The Battery

Many see battery life as the most important feature of a laptop — for business people you may want to know if the laptop can last a flight across the country, or a student you may will want to know if the battery can last the morning set of classes before needing to be charged. After all the whole point of a laptop is being able to be mobile without being connected to any wires.

Asus provides three different batteries for the W5F which is one more than what most companies offer (most only have two batteries to choose from). You have the freedom to pick the battery that best fits your requirements and budget – 2400 mAh (4 cell), 4800 mAh (6 cell), and 7800 mAh (8 cell). The battery we have here in our review sample is the 4800 mAh battery.

So how long does the 6-cell battery last on the W5F? We perform three tests: Winstone Battery Mark 4.01, Battery Eater Pro, and DVD playback. Battery Mark v.01 is an older battery benchmark that uses MS Office to simulate a business workload. Battery Eater Pro loads the graphics, CPU and RAM and attempts to drain the system as quickly as possible. The DVD test is important since this is how many users pass the time with their laptop on long commutes.

Here are the results:

Test

Asus W5F

Compaq V2410

WiFi OFF – 50% brightness

Battery Eater Pro

1h 38m

1h 09m

BatteryMark 4.01

3h 39m

1h 39m

DVD Playback

2h 09m (normal)
3h 07m (dvd mode)

1h 31m

WiFi ON – 100% brightness

Battery Eater Pro

1h 35m

1h 09m

BatteryMark 4.01

2h 56m

1h 13m

Advertised Battery Life

4 hours

3 hours

Time to Recharge

2h 15m

2h 21m

On a full load, the W5F lasts 1 hour and 38 minutes which is a far cry from the advertised 4 hours. However, under a more reasonable office load and DVD playback, you get over 3 hours. Recharging time is reasonably quick at 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Power 4 Gear

To help conserve battery life, Asus has a feature called Power4Gear which are preconfigured profiles that vary in brightness, CPU speed, and screen-blanking/hibernating times. You can switch these profiles depending on your environment and usage. I tested a few of these features and it does help extend your time between charges. In the battery test above, you can see the effects of the DVD Power4Gear profile.

Asus W5F 12-inch Core Duo Notebook Review - Mobile  1

And to make your life easier, Asus included a Power4Gear hotkey so you can quickly switch modes instead of having to go through the software. It’s a minor detail, but it really makes a big difference in the usability of the power features.

Asus W5F 12-inch Core Duo Notebook Review - Mobile  2
The Power4Gear located above the F1 key quickly switches
power saving modes.

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