I’ve been covering and reviewing notebooks and battery
technology for the past decade, and I know what the current
technology is capable of. There is no way that a 1.5-pound
computer is going to be able to drive an IPS display for ten hours
as Steve Jobs claims. It just can’t happen. Perhaps if you let
the iPad lapse into standby mode, you could squeeze it. But if you
are actually using the device, my estimate would be less than
three hours of power, and that’s being generous. The display
would look amazing, but be quite a power hog.
Unless Apple has also developed some new type of power source,
such as nuclear cells or magical hamsters on tiny spinning wheels
for the iPad, don’t expect the claims about battery life to
hold true. The candle that blazes the brightest is always the
first to go out.
Speaking of video: Apple asserts that the iPad runs 10 hours on a
charge of its nonremovable battery — but we all know you can’t
trust the manufacturer. And sure enough, in my own test, the iPad
played movies continuously from 7:30 a.m. to 7:53 p.m. — more
than 12 hours. That’s four times as long as a typical laptop or
portable DVD player.
The iPad lasted 11 hours and 28 minutes, about 15% more than Apple
claimed. I was able to watch four feature-length movies, four TV
episodes and a video of a 90-minute corporate presentation, before
the battery died midway through an episode of “The Closer.”