Laptop with Long Battery Life

Discussion in 'The Pub (Off topic discussion)' started by HalfEatenPie, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    HalfEatenPie
    Howdy,


    Since all yall know your stuff.  I might as well ask ya the following question:


    I'm thinking/looking into getting a cheap linux laptop that has a small and lightweight form factor and yet has a long battery life.  Originally I've been looking at Chromebooks, as the old Samsung 303C one I got running crosh and xfce4 seems to be struggling a bit.  I was looking at around the following spec wise:


    - quad core
    - 4 GB RAM (8 GB Preferred but it works)


    A specific "must have" is:
    - At Minimum 6 hours (preferably longer the better) battery life 
    - lightweight
    - Small form factor


    Any recommendation is appreciated.  Thanks! 


    Edit: An example of what I was thinking in terms of the form factor and lightweightness was something like  http://amzn.com/B00FNPD1VW.  I have a spare SSD drive so I can simply use that, however if it can't be changed then SSD would be preferred. 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2016
  2. willie

    willie New Member

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    Laptop cpus are usually dual core, with the exception of some expensive, power hungry models.  The one you linked to is dual core.  If battery life is important, I'd be wary of anything with an internal battery since they degrade over time.  You can get a netbook with a replaceable battery for under $100 on craigslist pretty easily.  Their cpus are slow but so is the one you linked to.  If you want something more serious, look for a Thinkpad X220 or X230 and get a 9 cell battery for it.  They run Linux very well.  They will be a bit bigger and more expensive than that Chromebook, but they're nice machines.  I have an X230 and take it all over the place and use it all the time.
     
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  3. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    Yeah thanks.  I edited my post mostly to talk about how I was talking about the form factor being like that, not the actual hardware. 


    Agreed with the battery part.  I've heard good things about Thinkpad X220 and X230 actually being very cheap and such.  Maybe it's definitely something I should look more into.  
     
  4. willie

    willie New Member

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    The X220/230 weren't exactly cheap when they were new, but you can find affordable ones on craigslist now.  The 230 probably has slightly better battery life (ivy bridge cpu) but will cost a little more and they messed up the keyboard layout in that generation. If you want something more upscale, look at the Dell XPS 13 developer edition, which is preconfigured with Ubuntu.
     
  5. QuadraNet_Adam

    QuadraNet_Adam Active Member Verified Provider

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    I'd say a 6 hour battery life is standard now for new laptops.


    Maybe look into the new Surface Book, they promise 12 hours of battery life.
     
  6. mikeyur

    mikeyur New Member Verified Provider

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    I'm not sure on the best Chromebooks of the latest batch, but I have an Haswell Celeron Acer C720 that lasts 9-10 hours. You might be able to find a used one for cheap of that model, or likely there are better models out now. Just avoid any of the Atom/ARM crap, stick to haswell celeron/i3 and newer.


    Haven't owned one, but have also heard good things about those X-series Thinkpads.
     
  7. Jonathan

    Jonathan Woohoo Administrator Verified Provider

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    I love my T530.  I can get a solid 6 working hours out of it, and can push it to 8-9.
     
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  8. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    Yeah previously was looking at a Chromebook Pixel. 


    However, now at the same price I can actually get a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. 


    However, for a few hundred more, it can be a Surface Pro 4. 


    Of course if I went the Surface Pro route, I'd probably keep it as a Windows machine and probably install Linux on my current laptop then instead.  


    So many options.  Originally was looking at the Thinkpad X201, however don't think it's worth it for the dual core low-level i5.  


    Man, it's one of those points where you're thinking "do I need more power? Or should I focus on more battery power."  Maybe bite the bullet and go for one of the newer ones with an Atom processor? 
     
  9. ChrisM

    ChrisM Cocktail Enthusiast Moderator Verified Provider

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    I get about 8-9 hours of battery Life out of my 15" MacBook Pro and I highly recommend it. 
     
