Testbed and Methods
The tests were performed in a freshly installed Windows XP Professional SP2 operating system set up for the maximum performance and with a minimum of installed programs necessary for normal operation of the computer. We disabled the wireless and selected the “portable/laptop” power management scheme in which we prohibited to turn off hard drives and the monitor and to enable the screensaver and the standby mode.
The screen brightness was set at 120-130 candelas per sq. m for the battery life tests by means of an industrial luxmeter. This allows for better comparison than if we tested at the maximum screen brightness alone (the battery life measurements at the max and min brightness of the screen are also listed in the tables below).
Our selection of tests is quite traditional. To check out the performance of the notebooks in office and multimedia applications we ran Business Winstone 2004 and Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004. We also launched PCMark to measure the overall performance of the notebook as well as that of each of its main subsystems. 3DMark 01SE was run to evaluate the performance of the integrated graphics subsystem of the notebooks.
The last test is Battery Eater Pro 2.50 that measures the time of autonomous work in two modes (Reader’s and Classic), the difference between them showing the efficiency of the power management system setup of each notebook.
The only performance benchmark we performed when the notebooks were working on their batteries was PCMark whose results are listed in the summary table because they do not differ from the results which the notebooks have when connected to a wall socket. We already wrote in our earlier reviews that when the portable/laptop power management scheme is selected, the notebook automatically yields its full processing power when necessary and the results of the tests do not depend on the power source. Roughly speaking, the system settings in the Classic mode correspond to the settings of the Always On scheme, and in the Reader’s mode to the Max Battery scheme. That’s why there is not need to test each of these modes separately (we made sure of that again by checking the ASUS, Toshiba and HP notebooks on their batteries in Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004).