Laptops: Performance or battery life?

Summary:Many have switched from desktops to laptops, resulting in lots of models for buyers to choose from. All things considered, the decision often comes down to laptop performance or long battery life.

Image credit: James Kendrick/ ZDNet

It's a good time to be a mobile enthusiast, with lots of laptops of all different sizes to get buyers to open their wallets. There are laptops of all kinds, from thin Ultrabooks to large desktop replacement models to fit most anyone's needs. All features and options aside, often the choice of laptop comes down to either high performance or long battery life.

Popular laptops almost all have Intel inside, from the battery-friendly Atom and Celeron processors to the high performance Core i7. Power-stingy processors run a long time away from the power outlet but the speedy Core processors typically only last a few hours. Price and other features aside, laptop shoppers have to decide if good battery life is important or if good performance is a bigger requirement.

Intel's new Haswell family of processors is a good attempt at straddling the battery/performance fence, as I found in the new MacBook Air . The Air provides good performance for over 9 hours, but Apple backed the Haswell up with fast memory and very speedy flash memory which rounds out the package. Haswell processors alone may not yield the fast performance that some buyers may want.

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ZDNet readers by and large know a lot about the hardware used in today's laptops. That makes it very apropos to quiz this audience about the performance/battery question. 

So what is important to you, battery life or fast performance? How long should a good laptop run away from an outlet to meet your needs? Or, are you one who rarely unplugs your laptop during the day? Speak up in the TalkBack and let us know which attribute will get your money. Also share why your choice is important so a fruitful discussion will result. Your reasons for long battery life or performance may help those on the fence.

Since the hardware inside laptops is pretty much the same no matter what OS it runs, let's keep the platform choice from dominating the discussion. Keep on focus about the hardware choice which affects the run time and performance and everyone will get the most out of it.

Topics: Laptops, Mobility


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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