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smashedapart
Mar 14, 2003, 12:16 PM
From the San Jose Mercury News (http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/5382861.htm):
In other words, the industry is getting closer to bringing us a nice screen, a strong battery, a wireless Internet connection and a built-in CD-burner, all in a package that won't break our backs when we lug it around.

...

The first hint of this laptop revolution came two years ago when Apple Computer introduced the Titanium PowerBook. The inch-thick marvel sported a 15-inch wide screen and a built-in slot-loading CD/DVD drive; unlike many other 2-year-old laptops, the TiBook still looks current. In February, Apple followed with the TiBook's little brother, the 12-inch PowerBook.

This time, however, Apple has company.

Witness the IBM ThinkPad T40, a sophisticated black laptop built for business. Like the TiBook, it's an inch thick. But it not only weighs a pound less, in battery tests it smokes the TiBook and the 12-inch PowerBook.

"The industry is getting closer"?? Mac users have had laptops like this for 2 years now. Why is this only NOW being called innovation? Because it only applies to the PC world?

I'll give them the battery life argument, but until this week, Apple's laptops had the longest battery life of any laptop on the market (PowerPC vs. Intel/AMD). In fact, one of the reasons I switched is because the iBook I purchased would last 4 hours on one charge just as it was advertised. My NEC laptop wouldn't last a full 30 minutes, although it was advertised at 2.5 hours.

I think the person who wrote this article will be eating his words when Apple moves to a portable PowerPC 970 in the Powerbook line. That processor will allow for much longer battery life, cooler operation, and much faster speeds (dual core Powerbook, anyone?). Apple's not done with the laptop market yet. The AlBooks are just the start.

Hemingray
Mar 14, 2003, 01:37 PM
I was about to start a new thread on battery technology when I read this, and I think this safely falls under your topic, so I'll go ahead and ask the question:

Has anyone heard of any advancements in the area of laptop battery technology? Is there a better battery that Apple could be using?

I'm really curious, and I couldn't really find anything on the web to address this issue. It seems to me that we've been stuck in sort of a rut for several years now in terms of battery life, or am I wrong?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

wdodd
Mar 14, 2003, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by Hemingray
Has anyone heard of any advancements in the area of laptop battery technology? Is there a better battery that Apple could be using?
I didn't come with links but the most recent thing in production is lithium polymer which lets manufacturer's mold the battery shape to fit into any available space which opens up some opportunities for mobile devices.

The other thing that is being worked on is fuel cells, which were recently approved for use on airplanes. They are hoping the technology will offer about a 10x improvement over existing batteries.

pdham
Mar 14, 2003, 02:16 PM
However... look at the prices for the think pad t40. A 1.5ghz with 256 ram and a smaller screen carries the same $2,300 price tag as the Tibook 867. Maybe the pc world will start to realize that if they want the quality of apple they can kiss their vastly lower price tags away.

Paul

ibookin'
Mar 14, 2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by pdham
Maybe the pc world will start to realize that if they want the quality of apple they can kiss their vastly lower price tags away.

Paul

Exactly. I configured a Dell Widescreen Laptop to make it similar to the 15" PowerBook, and the price came to about $3300. More than the 15 1GHz. the Dell doesn't even have a DVD Burner...

smashedapart
Mar 14, 2003, 03:39 PM
Here's an article at The Register (http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/29590.html) that talks about Toshiba and their use of fuel cells in laptops. Supposedly, they're showing off this new tech at CeBit, but I haven't heard anything about it yet. This article says that the battery life is still only around 5 hours though. I think that a better battery technology, fuel cell or otherwise, combined with the portable 970 could help a great deal as far as longevity goes.

As for the price of the aforementioned IBM laptop...good lord! I hadn't even noticed that. What I can't get over is the fact that Intel and IBM are both promoting Wi-Fi as if it's completely new. Truth be told, they're a generation behind and, once again, Apple is at the forefront with 802.11g. I've read that Intel will be pushing 802.11a instead of g. I don't understand this, unless they just want to force people who just bought into their whole Wi-Fi craze to buy new hardware. Sounds like something Microsoft would do...

CrackedButter
Mar 14, 2003, 04:00 PM
What some people might not realise is that battery life HAS increased and the technology has got better, problem is the improvements are cancelled out by the extra features they (the PC world) add to the laptop. This is why we have bigger screens and better Gcards but around the same battery life.

However one excellent laptop (i would of purchased it once and installed linux on it) is the JVC mini note book. Its battery lasts 3-6 hours but it sacrifices screen size, optical drive and power, which is okay to me if you don't want high end stuff but want to work on it all day.

I would of bought it but the iBooks offered more.

Another note, these new Centrinos. They run at lower clock speeds because they are effiecient just like the G4's and they can turn off large segments of the processor thus increasing the life. The batteries themselves are nothing new, standard fare, all they have done is streamline the rest of the laptop system to maximise the battery capability.

hacurio1
Mar 14, 2003, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by CrackedButter
What some people might not realise is that battery life HAS increased and the technology has got better, problem is the improvements are cancelled out by the extra features they (the PC world) add to the laptop. This is why we have bigger screens and better Gcards but around the same battery life.

However one excellent laptop (i would of purchased it once and installed linux on it) is the JVC mini note book. Its battery lasts 3-6 hours but it sacrifices screen size, optical drive and power, which is okay to me if you don't want high end stuff but want to work on it all day.

I would of bought it but the iBooks offered more.

Another note, these new Centrinos. They run at lower clock speeds because they are effiecient just like the G4's and they can turn off large segments of the processor thus increasing the life. The batteries themselves are nothing new, standard fare, all they have done is streamline the rest of the laptop system to maximise the battery capability.

Couldn't agree more. Nufff said!!

wdodd
Mar 14, 2003, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by CrackedButter
Another note, these new Centrinos. They run at lower clock speeds because they are effiecient just like the G4's and they can turn off large segments of the processor thus increasing the life. The batteries themselves are nothing new, standard fare, all they have done is streamline the rest of the laptop system to maximise the battery capability.
I understand there are two different things going on here. One is the new CPU's (Pentium M, not Pentium 4-M) are more powerful at lower clock speeds (which I think reduces the watts used, as higher clock speeds draw more watts) and the associated chipset (855) which controls the other functions of the computer is able to turn off power to parts of the computer that are not in use. The Centrino name refers to the chipset which includes the built-in wireless capabilities.