One of the most important hallmarks of an Ultrabook is how long can the battery last. So in the previous tests, we found out that the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s doesn’t really perform as well as the Acer Aspire S3, which sports a similar Core i7 processor. In this section however, you will find out exactly why.
To simulate real-life intensive usage, we had a video looping test and noted down how long they can last. As you can see from the results below, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s really outperformed all other Windows machines thrown at it. It even lasted a good 50 minutes better than the Apple MacBook Air running on Windows 7 (note that it was on BootCamp). This translates to an impressive 4 hours and 48 minutes, which roughly lets you watch a couple of, two-hour movies and some light surfing on the go. Thanks to these results, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s truly showcases the long battery life capabilities of an Ultrabook.
And the reason why its battery managed to last for so long, is because its power consumption is just really low. It’s not as low as the MBA when running on OSX, but it is definitely much lower than most other thin and light laptops that pass through our labs. But of course, we need to remind you that to achieve this kind of power consumption levels, processor power will have to be sacrificed. Which in our opinion, may not be a bad thing because a drop in raw power will be negligible, especially for an Ultrabook which is meant for light workloads anyway. The gain in battery life more than makes up for it. So despite the Acer Aspire S3 having a higher battery capacity than the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, the latter's low power consumption ensured it was the better notebook for longevity.
Our portability index chart, is unique to HardwareZone.com and you will not see it anywhere else. Essentially it takes elements like battery life, unit volume and unit weight, blends them together with a complex mathematical formula, and comes up with a 'magic ratio' to tell you if it is worth your time to carry the laptop around. Take note that it's most useful when compared within its same class of products. According to our charts, the U300s' portability ratio is right up there with the very best of them. Of course the MBA running on OSX Lion still wins everyone, but it's unfair to compare them because OSX Lion's power management is very different from Windows 7. If we were to compare directly with all other Windows machines, it definitely wins hands down.