Short Battery Life Sinks First Windows 8 NotebooksConfusing dual-mode operating system, no Start button, counterintuitive swipe gestures? None of these things spells doom for Windows 8. What will kill Microsoft's newest operating system is the abysmal battery life of the systems on which it's supposed to perform the best.
For all of Windows 8's strengths, its one major weakness might be something no one saw coming; significantly worse battery life than the previous generation of PCs.
Leading up to the launch of Windows 8, we saw progressively longer endurance on the two most-portable categories of notebooks. As of September, the average ultraportable (a notebook with a screen size of 11 to 13 inches and weighing less than 4 pounds) lasted 6 hours and 52 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test (Web surfing via Wi-Fi, screen at 40% brightness). The average thin-and-light (12 to 14 inches, less than 6 pounds) was right behind, at 6 hours and 40 minutes.
However, when we started adding Windows 8 notebooks to the mix, those averages receded faster than Steve Ballmer’s hairline. By November, the ultraportable average dropped by half an hour, and the average thin-and-light decreased by 10 minutes. A number of challenges face OEMs and Microsoft when it comes to the adoption of Windows 8, from design to pricing. But solving all those issues will be moot until they fix the most basic requirement for any laptop — good battery life. www.laptopmag.com
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