Power Supplies and Long Battery Life: One of Them Is Become Less Relevant

batteries2.jpgYou will of course always need a power supply to go with your notebook computer, however, the more long lasting your battery life is and the more features your notebook has to enhance the battery life the better off you’ll be.
As a side note, American Airlines recently announced their line of new Boeing 737-800’s, replacing their MD-80’s. This is American Airlines first new airplanes since 2001. You can see video of the planes here. Why am I mentioning an airplane? Well what is a first for American Airlines is that you’ll no longer need power adapters since these new planes come with 110V AC power ports available to customers.
While news of 110 AC power outlets is good news, especially for very long hauls, those of you with newer computers know that the battery life on notebooks is getting better and better. My beloved computer of about 3 years had an “extended” battery pack, but it could not last much longer than one to two hours. I’m now using a Dell Latitude E6400, on extended loan for review, and its extended battery life is over 4 hours.
With battery power this long, the need to ensure one has a power outlet is less of a concern.
It’s quite interesting the “little” things we do when we don’t have long battery life.
For example, I used to get on the train and scramble to find the nearest outlet in case the train was delayed too long and I needed to charge my battery and/or use the AC power, so I could keep working..
For flights that might last 8 – 10 hours, having AC power on the plane is good, but carrying an extra long life battery or battery “slice” means that you can compute your entire flight – no sleep and no airline movies.
The next time you’re in the market for a computer, have a look at how long the battery lasts. If you can borrow a friends computer and see how long the battery life lasts in the real world (not in a vendor’s lab) that’s even better.
Keep in mind that battery life is also quite affected by the power saving features embedded on the notebook, such as dimming the LCD when its running on battery power and more frequently shutting off the monitor when its not in use.