July 24th, 2009
04:31 AM GMT
Remember the anticipation that used to come with turning on a new computer? The graphics were cooler, the load-time faster and the new features in the operating system inspired awe.
When did that end? Starting up my latest laptop was a less than thrilling experience. Sure it was new and shiny, but the user experience was essentially the same as the computer I'd had before. Faster, yes, but the difference to me as a relatively average computer user was negligible. Look I love my new laptop, but it simply is not leaps and bounds ahead of my last one.
So that got me thinking - what would make my mouth drop open these days when it comes to a new laptop? There is only one thing that really frustrates me anymore: battery life. What good is wireless Internet when you can only be so far from a power socket? A 16-hour transcontinental flight and a four-hour battery life do not a happy work trip make.
Acer CEO J.T. Wang is betting other consumers feel the same way. The Taiwanese company has just launched a series of laptops they say have eight-plus hours of battery life. "Eight is a magical number, according to market studies." says Wang. "Because eight hours represents a whole day computing and you don't have to bring a big adapter."
Apparently, the battle to build a better battery is a battle of the bulge â€“ it all comes down to weight. Building a lighter, more powerful battery appears to be more challenging than building lighter, more powerful chips.
As for me, I don't know if an eight-hour battery life is enough. I want 16. Or 24.Honestly I'd be happiest if I never had to plug the thing in at all.
How many hours of computing time would keep you satisfied?
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