Battery Life and Power Consumption

The battery life on the Eee 1201N is fairly good, but a bit less compared to a standard netbook or even a ULV notebook like the UL50 Ryan used in the NVIDIA Optimus review.

To test the battery life, we run the battery to 6% of capacity and disable any screen dimming or shut-off. This means that the system is running a full workload until Windows 7 shuts down giving you the total amount of work hours for the battery.

Asus Eee 1201N ION Review - The Netbook. Supercharged. - Mobile 53

With a work load time of just over 3 hours under different applications, the Eee 1201N should be good enough for a day of work without plugging in (assuming you have all the power-saving features enabled). However, you may want to keep your power cable at hand in case you find yourself running out of juice.

Asus provides Super Hybrid Engine which gives control over different performance profiles for different work situations. The documentation of this feature is poor, and there’s no way for the user to really understand how each profile is different.

Using CPU-Z, I was able to monitor changes to frequencies as profiles are switched:

  • Super Performance:
    • 136MHz Bus frequency (+3 MHz)
    • 408 MHz mem (+8 MHz)
  • High Performance:
    • 136MHz Bus frequency (+3MHz)
    • 400 MHz mem (0 change)
  • Power Saving:
    • 133MHz Bus frequency (0 change)
    • 400 MHz mem (0 change)
  • Battery Saver:
    • 133MHz Bus frequency (0 change)
    • 400 MHz mem (0 change)
    • Screen dim 60%

The differences in the different performance profiles are minor and it is unlikely you will notice any real performance changes. There may also be other optimizations occuring under the hood (like disabling unused ports and devices), but there’s no way to tell using the tools at our disposal.

Power Consumption

Netbooks are long regarded for their superior power consumption, or lack thereof. For this test we use Asus’ different power profiles and measure the power drawn under different applications.

Asus Eee 1201N ION Review - The Netbook. Supercharged. - Mobile 54
*Battery mode was emulated by using the Power Save profile and dimming the display 60%.

From the above sampling, we can see that streaming video consumes more power than playing back H264 encoded media from the local hard drive. The highest recorded power draw is 25W during HyperPi using the slightly overclocked “Super Performance” profile.

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