Evolve III introduced a triple boot tablet earlier this year called the Maestro that could run Windows, Android, and Maemo Linux. Now the company is pitching an updated model called the Maestro S which moves from an Intel Atom N475 Pine Trail processor to a new Intel Atom Oak Trail chip, making the Maestro S the first device I’m aware of that’s designed to run Windows 7, Android, and MeeGo.
The tablet has a 1.5 GHz Intel Atom Z670 processor, a 10.1 inch display, 2GB of RAM and a 32GB solid state disk. But one of the most interesting items on the spec sheet is the battery life chart. With identical hardware, Evolve III says the Maestro S will run for:
- 10+ hours with Windows 7
- 16+ hours with Android
- 18+ hours with Maemo (or MeeGo)
UMPC Portal notes that this is likely because of the way the different operating systems take advantage of the power saving features in Intel’s Oak Trail platform. The chip is capable of disabling components that aren’t currently in use, providing something closer to the “always on” capabilities found in ARM chips by allowing devices to download notifications and other data from the internet while running in a very low power, almost sleep-like state.
Windows 7 isn’t optimized for this type of performance, but Android and MeeGo were both designed to run on smartphones and similar mobile devices.
You can check out a video of the Evolve III Maestro S in action from Computex after the break.
It doesn’t seem hard to fathom that the OS with a large amount of Intel backing – and a much larger x86 focus than android – will have the best power management on Intel hardware…
Especially as Intel has quite a background in pushing efficient power-management in Linux in general.
One of the problems Windows and power saving have with one another is Super Fetch. The OS is constantly trying to cache data in memory all the time in anticipation of user input, and the CPU is constantly ping’d to manage that, hence it doesn’t stay in the Wait 0 idle state as long, which in turn impacts battery life.
In general this meets with my expectations. Windows 7 isn’t optimized for idle work loads. It’s always trying to do something, and since it loads far more services, and those services are always active even when applications aren’t… Well there’s another issue.
Hopefully the increased modularity of Windows 8 goes a long way to addressing this, but we might see the limitations of trying to shoe horn a desktop operating system onto a low power unit as well.
Time will tell. I’m just amazed that Windows 8 doesn’t look like a COMPLETE non-starter on tablets, even though in my head that legacy application support is going to be a huge issue.
I agree with Chippy, the OS needs to be taking advantage of the power saving features to properly optimize run times and that explains the differences in run times for each OS.
Incidentally, this is one of the concerns for Windows 8. Since simply running on ARM doesn’t ensure improved run times if they don’t optimize the OS fully for the hardware.
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