One of the more important aspects of a machine like an Ultrabook, built to be portable, is battery life. Factors that determine a notebook’s battery life include the quality and efficacy of a machine’s components (like the display and other system components), and of course the battery capacity that the device is endowed with. The notebooks we’re comparing the S20 against sport somewhat similar components, and more or less have the same battery charge, which is around 35 to 36 watts per hour.
To test the battery life of the machines, we relied on the Powermark benchmark test, which puts the machines through a variety of tasks like opening and closing browsers, video and photo rendering, as well as document editing. We used the balanced setting which mimics the daily usage pattern of a typical user.
Out of this entire line-up, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro had the best battery life, with or without its dock. However, the MSI Slidebook S20 almost ties with it with a battery life of 4 hours and 11 minutes - just a few minutes short of what the Samsung machine achieved with its dock. It's also more than an hour longer than what the Sony and the ASUS mahcines are capable of achieving. This difference is again attributed to the difference in platform components which the ASUS and Sony convertible Ultrabooks used a more power hungry processor and thus raked in similar higher power consumption numbers.
Benchmarks aside, it's generally safe to say that under a less intensive usage pattern, users would be able to get through a longer period of battery uptime while away from the wall socket.
Our portability index is an in-house formula that tries to quantify how portable a machine really is based on its battery life, mass and volume to tell us if it's worthwhile your time to carry it about.
Here, it manages to keep up with some of the best in the industry for its form factor in terms of portability. It’s excellent battery life and relatively small form factor allows it to achieve a ratio that’s on par with the Sony Vaio Duo 11. The MSI Slidebook S20 manages to balance a good mix of performance and portability, which is important for an Ultrabook and more so for a convertible Ultrabook.