I've complained for months that Vista hogs battery life. Yet whenever I would look a laptop product rep in the eye and ask (most recently, HP and Gateway), I'd get a blank stare that says, "We can't really tell you." Now, the courageous folks at ZDNet have confirmation from inside HP. The Aero Glass interface is, indeed, a leech and a half.
When Aero is turned off, battery life is equal to or better than Windows XP systems. But with it turned on, battery life suffers compared with Windows XP...Laptop users who spent extra money on powerful laptops to handle the graphics requirements of Vista and the Aero interface are forced to run the aesthetic equivalent of Vista Basic, the low-cost version of Vista, if they care about battery life.
Apparently whenever a new OS is launched, battery life suffers at the outset, then settles in once hardware makers figure out how to tweak their systems. The ZDNet report says that HP has introduced its own power management systems that balance performance and battery life, and that Lenovo is doing the same.
I don't know. If battery doesn't improve, we might start seeing more laptops with those static-electricity hand cranks on the side, like the original OLPC.