28 hour laptop battery? Intel says it's possible with new display

The firm's Low Power Display Technology allows laptops to run on only 1 watt of power, increasing battery life by up to 8 hours.

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Business professionals plagued by short battery lives for their laptops can rejoice now that Intel has unveiled new efforts to increase the battery power of their devices at Computex 2018 in Taipei.

At the conference, Intel said they were working on a new Low Power Display Technology that combined more efficient energy use with lower power consumption to increase the battery life of a 13-inch display. For some devices, that could lead to a battery that lasts longer than a full day.

"The display consumes the most battery in a device, and one way we're working to enable all-day battery life is by co-engineering the new Intel Low Power Display Technology, featured in a one watt panel manufactured by Sharp and Innolux, which can cut LCD power consumption by half," Gregory Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, said in a press release. "Through continued innovation with the industry, we expect to deliver an additional four to eight hours of local video playback - that means battery life could be up to 28 hours on some devices."

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In a presentation at the conference, Intel played a time-lapse video showing the laptop operating for 25 hours. Bryant also added that changes in hardware and new Intel GPU software allow for the lower battery power use.

According to the release, lighting up the screen is the most energy-consuming task laptops perform, and their system takes measures to address this while keeping screen brightness relatively high. With the help of Sharp and Innolux, their new screens use half of the energy they used to.

"The latest Intel processors manage the overall system to conserve power, and therefore preserve battery life. For example, with Intel 6th generation processor technology, if the system is running an HD video, the processor will automatically lower the power usage of anything else within the system that is not in use at that time," Intel noted in their guide for testing their batteries.

The tech will only work for certain laptops equipped with Intel's software and hardware, and anyone using Nvidia or AMD graphics cards are out of luck, the release said.

A number of laptop makers are now prioritizing extended battery life in their new products and working on ways to optimize power use or create smart systems that can automatically reduce energy usage for you.

Microsoft announced last year that Windows 10 will try to reduce battery drain with their new Power Throttling feature, identifying which programs are using the most energy and close those not in use.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • Intel says they have been able to improve battery life on their laptops by 4-8 hours with their Low Power Display Technology, leading to a 28-hour battery life for some devices.
  • The technology is only available on certain Intel laptops, but could be a benefit to business travelers who often run out of battery while on-the-go.

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Image: Josh Lowensohn/CNET