Battery Life

With 39 hours to test I was pretty limited in what I could do when it came to battery life testing. I was able to run through two tests (one run a piece) and only in one configuration each. I wanted to see how Tegra 3 and the Prime fared in the worst case scenario so I picked the Normal power profile. Over the coming days I'll look at battery life in the other two profiles as well, not to mention run through more iterations of our test suite.

My bigger concern has to do with the malfunctioning WiFi in my review unit. For our video playback battery life test WiFi was on but not actively being used, those numbers should be ok. It's our general use test that loads web pages and downloads emails over WiFi and it's there that I believe things could've suffered a bit.

In both cases I saw around 9 hours of continuous battery life out of the Transformer Prime, without its dock. These numbers are a bit lower than the original Transformer but it's unclear to me how much of this is due to the additional cores/frequency or the misbehaving WiFi. The fact that we're within striking range of the original Transformer with the Prime running in Normal mode tells me that it's possible to actually exceed the Transformer's battery life with the Balanced or Power Saver profiles. That's very impressive for an SoC built on the same manufacturing process as its predecessor but with twice the CPU cores and a beefier GPU.

Video Playback - H.264 720p Base Profile (No B-Frames)

General Usage - Web Browsing, Email & Music Playback

What I'm not seeing however is the impressive gains in battery life NVIDIA promised its companion core would deliver. I'm not saying that the companion core doesn't deliver a tangible improvement in battery life, I'm just saying that I need more time to know for sure.

That the Transformer Prime can deliver roughly the same battery life as its predecessor without any power profile tweaking may be good enough for many users. Both ASUS and NVIDIA shared their own numbers which peg the Prime's battery life in the 10 - 13 hour range. As I mentioned before, I'll have more data in the coming days.

Update - With a replacement Transformer Prime in house, battery life is looking a lot better already:

Update 2: Even more battery life results in our follow-up

Camera Quality The Dock & Keyboard
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  • PubFiction - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Nope I hate it too. Reply
  • gorash - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure if you can hold the thing without it. Reply
  • eddman - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    "Somewhere to put your fingers? pfft ill trade that space for working area and hold it at the edge"

    Yes, somewhere to put your thumb. Just hold a tablet and you'll know how necessary that is.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    thumb maybe, a slight margin, but not a huge ugly border, how big are your thumbs?

    the contact area for any touchscreen running windows may need a little bar on the left, small, but tablet desktops arent left justified like windows has been since the wimp revolution..theyre centralised like a phone or a car pc front end
    Reply
  • melgross - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    No. It's impossible to use these things without a good size border. .75" seems to be about the. Indium. The Fire has about .5" border around three of the sides, and a number of reviewers have mentioned that it's too easy to touch the screen when holding it, and doing something unintentional.

    With a phone, you're holding it with one hand wrapped around the back, and up both sides. With a tablet, even a small one, you use one hand with a thumb over the edge. It's too much mental work to keep that thumb from hitting the screen. It even happens with wider borders.

    Get used to it.
    Reply
  • GnillGnoll - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    The best solution would be to make apps fully resizable, and create a dynamic bezel based on where your hands are. You just need a touch sensor around the edge and back to detect the position of your hands. Reply
  • Commodus - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    No one should ever hire you as an ergonomic designer, then...

    Many, many times you'll have your thumbs on the front, and even if you didn't have to, it'd be more comfortable. Not the least of which is that it's a lot easier to rotate the tablet when you don't have to hold it gingerly by the edges.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    If these lawsuits keep up then that may eventually happen... Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Flippant dislike of Apple product designs makes me laugh. Apple product designers and engineers spend months and sometimes years agonizing over the details of their designs. It's quite unlike any other company on the face of the earth. Your tablet idea for an edge to edge screen simply sucks....I'm glad you don't work for Apple. Reply
  • Omega215D - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It's not like Apple is the first and only ones to do it. It just depends on what's available at the time, the price point to be met and expectations of the product.

    I've had several well made players before the iPod came out, and extends to before the iPod Touch.
    Reply

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