EeePC: Battery Life

I just used the EeePC straight through for the first time, from a full battery (charged overnight) to a dead battery. Total time was 2h48m.

During that time, I was using the computer in what I consider a reasonably typical manner: reading news aggregator, chatting on IRC, working on OpenLayers. I ran the OpenLayers tests — which are a 100%-of-CPU chewing machine — two or three times, so there was some significant CPU usage in there, and I was also doing things like playing “Crack Attack”, so this wasn’t a ‘practically idle’ machine by any stretch of the imagination.

This seems reasonably in line with the advertised 3.5 hour battery life.

Unfortunately, the ACPI support for the laptop is really poor: the battery life is reported as ’40mAH’ at the moment, which realyl means ‘40%’, and it only moves in intervals of 10%. Quite annoying when trying to do any serious determination of the current rate of usage of the machine.

I think a big power sink in this case is just the fan: when I started doing the OpenLayers tests, the fan turned on, and it didn’t turn back off. I don’t knwo if this is just poor ventilation in how I use the laptop or what, but I assume that having a motor running will significantly affect battery life. Of course, the fan is presumably neccesary to stop the CPU from melting down, so turning it off isn’t exactly an option 🙂

5 Responses to “EeePC: Battery Life”

  1. Ben Combee Says:

    I switched to eeeXubuntu on my 4G device, and I’m linking it a lot more than the stock Xandros distribution. In particular, the battery reading is much better 🙂

  2. crschmidt Says:

    Really? The same ACPI complaints I have have been made under a stock Debian distribution by several different users; I wonder what’s different between Ubuntu and Debian in this case? (The debian reports I’d seen were both Sid, rather than etch, so I assume it’s something Ubuntu ‘fixed’ then didn’t push upstream to Debian.)

    I guess I’ll have to learn something about ACPI and work on getting the bits I care about; if I care, that is. For the most part, the crappy battery status reporting on my Macbook has made me stop depending on the battery meter for anything other than a vague guess at the current status.

  3. Rich Says:

    mine is only 2hrs and 15mins max…. my screen brightness is already at its lowest…. its only showing 90% when its full charge.. do u think my laptop has a batt problem?

  4. willer Says:

    If your battery shows 90 percent after fully charging. Run your eee until its the battery is empty but not to the point killing your OS. Shut down your eee, unplug your battery 10 seconds. Replace battery and start charging it.
    Do not unplug your power cord until its complete “Full charged charge light is off!”

    If you want to drain your battery faster, plug in a usb mouse or usb camera etc. Screen brightness to full, etc.etc.

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