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February 18, 2013

Chromebooks and Battery Life

There's something wrong about the latest Chromebooks: battery life. Cr-48, Google's prototype hardware, had a 63Wh battery that provided more than 8 hours per charge. Samsung's first Chromebook had a similar battery that provided "up to 8.5 hours of continuous use".


For some reason, a few months after introducing the Series 5 Chromebook, Samsung switched to a different battery: 41Wh and only 6.5 hours of use. The updated Series 5 Chromebook, which uses a Celeron processor, has a battery with a larger capacity: 51Wh, but the same battery life. Samsung's latest Chromebook, which uses a Cortex A15 chip, has a 30Wh battery and the same battery life because the ARM chip is more efficient.

What about the latest offerings from Acer, Lenovo and HP?

- Acer C7: 37Wh, 2.5Ah, 3.5 hours battery life
- HP Pavilion: 35Wh, 2.55Ah, 4.25 hours battery life
- Lenovo X131e: 6.5 hours battery life.

It's not clear why the latest Chromebooks no longer have a great battery life, but the new batteries are obviously cheaper and lighter. Google's Chromebook features page no longer mentions the word "battery", even if this was one of the main selling points for the first Chromebooks.

12 comments:

  1. This has been something that bothers me a lot too. Chromebooks have a very major flaw as per the general audience. No ability to run even simple apps. SO, it needs to have one solid differentiating factor (along with malware free zero maintenance product) and that has to be battery life.

    It’s a shame that Tablet PCs can give battery life of up to 10 hours, Chromebooks are still struggling to cross 6 hours. HP of course has the worst product out. They did not even bother to create a customized product. Just installed Chrome OS on an existing model and launched it.

    Chromebooks does not need 320GB hard disk drives. They need to be treated as Android Tablets by these companies. Create products with good processing power and excellent battery life. And you would gain customers.

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    1. I think “malware free zero maintenance product” is in fact the one solid differentiating factor you are looking for …

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    2. At least for now. If it ever enter the mainstream then security flaws will be found and use to infect us with Malware, viruses, trojans and spyware.

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    3. However, the HP Chromebook you mention keeps costs down by using the same design as before, as it doesn't mean they need to design a new Laptop or change the amount of production they were making. Ergo, cheaper product.

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  2. I received one of the Beta laptops and my battery doesnt work at all. I have to keep it plugged in to continue to use the Chromebook. No clue on why.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, I know this sounds weird, but I had the same problem with my CR-48. I was told to remove the battery and stick it in the freezer overnight and it would work again. Much to my surprise, it worked and has worked flawlessly since then. If that does not work, you can try the little reset button on the bottom, hold it for 1-30 seconds with battery in, then remove battery and reinstall battery. Good luck!

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  3. This is too bad, the battery in the CR-48 allowed me to work up to 10 hours some days, not even taking a charger with me for a full day around the city.

    @don I had a project with 70+ of the original Chromebooks. Many of them had battery failures. Changing the battery seemed to allow that laptop to work again, though we never found a fix and I doubt it's possible to purchase additional batteries at this point.

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    Replies
    1. curious - what project called for 70 and more chromebooks? And why where they chromebooks and no substitutes?

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  4. Technology really changes wildly and fastly due to the competition in electronics giants.

    http://www.dealaboo.com

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    Replies
    1. True. Its a fast moving and changing world so better walk with it or you will be left behind.

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  5. I think the battery life was aimed at all day use in schools, but Google found that 6 hrs continuous use was fine for this because of the fact that Chromebooks sleep and resume instantly thereby prolonging battery life compared with Windows/Macbook laptops, and because real life use in schools isn't continuous. 6 hrs therefore became standard.

    The Acer C7 is a repurposed Windows laptop hence the hard drive. The battery is replaceable, so presumably schools would be supplied with a 6 hr battery.

    It would be nice to have a 10 hr battery option with the ARM based Samsung series 3 Chromebook though.

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  6. Why dont we can have BOTH ARM cpu AND big battery? Just hate it when deive shut downs in matter of several hours...

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