Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Oct 2013 14:01 UTC

Jeff Atwood:

I had a brief Twitter conversation with Anand Shimpi of Anandtech about this, and he was as perplexed as I was. Nobody could explain the technical basis for this vast difference in idle power management on the same hardware. None of the PC vendors he spoke to could justify it, or produce a Windows box that managed similar battery life to OS X. And that battery life gap is worse today - even when using Microsoft's own hardware, designed in Microsoft's labs, running Microsoft's latest operating system released this week. Microsoft can no longer hand wave this vast difference away based on vague references to "poorly optimized third party drivers".

The new Surface Pro 2 gets 6.6 hours of web browsing battery life. The MacBook Air 11", which has more or less the same hardware and battery, gets more than 11 hours.

I have a Surface RT - the first generation - and as such, I know why. Windows 8 might have Metro running on top of it hiding a lot of it, but Windows 8.x carries just as much baggage, cruft, and outdated shit with it as previous versions of Windows have. Windows 8/8.1 - and Metro in particular - simply suck. Slow, clunky, jarring, cumbersome, battery-sucking, restricted, and limited, with a crappy selection of rush-job, rarely updated applications. You know how resizing windows on Windows 7 or OS X is all nice and fluid? Why, then, is it a slow and jittery operation that brings Windows 8 Metro to its knees?

It's simple: just like battery life, it's a symptom of Microsoft's Windows team not having the balls to truly go for a clean break, as the Windows Phone team have done. And lo and behold, Windows Phone - even WP8, which runs on the same NT kernel - has none of the slowness and crappiness issues that continue to plague Windows 8 Metro (although WP has its own set of issues unrelated to these).

If you want a smooth, modern laptop today - get a MacBook. If you want a smooth and modern tablet, get the Nexus 7 or an iPad. Microsoft still has nothing to show for itself in these areas.

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RE: Wow
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:49 UTC in reply to "Wow"
Member since:

Wow, a 1.6 GHz processor (i5-4200U in Surface Pro 2) has worse battery life than a 1.3 GHz processor (i5-4250U in MBA)? Who would have thought?

So, you're squarely staring at the CPU-speed? If you'd dig deeper you'd notice that the 4200U sports an HD Graphics 4400 GPU whereas the 4250U sports an HD Graphics 5000 GPU, which according to benchmarks is a lot speedier than the aforementioned one. The speedier GPU is likely the bigger reason for the difference in battery-life than the difference of mere 300MHz, especially since both CPUs have equally-high turbo-clocked speed -- 2.6GHz.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Wow
by Nelson on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:04 in reply to "RE: Wow"
Nelson Member since:

Also to be noted and accounted for is the active digitizer and higher resolution on the Pro.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Wow
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
bentoo Member since:

Also to be noted and accounted for is the active digitizer and higher resolution on the Pro.

And the TN in the MBA uses less power than the IPS (assumed) in Surface Pro 2. Too many differences to take this article seriously.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Wow
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:12 in reply to "RE: Wow"
bentoo Member since:

...has more or less the same hardware and battery

No I'm illustrating that the hardware is NOT the same and that such apples and oranges comparisons should not be used to push Thom's anti-MS agenda.

As for the CPU speed the the 20% higher minimum clock WILL result in more power consumption. (Even though the turbo frequency and TDP are the same...)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:33 in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

to push Thom's anti-MS agenda.

To my recollection, I was supposed to be anti-Apple. Care to elaborate? You and several of the fervent Apple supporters here might have to have a talk.

Reply Parent Score: 3