the latest and greatest BIOS flashed on it. Come to think of it — I flashed the BIOS in Windows XP this time and don’t remember if my prior attempts were with Windows 7. Hmm…

I’ll likely run the Battery Eater test, which provides the minimum run-time of a device by stressing it out continuously. That’s probably going to take a good five to six hours for each of the two testing runs, so I’m hoping to have the comparison for tomorrow. After that, I’ll use the Toshiba NB205 all day in Windows 7 for my normal workday. That ought to provide a real-world usage scenario under Windows 7 which we can compare to the roughly eight hours of time I get with XP in the same situation. Why spend all these cycles testing the battery life? I read over the weekend that an ASUS 1008HA was tested in a similar fashion and the netbook gained an hour’s worth of run-time under Windows 7. That’s counter to what earlier reports were prior the Windows 7 launch, although at that time, I felt those observations were premature.

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