Intel promises 50% battery life gain for Haswell laptops

Haswell is coming out early next month, and it's everywhere in the news. Among other things, motherboard makers have been tripping over themselves to show off their upcoming Haswell-ready mobos. We've heard comparatively little about the mobile incarnations of the chip, but in a briefing yesterday, Intel gave the guys at PC World a few nuggets of info about upcoming Haswell laptops.

According to the site, Intel said those notebooks will bring about a whopping 50% battery life increase over current, Ivy Bridge-based systems. In idle or standby mode, run times will purportedly increase 20-fold. And even more impressively, Intel claims those gains won't involve any performance tradeoffs.

The chipmaker didn't mention which classes of laptops will see those gains. Considering how hard the chipmaker has been pushing ultrabooks, though, I think it's safe to expect the improvements there. We already know that some mobile Haswell variants will have thermal envelopes as low as 10W, down from 17W for current ultrabook-bound offerings.

For what it's worth, we clocked Asus' Zenbook Prime UX31A, a premium ultrabook, at 7.5 hours in our web-browsing battery life test. A 50% gain over that would work out to 11.3 hours. Even if Intel is quoting a best-case scenario and real-world gains turn out to be more modest, we may still end up dangerously close to the 10-hour mark. That wouldn't be bad for a three-pound system with a 13", 1080p display—not bad at all.

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