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  10. willie

    willie New Member

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    One nice thing about the X230 (and I think X220) is the mini-DVI port that can run a 2560x1440 external monitor.  I used one of those for a while and it was great.  I don't know if the X201 has that.  The X201 iirc only supports 8gb max DRAM, while the 220 and 230 support 16GB.  The 230 is a little more modern than the 220 (Ivy Bridge cpu) but they messed up the keyboard layout and have stayed with the worse layout since then.  So there's an argument that the X220 is the best of the older X series.  The new ones have changed the physical design and are very nice but you'd have to pay a lot more for one.  I might get one as my next laptop (not real soon), though I also like the Dell XPS-13 as mentioned.


    Web pages have gotten more and more demanding of cpu.  Sometimes my X230 (dual core i5-3230M, 2.6 ghz) can barely keep up.  An Atom might be unusable.  I haven't tried browsing with one lately.  I hate the modern web.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2016
  11. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    Not interested in a Mac at all.  Thanks though mate.

    That's something very good to know.  Yeah the Dell XPS-13 is something that looks pretty nice physically and spec wise.  Most of the laptops on the cheaper-scale are all dual core.  I was thinking about something like the quad core or octo-core atom for a laptop but honestly I don't really know if there's one available like that.  


    If I did decide to bite the bullet and go big, it'd probably be the surface pro or the chromebook pixel.  I mean if I'm headed to another city for the day due to work, the biggest thing that usually worries me is the battery lasting long enough through the trip.  My chromebook has always been there working for me, but it really needs to be a bit more powerful.  The Dual core ARM CPU with 2 GB RAM just doesn't cut it anymore, even if I"ve used crosh and installed Ubuntu on it hehe. 
     
  12. willie

    willie New Member

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    The octo-core Atom that I know of has throughput in the same ballpark as a dual core laptop i5.  You're better off with higher single thread performance for stuff like browsers, which are the most demanding typical laptop app other than specialized tools like photoshop, plus games.  I don't count stuff like compilers since I usually run those on remote servers.  Quad core laptops exist for gaming and as mini-workstations but they are big and power hungry.  I think quad core conflicts with the idea of a small and low powered laptop.


    If you want to get a more spendy Thinkpad, look at the current X250 (Broadwell) or wait for the Skylake refresh which I'd expect soon.  It has an internal 3-cell battery and a removable 6 cell, which combine to give quite long runtime, and also you can hot swap the 6 cell pack while running from the 3-cell.  With the older X series you'd have to shut down the laptop to swap packs, but of course that beats a purely internal battery that you can't swap at all.


    I'd consider a pure internal battery to be a big minus, since batteries do lose capacity and eventually crap out with use.  It's nice to be able to replace them conveniently.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2016
  13. wlanboy

    wlanboy Content Contributer

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    Second that.


    Quad-Core vs battery life. If the fan spins up... heat is just burning the battery level. Same with i7 and a lot of i5 versions.


    I do my daily work and all my private stuff on my i3 Surface Pro 3. I tested the i5 version but the fan was working a lot and the i5 stepped down below the i3 level because of the heat. I did not ever hear my fan on the i3 through all the months, because it's not needed.


    So a lot of WLAN/mobile connections, a lot of typing, listening music, surfing, doing things in Eclipse and Visual Studio, etc. Battery life is about 10 hours. I do a lot of business trips too and I never needed the charger for day trips.

    I stopped buying marketing specs. I do my work and I look at the CPU stats. Even the i3 only spikes on youtube and compiler times. Through out the day the i3 idles.
    On the other hand the Atoms are just too small. A pain if you have to do some work.
    So Atom <<<<<<< i3 << i5.
     
  14. wlanboy

    wlanboy Content Contributer

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    Anyone found any new device?
     
  15. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    A bit old, but my Thinkpad X240 with the extension battery.  10 hours.  


    That was my solution to this issue.


    Now, I also purchased a Chromebook Pixel for my web browsing needs and that one works like a charm.  However, not as good of a battery as the Thinkpad X240, but it's still great.


    Overall, happy with my purchases. 
     
  16. webhostuk

    webhostuk New Member

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    Apple products the best to go when you need performance and battery life.
     
  17. asiadev

    asiadev New Member

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    My acer model th 2014 6hours stanby not browsing
     
  18. meganadz

    meganadz New Member

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    Also mine my Loptop Dell can handle long last 6-7 hours