Battery Life

The Dell Venue 8 7000 is only rocking a 21 Whr battery, but the use of an OLED screen can complicate things. While an OLED uses only around 40% of the power of a traditional LCD in dark scenes, it can use as much as 3x the power when you are looking at an all-white image. Averages for the majority of content ranges from the 60-80% mark though, giving OLED a power advantage over LCD in general. Intel’s 22nm process technology is easily the most power efficient shipping today, and Dell and Intel collaborated for a long time on this product to really perfect power consumption and user experience.

First up is our PC Perspective Wi-Fi browsing battery test.

The PC Perspective Wi-Fi browsing battery life test uses a custom script on live web pages to cycle through a set of 30+ pages. We are using desktop-class webpages here though obviously Flash isn’t a factor. On a 30 second rotation, you may notice that some of our results are lower than manufacturer estimates; the key is to compare the devices relative to each other.

Things are looking up for the Dell Venue 8 7000 already with the best web browsing battery life of the four tested tablets. (The iPad Mini Retina result didn’t complete and continues to fail/crash during testing.) At over 9 hours of battery life with a 21 Whr battery, Intel has clearly tuned this iteration of the Z3580 platform for this goal. Second in our testing is the iPad Air 2 with a larger 27 Whr battery, but comes up nearly 2 hours short of the Venue result. Both of our Tegra K1 devices, the SHIELD Tablet and the Nexus 9, have significantly lower scores here, pulling in 6.5 hours each.

For our gaming battery life tests we use the GFXBench 3.0 integrated battery benchmark that loops through the T-Rex scenario 30 times and records battery drain to build an accurate estimate of total battery life. We start the test with the batter under 90% capacity but over 50% capacity.

Even though the Dell Venue 8 7000 has fairly low graphics benchmarks in our testing, the battery life for gaming is quite good. One of the benefits of a lower power consumption part is that you can get more livelihood out of that 21 Whr battery. And if the gaming performance is “good enough” then the result is positive. The iPad Air 2 comes in second with a 3.86 hour rating with the Tegra-based tablets coming in well behind. We have plans for some more interesting gaming testing in the near future that might shed a better light on real-world gaming and battery performance so stay tuned for that.

For our video playback battery life test we are using an Android application called simply "Video Looper" to loop through a 2 hour 4 Mbps H.264 video. We use the simple art of time lapse photograph to record the tablets playing the video and note the shutdown time for each unit. Screen brightnesses are again normalized at 180 lux.

We didn't get a chance to run the iPads through this test yet though we will be sure to do so for further reviews, but the Dell Venue 8 7000 once again proves that faster isn't always better. It is capable of a full hour more video playback than the Nexus 9 (that has a 4 Whr larger battery) and more than 5 hours more (!!) than NVIDIA's SHIELD Tablet with Lollipop.

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