One of the key features of Ultrabooks is their great battery life. How will the addition of a touchscreen affect the Touch Ultra's battery life? As it turns out, the touchscreen didn't drain battery life like you might think. In fact, Windows 8 seems to require less power than Windows 7, and in combination with the more power efficient Ivy Bridge processor, the Ultra Touch managed to last an extra 50 minutes compared to the older Series 5 (running on a Sandy Bridge processor platform). It also lasted longer than both of our other Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks (and many others that we've compared previously), suggesting that Windows 8 does indeed require less power than Windows 7. As a result, its power consumption score was also excellent.
The more techie enthusiasts reading this article might still argue the fact that the difference in power consumption and battery life are solely due to the change in platform. We previously compared a HP Pavilion dv6 running on Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge platforms with nearly identical hardware other than the computing platform, and we noted about a 15% to 20% improvement in both power consumption and battery life. This time around, with similarly designed Samsung Series 5 notebooks, the Ultra Touch model registered a greater improvement of about 20% to 30%. The increased battery life and the fact that many other Ivy Bridge notebooks have garnered more mediocre battery performance, all point to the OS having a positive impact. Still, we'll revisit this topic of battery efficiency on Windows 8 in a future article.
|Specifications/Notebook||Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch||Sony Vaio T||
|Samsung Series 5 Ultra|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3317U
|Intel Core i5-3317U
|Intel Core i5-3427U
|Intel Core i5-2467M
|Chipset||Intel UM77||Intel UM77||Intel UM77||Intel HM65|
|Memory||4GB DDR3||8GB DDR3||4GB DDR3||4GB DDR3|
|Storage||500GB HDD with 24GB SSD Cache||500GB HDD with 32GB SSD Cache||256GB SSD||500GB HDD with 16GB SSD Cache|
|Video||Intel HD Graphics 4000||Intel HD Graphics 4000||Intel HD Graphics 4000||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|Battery||6 Cell Li-ion / 45 WHr||6 Cell Li-ion / 45 WHr||6 Cell Li-ion / 47WHr||6 Cell Li-ion / 45 WHr|
|Dimensions||315 x 218 x 16.8 - 19.8mm||323 x 226 x 17.8mm||329 x 223 x 16mm||315 x 218 x 14.7 - 17.5mm|
Our portability index factors in battery life, weight and volume so you can see which notebook is the most worthwhile to carry around with you. It's an excellent comparison tool for notebooks within a same class/type. Despite the good battery life of the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch, it didn't score all that well on our Portability Index due to its increased weight and thickness. Having said that, it was still respectable, with a ratio of over 2.1.