Notion Ink Rohan Shravan made headlines recently when he claimed that the company’s upcoming Adam tablet would be able to run for 15 hours on a charge, providing better battery life than the Apple iPad or pretty much any laptop on the market. Now he has released a clarification, suggesting that he was getting 15 hours the way he was using it… but that it’s physically possible to discharge the battery in just 6 hours, by working the heck out of the CPU.
For instance, if you crank the screen brightness and volume all the way up and continuously play 1080p video, you’ll probably get 6 hours of battery life. The same goes for playing YouTube videos, streaming 3D Maps over 3G with GPS on, recording and streaming HD video over WiFi, or playing augmented reality 3D games using the camera and a wireless connection.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get 15 hours of run time. But Notion Ink isn’t guaranteeing it. To get best results, Shravan says you’ll want to get a machine with a Pixel Qi display, use earphones when possible, keep the brightness and volume down, and so on.
Really, what it comes down to is that like a smartphone, your battery life will vary greatly depending on what you’re using it to do. This is true with x86-based laptop computers as well, of course, but to a much lesser degree. 6 to 15 hours is a pretty wide range… much larger than I’m used to seeing on laptops.