HP Mini 5102 Battery Life

As mentioned earlier, we've got two batteries: the standard 4-cell 29Wh and the upgraded 6-cell 66Wh. We've run tests with both batteries, and we also tested a two use scenarios with the smaller battery and the Crystal HD chip. (We didn't want to run all the tests with the Crystal HD and the larger battery, as that would require another day or two of waiting for the battery to run down.)


The smaller battery sits flush with the chassis while the 6-cell battery is a bit thicker and will raise the rear of the 5102 about a quarter inch. It will also add a couple ounces to the weight, but the 5102 is still very portable. Here are the battery life results.

Battery Life - Idle

Battery Life - Internet

Battery Life - x264 720p

Relative Battery Life

Battery life is on the lower end of the Atom spectrum. With the 29Wh battery, the 5102 manages just over two hours of video playback, but that goes up to nearly six hours with the 66Wh battery. We ran a couple quick sanity checks with the Crystal HD decoder installed and found that while CPU use dropped, battery life doesn’t improve thanks to the chip using more power. Battery life dropped 7-9% in the two tests with the BCM70012 installed. Idle battery life tops out at 4.25 hours with the smaller battery, and improves to 9.25 hours with the 66Wh battery.

Put into perspective, though, even the larger battery life figures are nothing special. ASUS manages to get nearly as much battery life with the 1001P and a 48Wh battery—better actually at idle. ASUS has traditionally done a good job at optimizing power draw on their netbooks, and there’s a big gap between the 1001P/1005PE and the rest of the N450 netbooks. The 5102 places just ahead of the Samsung N210 but slightly behind the other offerings.

HP Mini 5102 Performance HP Mini 5102 LCD: Matte but Meh
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  • nukunukoo - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Never liked the Atom, with its performance and memory limitations especially in the face of AMD's upcoming offerings. I don't really mind a six-hour battery life instead of 8-9 hours if I get much more performance.

    And who is the moron who keep insisting 1024 x 600 is 'enough' for 'most' jobs? 10.1 and 11.6 inch displays have been available at 1336 x 768 resolution since the start of the year. Sure some are now in used (Sony uses the 10.1) but why do the bigger names still insists on this limitation? Sales erosion for their better models?
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Fully agreed on 1024x600. I know netbooks aren't supposed to be "primary" computers, but any and all usability is out the window with a vertical resolution that low.

    768 minimum please, 800 even better.
    Reply
  • martyrant - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    The Acer AO*21 series is a pretty amazing package in a netbook. It's a pretty beefy processor compared to the atom, has a integrated gpu the 721 has a 720p screen, and neither are all that expensive. It's DDR3, but I had a bunch of 2GB DDR3 laptop modules sitting around so that's an easy upgrade, as is putting in an intel x25 g2 80gb ssd. beastly machine, has HDMI out (a HUGE selling point, especially at this price point) and while the battery life isn't great, if you are just surfing doing nothing but netbook-type stuff, you can get 5 hours out of it, but if you are gaming (WoW runs on it OK, nothing you would want to make your gaming machine, torchlight ran great) or watching bluray rips (handles 720 and 1080p bluray rips) it's more like 3-4

    you get about half the battery life, but getting 3-5 hours out of a machine that does a good deal more than the competition at a good price point is hard to beat :P
    Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    I've got the Acer TimelineX 1830T with the Core i3-330UM crammed in an 11.6" chassis. It's quite the little pocket-rocket... even though it doesn't quite fit in my pocket. I got mine for just over $500, it can do basic gaming (L4D, WoW), handles all HD video, and the battery usually lasts about 7 hours. I'm surprised AT hasn't reviewed one yet... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Can't get them to send me one (yet?). :-\ Reply
  • koekkoe - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    What about fan/hard disk noise, fan control logic and heat? This subject is far too often forgotten in reviews. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    At full load, the fan noise gets to 36dB at 12". This is Atom we're talking about, so in general noise and heat aren't serious concerns. The Crystal HD was far hotter than anything else in the netbook. Reply
  • fabarati - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    What settings did you use in MPC HC?
    Did you use an external filter like the ffdshow tryouts, windows 7's built in one, the ffmpeg based one in MPC or the DXVA one in MPC?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    As stated, I used CoreAVC to handle the decoding on the CPU -- it's the only codec I've found that can handle 720p H.264 with single-core Atom. For the CrystalHD, I switched to the Broadcom codec. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    .. If I had one, would be this:

    Grab a Crucial 64Gb SSD from ebay
    create a nice little vLite windows 7 install dvd (Would test via VMWARE)

    Done. Fast, free of some clutter, more space, fantastic road ninja.

    Of, if you don't want to go into technical struff, just the SSD
    Reply

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