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Method 2 requires that you purchase special licensed software like Mobile Mark. This test gives out the time your notebook will last when running specific applications, which are often not very resources-hungry. Sometimes it is not easy to estimate the battery life time in a game like Unreal Tournament using the data you get in this test. Mobile Mark also offers a reader’s test that emulates an average user reading a text file page by page; its results show how much your notebook can last on its batteries under the smallest workload.

These two methods imply that you’ve got a testbed for running the test, but you can hardly have one until you buy a notebook.

So there remains only one way for you to get this kind of information about the notebook you intend to purchase – Internet reviews (that is, if you cannot borrow the device from a friend of yours for a while). Until recently, however, you could only find the data on a notebook’s battery life in specific applications included into the testing program used by the tester/reviewer. Battery Eater is an attempt to solve this problem.

Extolling Battery Eater

Let’s start from the very beginning, to be more exact, from the size of the distributive. First of all, Battery Eater is small, occupying just a single diskette (for note: Mobile Mark takes as much as 2 compact-discs). By the way, an owner of a sub-notebook may find himself disabled as his computer doesn’t have a CD-drive. Of course, such media as flash drives solve this problem, but it’s anyway easier to transfer a 1MB file than a 1GB distributive.

Some people may say that this comparison is not correct, as the two testing programs are quite different and belong to different “weights”, but I think this is appropriate: both serve the same purpose – measuring the notebook’s battery life time.

Next thing is installation of this program and its uninstallation after you finish testing. Battery Eater doesn’t in fact require any installation – just copy its files into any folder, that’s all. To wipe the program out from your hard drive, just delete this folder. Mobile Mark, on the contrary, should be installed as a fully-fledged application. Moreover, it installs cut-down versions of many popular programs like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office (I haven’t checked what happens if you already have a full version of this very Microsoft Office on your computer). The installation process takes much longer of course, and after you uninstall Mobile Mark, some folders are still left behind (with those cut-down versions of office programs) that you should kill manually.

One more disadvantage of Mobile Mark is its continuing work when an error occurs. After that it doesn’t produce any results, but informs you about the incorrect test termination without giving any explanation. Well, the older version of Battery Eater made the same error sometimes, as the notebook would shut down right at the moment when the program was updating the report file. However, this problem was eliminated in the next version of the test thanks to the users’ feedback and the immediate reaction on the author’s part.

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