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Windows 7 Worse Than XP On Netbook Battery Life?

Netbook users could have a nasty surprise when they try to run any edition of Windows 7 on their beloved machines; reports have emerged that Microsoft's latest operating system will literally suck battery life out of netbooks.

Since one of the netbooks main attributes is their better-than-laptops battery life, this could seriously damage the reputation of Windows 7 as a netbook-ready OS.

Tests performed by Laptop Magazine (opens in new tab) on three separate machines - one netbook and two laptops - showed that Windows 7 shaved a whopping 33 percent worth of battery life from the netbook. Laptops performed better with almost identical figures.

The poor battery performance was blamed on the lack of Windows 7 ready drivers and although performance might be better, it is still disappointing that netbook manufacturers - in this case Toshiba - have not yet release native Windows 7 drivers.

Back in February, tech website tomshardware (opens in new tab) also found that Windows 7 RC1 was a power drain with battery life reduced by 33 percent moving from XP SP3 to Windows 7 RC1 on an Aspire One D150 netbook.

Microsoft will target netbooks with the Windows 7 Starter version which will not include Aero Glass, the lack of which will likely help save some precious power.

We will try to see whether we can get our hands on a copy of Windows 7 Starter to test on a Netbook (and our suffering laptop).

Our Comments

We have also encountered a number of issues with Windows 7 Beta and RTM, compared to Windows XP, when it comes to battery life. We have generally found that our HP NC6320 laptop would not only run extremely hot but also would last a mere 30 minutes or so. It might be a coincidence though.

Related Links

Bad Marks for Windows 7 on Netbook Battery Life (opens in new tab)

(Internetnews)

Windows 7 Worse on Netbook Battery Life Than XP? (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

Does Windows 7 reduce netbook battery life? (opens in new tab)

(PCPro)

Windows 7: Bad For Netbook Battery Life? (opens in new tab)

(Laptopmag)

Mobile Battery Life Solutions for Windows 7: A Guide for Mobile Platform Professionals (opens in new tab)

(Microsoft)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.