I got my 3810T-8737 a few days ago and I love it! The default battery life with Ubuntu is great but I knew it could be better. I've managed to get my laptop down to 7.0-7.3W at idle. Here's how I did it:
(execute this as root or via sudo)
I also added "usbcore.autosuspend=1" to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT variable in /etc/default/grub (run 'update-grub' after making that change). I don't think that particular setting makes much of a difference.
# Author: Riskable
# Description: Enables every power saving feature I know of
# Enable Intel HD Audio power saving
echo 10 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save
echo Y > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save_controller
echo 1 > /dev/dsp # Gotta make a sound to turn it on
# Enable various kernel power saving features
echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
# Enable SATA power management
for i in /sys/class/scsi_host/*; do echo "min_power" > $i/link_power_management_policy; cat $i/link_power_management_policy; done
# Enable Wifi power management
/sbin/iwconfig wlan0 power on
# Enable the most aggressive hard drive power savings
hdparm -B 1 -S 12 /dev/sda # Note: May not work on the Acer Timeline's hard drive
Here's why I think we can't get power usage below 7W in Ubuntu: ACPI fan control. The fan is ALWAYS ON with this laptop--for some reason the BIOS doesn't turn it off on its own (ever). I suspect this problem won't be fixed until Acer releases a BIOS update that fixes whatever the problem is.
As for getting power usage below 6W, I'm not sure what else can be done. I suspect that Acer did something with its Windows drivers to get it down that low. They need to be more transparent about this so Linux hackers can get these features working as well.