|(From the AMD Blog) - A thought occurred to me as I filled my car up with gas recently. Afterwards I did what I always do: reset the trip counter to zero, which I do because even though the vehicle tells me how many miles until empty, that number is almost never accurate given where (or how) I might be driving. My car typically indicates 550 miles to empty, while my trip counter on average shows I actually get about 375 miles. I think we all accept the idea that there is not one answer to the question, “how many miles to the gallon?” We understand you need to ask whether the reference is to city or highway miles. As a member of my team puts it, there are “guard-rails” between which we know our cars operate. In the same vein, I think we are talking about battery life all wrong. In our discussions at AMD and our messaging on the subject, we’re going about it in the wrong way. And we’re not alone – see Rob Enderle’s thoughts on the matter here.
Have you experienced a difference between your devices’ actual battery life relative to what the manufacturer tells you to expect? I thought so.
I find people often ask what my battery life is on my 3G iPhone, and I tell them I don’t know because I always try and keep it charged. If you ask Apple they will tell you the 3G model has 300 hours of standby time but only about 5 hours of talk time – and less it you activate Wi-Fi, GPS or other features. Given this, it’s interesting to look at how PCs are rated on battery life. Typically you only get one number ? and most people have no idea what that number really means in terms of how they will actually use the device: is it city or highway, talk-time or standby? More to the point: does this number represent the PC’s battery life with the machine in use, or sitting idle?
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