2013
02.10

I wrote most of this blog post while flying.  The ending was written in Florida.

When I bought a Windows 8 tablet, one of the things I had in my mind was trans-Atlantic travel.  My iPad 1 barely would make it from Dublin (Ireland) to the east coast of the USA.  Then I’d have to find somewhere to charge to make it to the west coast.  Inevitably, I’d end up having to watch the awful Disney movie on the flickering tube TV with a colour channel missing on the US Airways or Delta flight.

No more.  Windows 8 devices offered great battery life.  My SmarPC survived for over 12 hours one day while I surfed and worked.  Could it do as well playing movies?  Movies hammer the battery more because there isn’t as little time for rest.

Today I am flying from Dublin to Orlando, via London.  I charged the device overnight, topped it up in Dublin Airport, and have been surviving on batter since.  I’m expect a total journey time of just under 17 hours.  Obviously the device has to be off for some of that:

  • Boarding and take-off in Dublin
  • Landing and transfer in London
  • Boarding and take-off in London
  • Lunch during the London-Orlando flight

Will the tablet make it to landing in Orlando?  Ideally, I’d like to have some juice left there … just in case I need to get online to google or book something.

My usage so far:

  • Surfing, tweeting and email for about 20 minutes in Dublin
  • 2 episodes of a 22 minute comedy while traveling to London
  • Another 22 minute comedy in London
  • Numerous 42 minute shows in flight, followed by some reading, some emails, and blogging.

We are over Quebec right now, with about 4 hours 12 minutes to go.  My battery has 33% left.  It is around 12 hours since I topped up the charge in the tablet.

In Florida:

I’m in Florida now.  The batter got down to around 4% while we were still 2 hours out of Orlando.  While I might have gotten 12-13 hours out of the device with general usage, it is quite clear that watching videos does hammer the battery.  I dimmed the screen for the last hour or so but I don’t know if this made much or any difference.

Please keep in mind that there were airplane/security mandated shutdown/reboots and they probably sucked more battery than a simple sleep/wakeup.

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4 comments so far

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  1. Nice review Aidan. By the way, can you compare this with Surface?

    • Just did on a new post today. Any of the transformer models beat the Surface in my opinion. The clovertrails/ARM devices from 3rd parties beat Surface RT, and the i5 3rd party tablets beat the Surface Pro.

  2. I am sure the runtime would be much better if you had dimmed the brightness. That is the main thing that Apple talks about when they used to come into our school and do training with Staff and Students.

    Would be great to have a follow-up with you dimming the screen to 50%? And what you thought of the use while running with the screen brightness lowered?

    Thanks for posting the W8 stuff. Has been very helpfull with my product selection process.

    • In theory it should help by darkening the screen … but to be honest I haven’t needed it. I can get a full day of work done on my machine with 100% brightness.

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