Functionality – The Battery
It goes without saying that battery life is the lifeblood of a laptop. Therefore it’s important that we spend some time examining its performance.
The first test I performed on the batter was with a fully-loaded CPU at 1600MHz. I disabled any power-saving features and ran Sandra CPU loops in the background taking battery reading samples every 7 minutes.
As you can see above, the Presario V2410 lasted just over 1 hour under a full load with the WiFi enabled. Not so great in my opinion, but many of you will not be running the computer under such conditions unless absolutely necessary.
The next test I used the V2410 in general activities (MS Word, web surfing, and MP3 playing) with the WiFi antenna on for 1 hour and took battery charge readings every 7 minutes.
The results here are much better than the full load test previously. According to this test the battery should last over 2 hours under a normal work load with the WiFi turned on.
Finally, the last test is a conservative battery test under general usage (some word processing, web browsing, and forum posting). I turned down the brightness of the display to 50% of the maximum, and disabled the wireless.
These results surprises me and disappoints me at the same time. The battery life doesn’t seem all that good with just over 2 hours of light usage. I double-checked my power settings and everything is configured properly (CPU throttles correctly, power saving mode is sent to max battery etc.), so I can’t explain why the battery could be so poor aside from just plain poor battery life on the V2410.
What surprises me is that there seems to be no battery conservation with the WiFi antenna is turned off. The data above it would suggest that the Presario V2410’s antenna has no effect on battery drain which either implies that:
Broadcom has implemented an efficient network adapter, or
The laptop itself is so horribly inefficient that something else is draining any power savings
Either way, with just 2 hours of battery life the Compaq Presario V2410 is a far cry from the 3+ hours that are typical of Centrino laptops in the same price range.
Draining the battery alone is a useful statistic, but how long does it take to charge?
According to these results, the Presario V2410 charges at a rate of roughly 1% per minute. This equates to about 30 minutes of work time if you leave the laptop charging for 20 minutes.
The reason why I measured charging in a hibernated state is because the laptop did not seem to charge at all if I was using it while it was plugged in. After 20 minutes of usage the battery did not increase in charge. I found this odd, but perhaps I was impatient and should have waited for longer.