Using the loaner ThinkPad x200 for my only computer during the week of the CES was a great experience. Lenovo makes ThinkPads to be great mobile computers and the pre-installed ThinkPad Power Manager utility proved that to me the entire week. Notebooks used on the go are reliant on the battery, as outlets are not handy. Fortunately, Windows 7 (s msft) allows tight control over all aspects of the system to eke out the most from a notebook’s battery. The key to make this work is a good power management utility, and the ThinkPad utility is the best I have used.
The ThinkPad Power Manager has two modes — a basic mode that provides a simple slider to adjust power consumption, and an advanced mode that provides total control of the system’s components. The utility is so well written that I find the basic mode the best method to control the power, meaning a simple slide of the control adjusts the entire system to the new setting. When I desire more power, I slide the control toward the “High performance” setting. Sliding the control toward the “High energy savings” end of the slider does exactly that. The screen dims, and all the system components are changed to use less power.
Using the power slider not only makes an immediate switch in the power consumption, but the utility also instantly tells you how many watts of power the system is using and how long the battery is estimated to last with the new setting. In my experience, this estimation is very accurate, and is a great gauge that allows me to always have the system optimally configured to balance between performance and battery life.