After speaking with Kevin Tofel about his battery tests with the MSI Wind, I decided to run Battery Eater a few more times to make sure we can get an apples to apples comparison. While I got 265 minutes of run time the first time I tried the test, I later realized that I forgot to disable Windows XP’s power saving features. So the display and possibly the hard disks shut down after about 15 minutes.
Odds are that in real world use, you’ll be operating your Eee PC with the display and hard disk on, so I ran the test again — twice. The first time, I set the Eee PC Super Hybrid Engine to high performance mode, which means the computer ran at 1.6GHz. The second time I set it to power saving mode (the same mode I used on the first test), which underclocks the PC to 1.2GHz.
In power saving mode with the display and hard disks constantly running, the battery died after 235 minutes, or just under 4 hours. When using high performance mode, that number dropped to 199 minutes, or about 3 hours and 19 minutes.
Keep in mind that Battery Eater is designed to stress the CPU a bit throughout the entire test. So if all you’re using your computer for is some light web browsing or document editing, you’ll probably get significantly better battery life, especially if you put it to sleep when you’re not using it for a few minutes or more. I’ve frequently gotten 5 to 8 hours of intermittant use out of my Eee PC without plugging it in. That’s not to say that you can actually run the machine for 8 hours straight, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see you get 5 to 6 hours.
Kevin should be posting his numbers for the MSI Wind soon so we can see how these two netbooks with 6 cell batteries stack up against one another. We’ll also be getting together soon to compare notes on the two netbooks. We had planned to do that Saturday, but tropical storm Hanna had other ideas.