Computer technology has come a long way since the early days. Super-fast processors and massive storage space are a couple of specs that have been greatly improved over the years.
You can even get a light-weight laptop that is faster and more powerful than what you would have found in a bulky desktop in the early 1990s. The battery life of a laptop has also made major strides. At least that's what some manufacturers would like us to believe, but are they being honest?
Are laptop manufacturers exaggerating battery life?
When you're in the market for a new laptop, hard drive capacity, processor speed, system memory (RAM) and battery life are some of the major factors that help make your decision. It turns out that several of the top manufacturers are exaggerating its laptop battery life.
A recent study by Which? shows that many of the top manufacturers are overstating the amount of time its battery will last between charges. In some cases, the estimated battery life was almost double what the actual battery life was.
Over the past year, Which? tested 67 laptop models from seven manufacturers. Researchers completed these tests by draining the battery from full charge until it died, at least three times for every laptop. Testing involved browsing the internet over Wi-Fi and watching movies until the battery shut down.
Out of the seven laptop manufacturers tested, Apple was the only one to meet expectations. In fact, Apple exceeded its battery life expectation of 10 hours by lasting an average of 10 hours and 15 minutes. Here is a comparison chart of each company's claimed battery life versus its actual battery life.
|Claimed battery life||10 hours||7 hours 53 minutes||10 hours 12 minutes||9 hours 15 minutes||9 hours 48 minutes||6 hours 41 minutes||7 hours 58 minutes|
Actual average battery life
|10 hours 15 minutes||5 hours 59 minutes||6 hours 53 minutes||5 hours 12 minutes||5 hours 2 minutes||4 hours 34 minutes||4 hours 45 minutes|
As you can see from the chart, Dell and HP were the worst offenders. Both companies' actual battery life fell well short of its claims.
In response to this study, Dell told Which?, "It's difficult to give a specific battery life expectation that will directly correlate to all customer usage behaviors because every individual uses their PC differently. It's similar to how different people driving the same car will get different gas mileage depending on how they drive."
HP said setting selections like screen resolution will impact battery life, making it different for each user.
Here are some specific model test results:
- Apple MacBook Pro 13 - Claimed battery life: 10 hours. Actual battery life: 12 hours
- Dell Inspiron 15 5000 - Claimed battery life: 7 hours. Actual battery life: 3 hours 58 minutes
- HP Pavilion 14-al115na - Claimed battery life: 9 hours. Actual battery life: 4 hours 25 minutes
- Lenovo Yoga 510 - Claimed battery life: 5 hours. Actual battery life: 2 hours 7 minutes
Battery life probably isn't the ultimate feature that you're basing your purchasing decision on, but it is good to know how companies stack up. Start by finding the best features that fit your needs and go from there.