Lenovo claims battery life crown from HP

Says new Lenovo X201 laptop can run more than 12 hours between recharges.

By Eric Lai, Computerworld |  Hardware, laptop, Lenovo


 Lenovo Group Ltd. this week quietly claimed that its latest ultraportable laptop, the ThinkPad X201, has set a new endurance mark.

According to Lenovo, the base X201 laptop can run for up to 11 hours with an optional 9-cell lithium-ion battery. Using the low-wattage Core i7 LM processor would improve the new laptop's portable life to 12.2 hours at a time, says Lenovo's senior worldwide product marketing manager Mika Majapuro.

With the 9-cell battery, the X201 and X201s still weigh just 3.5 and 3.1 pounds, respectively, according to Lenovo.

Lenovo didn't specify under what conditions it tested its batteries or whether the tests adhered to any industry benchmarks such as MobileMark. However, the company said it would guarantee the promised runtimes for the new batteries, which are available on all T-series and X-series ThinkPads, for three years.

Strong endurance and high capacity (the number of times a laptop battery can be recharged and maintain its runtime) is the holy grail of PC vendors, who normally have to trade off one for the other.

For example, lithium-Ion batteries are notorious for wearing out quickly, with battery life commonly shrinking by a third or half after a year or two. Every lithium-ion battery recharge generates heat, which degrades the charge-holding material -- the Lithium cathodes -- inside the battery. Packing more cathode cells into the battery to increase runtime tends to result in more heat, which cuts its lifespan further, according to Robin Tichy, a technical marketing manager at battery manufacturer Micro Power Electronic Inc.

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