Dell Adamo 13: Battery Life

The Adamo's battery is straight out of the Apple playbook, a sealed-in, non-removable unit using lithium polymer cells. Except for one thing - while Apple generally fits large batteries in their systems (as seen by the 63.5 Wh units in the new 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro and the downright massive 84 Wh battery in the 15" MacBook Pro), the Adamo makes do with a comparatively tiny 40 Wh battery. The MacBook Air ships with a 39 Wh battery though, so maybe harping on Dell for the small battery isn't exactly fair.

But fair or not, it doesn't make the battery life numbers any nicer to look at. Absolute maximum life is just over 6 hours, and under our heavy load browsing test (usually a realistic measure of daily use battery life) is roughly 4 hours. I usually averaged around 3.5-4 hours when using it, maybe a bit less if I had a movie going. As such, the Adamo ran for just under 3 hours in our HD video playback test (a 720p copy of the movie Jumper ripped in the x264 codec - trust me, Jumper on repeat is just as painful as you think it is; it wasn't my first choice of movie...)

Battery Life - Idle

Battery Life - Internet

Battery Life - x264 720p

Relative Battery Life

The HP ProBook 5310m has a similarly small battery (41 Wh) along with a faster low voltage Core 2 Duo SP9600, and gets marginally less battery life. On a per unit of battery capacity basis, the Adamo is within 10% of all the CULV competitors, and a little bit better than the HP. Considering that the processor is faster than both the SU4100 and the SU7300 that were in prior test units, this is about expected. That the SSD didn't save us any power is kind of disappointing, but considering that Intel's first generation of SSDs were never that much better than standard hard drives with power, it's not a big deal.

Overall, the battery life isn't great due to the small battery, and due to the sealed in nature, you run into the same problem as you do with the MacBook Air: you have an extremely portable system that needs to be tethered to a power cord all the time. However, if you can live with 4 hours of battery life or can carry a charger with you, it's fine.

Dell Adamo 13: Standard CULV Performance Dell Adamo 13: Conclusion
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Wander7 - Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - link

    I like the MacBook Pro 13" for the design of the hardware and long battery life, but is there an alternative in the Windows world? I know about the HP Envys and they suck. Any help would be great.
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - link

    LEnovo X301 - better all around, higher res, more reliable+ an internal DVD
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - link

    More reliable? A cheap plasticky Lenovo? Puh-lease. Plus you run the archaic Windows OS on it. Unless you use Linux. Terrible battery life too.
    Btw the 13" MacBook has an internal DVD drive not that I really use one anymore. I can't remember the last time I burned a DVD or CD.

    This Dell is a slightly gussied up copy of a MacBook. Hardly innovative design. Brought to you by the company that knowingly sold thousands of defective computers and is known for the worst quality control and support in the industry. This one is overpriced too. Anandtech must be hungry for Dell advertising $$ at the cost of their reputation.
  • gescom - Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - link

    @darwinosx "A cheap plasticky Lenovo? Puh-lease. "

    What are you talking about? What plastic? What cheap?
    The internal chassis and roll cage use an advanced carbon-fiber / glass-fiber material that provides both strength and light weight. The case material is made of magnesium, press as hard as you want anywhere on the body of the notebook and it will not flex. Like all ThinkPads, the X301 is designed for accidental abuse and drops.

    And you even compare it to a 13" MacBook / pro? Apple machines are far far behind in everything.
  • Samus - Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - link

    Seriously, if not a Lenovo X301, then what would you have us buy Darwin?
  • quiksilvr - Friday, July 9, 2010 - link

    The ENVY 13 and 15 aren't that great.

    The ENVY 14 and 17 however, are masterpieces.
  • maratus - Thursday, July 8, 2010 - link

    >>And you even compare it to a 13" MacBook / pro? Apple machines
    >> are far far behind in everything.

    Yes, those crappy extremely low contrast and non-existent viewing angle screens Lenovo puts in almost any of their ThinkPads is a definite sing of the advancement over Apple. So does using inferior GPUs (Intel 4500/5700 for the whole X200, X300 lineup, 2D-optimised version of low-end 310M for T410 and so on). Some say that connectivity is a weakness of Apple laptops. But it does four extremely important things for me:
    – MBP does support 2560x1600 (like modern Lenovo and Dell models though) which is a mandatory for me,
    – MBP does have high-speed port like FW800. (E-sata is a joke unless it's combined with USB for bus power and even then its power capabilities are far behind of FW800 port). You can run RAID enclosure with two 2.5" / 7200rpm HDDs and fan completely bus powered without single problem. 80MB/s is good for me.
    – MBP does have good (and excellent for 15" and 17") battery life.
    – MBP runs Mac OS X natively

    And while roll cage may withstand a drop why does it flex and creak like a cheap eMachines masterpiece?
  • mojohacker2010 - Saturday, July 10, 2010 - link

    Steve, is that you?
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - link

    "Plus you run the archaic Windows OS on it"

    Funnily enough, a collegue in work owns a macbook but refuses to run OSX as it offers 'Nothing new and is basically for stupid people'. Straight from his mouth and he's running Win7 Pro instead of OSX.

    Seriously, darwinosx, remove your own head from up your own behind. OSX is no better or worse than windows.
  • Wizzdo - Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - link

    The Lenovo may be a nice machine but... (other than fanboy nonsense) Windows 7 definitely does play second fiddle to OSX in the majority of serious comparisons. Dolled out as an expensive fix for the unhappy Vista era (which itself took forever and mainly brought only incompatibility, high system requirements and general instability and annoyance to its users), Windows 7 added and a handful of OSX like (coincidence?) features and the usual pile of driver incompatibility\workaround headaches along with broken support for psuedo real-time integrations such as professional audio (the vast majority who still use OSX or XP).

    To say OSX is a toy is to be quite ignorant of its UNIX underpinnings. It is still the preferred platform in the Art (video/graphics/audio) professions which are generally far more demanding and expectant on performance and reliability than most other fields.

    Anyhow, one can just do a simple poll of satisfied, hassle free OSX users vs Windows (xp/vista/7). Having to use both daily in practically every possible context, I can tell you which is the most 'toy' like (read: not for serious use) and it just so happens to be the one that plays most of the games ;)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now