Where Your Laptop's Power Goes

Where Your Laptop's Power Goes

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Taryn Williford
Jan 9, 2009

When you're almost out of juice and reach for your laptop's power cord, you just see two things: your power-draining thousand-dollar hunk of metal (couldn't it keep a three-hour charge last year?) and the wire that's gonna give you the 30 minutes' charge that you need.

What you don't realize is that not all parts of a laptop are created equal. Most of the power it sucks up—to the tune of 43 percent—goes to just one part... so what is it? And as for conserving the little charge we get, is it better to power off and re-boot or let your laptop sleep or hibernate? Both of these questions answered after the jump...

Windows 7 engineers drew up a pie chart to show us where our laptop's power goes. You can easily see that the blood-sucker we have to blame for short battery life is our LCD screens. To get the most out of your power, try an energy saving setting that will dim the screen.

Also, the engineers drew up a graphic to compare the power-usage vs. power-on times of sleep and hibernation modes to decide which is the most efficient for letting your computer rest. It's easy to see that 'sleep' mode gives the best results by far.

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