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Thread: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

  1. #1
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    I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    I am starting to get the the market for a new computer and I like the idea of a System76 one but the battery life of the systems have never been all that great (whether it is hardware, kernel, software, etc. doesn't matter).

    Is there any way a battery life rating for the release that it comes with, could be included on the website for easy comparison sake? Read older posts and the average was 3 hours a year or two ago, but has that changed? I don't want to have to badger the forums every time I want to research this and people unfamiliar with it will just move along.

    I see that the Darter UltraThin has a 5 hour battery life but it makes sense to display this because the machine is built for portability. If the others would have it listed under the specs, it would be available and noticed only by the people who this is important. Ballpark figures are fine, too.

    If I see the Bonobo Extreme with 3 hours I can understand that (it's huge and powerful) but what about the Kudu Professional? Do I sacrifice power but get battery? Does the Galago UltrPro outlast the Gazelle Professional or vice-verse?

    Absence of information will turn some people away, but stating it quietly in the technical specs sheet may bring some in.

    Also, if there is the option for an extended battery, that may make the difference to some people ("Oh, it has 3 hour battery life standard but 5 hours with an extended battery? So I can get it with a 5 hour battery life and that's enough for me." *ka-ching!*)
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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    Here's the paradox: If they put an optimistic battery life number, nobody would believe it, and those with the machine would complain that they only get 1/2 of the rated battery life. If they put the real battery life in the specifications, nobody would buy it.

    Everyone wants desktop performance on a portable machine--that means power and that means short battery life.
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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by tgalati4 View Post
    Here's the paradox: If they put an optimistic battery life number, nobody would believe it, and those with the machine would complain that they only get 1/2 of the rated battery life. If they put the real battery life in the specifications, nobody would buy it.

    Everyone wants desktop performance on a portable machine--that means power and that means short battery life.
    I'd rather know beforehand what I am getting and while the battery life will be a factor, it isn't necessarily going to make-or-break a deal. Especially if the battery life is comparable to other systems.
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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    Battery life doing what? There is a big difference between working on a spreadsheet and watching 1080p video... So anything they list would be way off...

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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by houstonbofh View Post
    Battery life doing what? There is a big difference between working on a spreadsheet and watching 1080p video... So anything they list would be way off...
    What they could do, though, is maybe have their employees use the laptops day-to-day for a while, and record how the battery performs. Then they average them all, and post that number with the explanation about how they came to that conclusion.
    It's not a perfect solution, but it would help with giving a better estimation.

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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by houstonbofh View Post
    Battery life doing what? There is a big difference between working on a spreadsheet and watching 1080p video... So anything they list would be way off...
    Where do other laptop providers get their numbers from? Follow the same or similar methods.
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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by houstonbofh View Post
    Battery life doing what? There is a big difference between working on a spreadsheet and watching 1080p video... So anything they list would be way off...
    This basically sums up why we can't give accurate battery life estimates on our website. We see e.g. 3.5 hours per charge on the Galago while doing web browsing and office-type work, but that isn't necessarily relevant to most people. On top of that, it's possible to change settings and increase or decrease battery life.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaimyoKirby View Post
    What they could do, though, is maybe have their employees use the laptops day-to-day for a while, and record how the battery performs. Then they average them all, and post that number with the explanation about how they came to that conclusion.
    It's not a perfect solution, but it would help with giving a better estimation.
    That's roughly how we end up with the estimates we do have. We just don't really put them on the website (for the reasons mentioned above). You have to be careful about how many people use it though, or you still end up with wildly inaccurate estimates anyway.
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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    What method does HP, Dell and Lenovo use to determine their battery life?

    Heck, even if you take a movie file placed on constant replay and have a timer keep track of it would give at least something duplicatable (if you use the same movie) between System76 devices. I see some vendors advertising one battery life for general use, and another for video playback.

    Ballpark figures work well, too.
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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    here what kind of scenario we'd show for bettery life :


    - Reload a Web page on Wifi every 10 secondes, 30% brightness

    - Play a 1080 video H264 full brightness.


    If every Ubuntu manufacturer gives those two values then you could compare.

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    Re: I wish the System76 site included battery life for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbite View Post
    What method does HP, Dell and Lenovo use to determine their battery life?

    Heck, even if you take a movie file placed on constant replay and have a timer keep track of it would give at least something duplicatable (if you use the same movie) between System76 devices. I see some vendors advertising one battery life for general use, and another for video playback.

    Ballpark figures work well, too.
    Big-box manufacturers typically get battery life in Windows, using MobileMark (or some other battery benchmark program) with many different types of testing settings. Some will turn the screen brightness way down and have WiFi and bluetooth off and all background processes closed. So if you want the laptop to be a picture frame while on an overnight long-haul flight, you'd be all set.

    Really, it's just far too variable for us to feel comfortable putting something up. If we advertise it, people with high demands will be disappointed when it doesn't meet their expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by freechelmi View Post
    here what kind of scenario we'd show for bettery life :


    - Reload a Web page on Wifi every 10 secondes, 30% brightness

    - Play a 1080 video H264 full brightness.


    If every Ubuntu manufacturer gives those two values then you could compare.
    Even that isn't really the best test. 30% brightness can vary wildly depending on the screen. Even amoung our own range, that runs around 120 nits on the Galago and Kudu, 100 nits on the Darter, and 200 nits on the Gazelle. Same sort of differences at full brightness, except amplified. The Gazelle matte display is nearly twice as bright as the Darter.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
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