The battle to create the notebook with the most battery life stepped up a notch this week when Hewlett-Packard announced a new set of features for its HP EliteBook 6930p that will push the battery life up to 24 hours.
HP's claims of a notebook with 24-hour battery life come just about a month after Dell announced that its new Latitude E6400 corporate notebook could offer users up to 19 hours of battery. In Dell's case, the company introduced a new technology called a "slice," which uses lithium-ion prismatic cell technology to extend the battery but it also added nearly 2 pounds of weight to the notebook.
On Sept. 8, HP announced that the company's engineers had pushed the limits of battery life to the 24-hour mark with the EliteBook 6930p. However, the version of the notebook with 24 hours of battery life will not be available until October. (The more standard version of this EliteBook laptop is available now.)
What PC vendors such as Dell and HP are trying to do is target a new class of notebooks to enterprise road warriors who want to push the limits of mobility and who travel on airplanes for a good portion of the day or make several stops with customers across the span of several days. While 24- and 19-hour-battery life thresholds might seem a bit excessive, these claims by HP and Dell help showcase the ability of these vendors to push current battery technology to its limits.
The HP announcement coincided with the release of new solid-state SATA (Serial ATA) drives from Intel, which are some of the key components to the notebook's long battery life. Since SSDs (solid state drives) use NAND flash memory and have no moving parts, these components reduce the laptops' overall power consumption.
HP is also requiring that users use a special 12-cell lithium ion battery to achieve the 24-hour battery threshold. Like the Dell slice, this battery adds an additional 1.8 pound to the weight of the EliteBook 6930p, which weighs about 4.7 pounds with a more standard lithium ion battery.
In addition to these features, HP is allowing users to download specific BIOS and driver updates that allow them to manipulate the power-saving features further. HP is also offering users a chance to purchase a special 14.1-inch LED display that increases battery life by 20 percent, according to HP.
The Illumi-Lite LED display adds $50 to the notebook's base cost.
HP did not offer a specific price for the 24-hour battery configuration. However, the company does sell a more standard version of the EliteBook 6930p notebook, which features a smaller battery, a hard disk drive instead of an SSD, and an LED display, but gives users about 8 hours of battery life. That configuration is less than $1,200.
HP, which is still the world's top supplier of PCs, first introduced the EliteBook earlier this year and the laptop uses the newer Intel Centrino 2 mobile platform that offers Intel's Penryn processors built at a 45-nanometer manufacturing process.