Not every netbook has great battery life. But Asus, Toshiba, Samsung, Acer, MSI, HP, and other computer makers are regularly putting out machines that can run for 6 hours or longer. Some netbooks can even run for as long as 10 hours on a charge, something that would have seemed impossible on a notebook a few years ago.
There are two ways to get this kind of battery life on a netbook. One is to use low power components like the Intel Atom processor. The other is to cram a high capacity battery into the netbook. While these 6 cell or larger batteries sometimes stick out like a sore thumb (see the HP Mini 1000 or Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 with extended battery options), these batteries can run for about twice as long as the smaller, lighter 3 cell batteries that ship with some netbooks.
As a consumer, it’s nice to have a choice between a lower capacity battery that sits flush with the netbook and provides 2-4 hours of battery life and a potentially ugly battery that will double the run time. But every now and again, a company decides not to bother giving you a choice. Most Asus netbooks ship only with high capacity batteries, for example, although the company generally makes sure they look reasonably attractive. Blogeee points out that Archos is one of the few companies that’s takig the opposite approach, but offering the Archos Mini 10s with only a 3 cell battery. There is no 6 cell option.
I suppose, the company may have decided that sticking with the 3 cell battery helps keep the size and weight down, while allowing Archos to sell the netbook for a lower price. But for power users, a 6 cell option would sure be nice. I imagine if Archos sells enough 10s netbooks, some third party battery maker will probably step up to the plate and create a battery for the laptop.
What do you think? Would you buy a netbook that didn’t come with an extended battery option? Does battery life even matter to you? How much battery life do you expect from your netbook?