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Updated Puget Traverse Laptops

Written on April 8, 2013 by Matt Bach
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Battery Life

On mobile devices, the expected battery life is often advertised in terms of unrealistic scenarios. Usually the device is configured in some way that improves battery life, but renders it unusable in normal situations. For this reason, we ran a set of battery tests under three different real-world scenarios to get an idea of the actual battery life that can be expected of these units.

Since the V552i and V752i laptops feature Nvidia Optimus technology, they will switch between using the Intel graphics found on the CPU and the NVIDIA graphics card depending on the amount of graphical power needed. This feature extends battery life in light load situations by switching the power-hungry NVIDIA GPU into a low power mode when it is not needed and using the more power efficient Intel graphics instead. This is great way to help you get the most out of your laptop, but it makes measuring the battery life a bit more difficult since we will need to run the units at various levels of graphical load to test the battery life with both the Intel and NVIDIA graphics.

To accomplish this, we first simulated a light workload with the screen operating at 75% brightness. This will cover very light tasks such as web browsing or word processing which utilize the Intel graphics. Next, we looped a 1080p video to see how long the battery lasts when watching movies. The Intel graphics has plenty of power for video playback, so this test also uses the Intel graphics. Finally, we ran Unigine Heaven with the settings optimized for the unit to find the battery life while gaming. For this test, the V525i and V752i will switch to the NVIDIA graphics, so we expect the battery life to take a pretty big hit due to the higher power draw of the NVIDIA GPU.

Once again, we want to stress that our battery life measurements are taken in very real-world situations so they cannot be directly compared to battery life expectancies published by various manufactures. In our opinion, these real-world tests are much more useful!
 
The first thing to point out is how good the battery life is when the NVIDIA graphics is not being used. On all three units, we had over four hours of battery life when performing light tasks which is about twice the battery life of our previous models. Even when watching a movie, we still saw a pretty impressive 3 hours of battery life which is more than enough to make it through most movies. However, once the NVIDIA graphics kicked in on the V525i and V752i, we saw the reduced battery life we expected. The battery life is still better than our previous models, but it is only by about 15%.

Conclusion

All three of these units easily passed our testing process, so we are excited to update our Traverse line of laptops to the V552i and the V752i as well as adding the B550i. The performance of these new V-series laptops is quite a bit better than the models they are replacing, although they are slightly more expensive. If powerful graphics are not needed, the B550i is a great way to get great performance at a great price as it removes the NVIDIA graphics entirely and instead uses the graphics built into the CPU.

In addition to the more powerful graphics on the V525i and V752i, all three of these laptops have a huge increase in battery life in light to medium load situations compared to previous generations. Four hours of battery life is very good for this size and speed of laptops, and much better than the current laptops we are offering. The battery life when gaming is still not great at roughly an hour for the V552i and V752i, but that is to be expected as they use the fairly powerful NVIDIA GT 660M. Overall, we feel that these laptops will be great for our customers. The V552i and V752i are a great option for those that want good battery life combined with decent graphical capability, while the B550i is great for those on a tighter budget.

Whenever we are qualifying new products, we first and foremost want to meet our customer's needs. To aid in future qualifications, we would like to present you, the reader, with a question: what do you look for in a laptop? Low cost, great battery life, cutting-edge performance, high resolution screens, or something else? Let us know in the comments below.


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Tags: V552i, V752i, B550i, Clevo, Pro-Star, Sager, W370ET, W350ETQ, W25AEU
marc

Nice improvements! What about touch screen functionality? Pro's and con's anyone? Thanks.

Posted on 2013-04-10 11:40:25

We don't have touch-screens on any of our laptops, and while a few people have asked about it the interest seems minimal. I think touch screens make far more sense when they are the primary input, as on a tablet, rather than on a system where a keyboard and mouse are always present - in such settings it ends up being another option, but one that is rarely better. However, Microsoft is pushing touch screens pretty hard with Windows 8... if we start to see more of a pickup in people wanting that OS then I expect the requests for touchscreens will also increase. So far, though, only a small percentage of people are going for the new OS: most still prefer Windows 7 (http://www.pugetsystems.com....

Posted on 2013-04-10 19:58:25
Marc

Thanks William. It seems like they are trying to blend the useability of a tablet and llaptop with some manufacturers making a touchscreen that can be flipped around and placed in various configurations(might be good for a graphic artist?)_ but perhaps thats just good advertising and not really that practical. Is the cost of the touchscreen a factor as well for Puget?

Posted on 2013-04-11 12:17:48

Right now our suppliers for laptop parts don't even offer touch-screens, so I can't comment on whether pricing would be a concern or not for us.

As for convertible tablets, people may not remember but those were around with Windows XP when its 'Tablet Edition' (supporting things like touch interfaces) came out. We did carry some for a short time, but found that the increased number of moving parts (hinges and such) was a huge problem over time. I assume that has been improved over the years, but even now the hinges on traditional laptops are still one of the most common failure points.

Posted on 2013-04-11 17:11:48
Preston_B

I've conversed with many photographers who would like a laptop as a desktop replacement. One subject that always comes up is screens, so here's a few things related to the screen that would be 'nice-to have's':
1. Matte screen to reduce reflections.

2. An IPS or PVA wide-gamut panel. Many photographers work in wide-gamut color spaces such as Adobe RGB or ProPhoto. A screen that would display at least 96% of these gamuts would nice.

3. A screen with a monitor LUT of at least 10 bit that would support hardware calibration.

I know these specs would likely mean a pretty large increase in price for a system that has them, assuming such things are available, but a professional or serious amateur photographer would be vary happy with such a system.

The updated Traverse line looks pretty sweet. I really like my V550i that I ordered in February of this year, so I can atest to the quality of the Traverse laptops.
--p

Posted on 2013-04-12 17:25:21

We have the ability to offer matte and wide-gamut on many of our units, I'll put some work into that!

Posted on 2013-04-12 17:29:53

As Jon noted, our suppliers for laptop hardware do have matte and increased color gamut screens for some sizes - but it is a bit of an odd situation. Usually the default screen will already be either glossy (currently on 15" models) or matte (on 17"), but then if you want the higher color gamut it reverses: the 15" wide gamut is matte, but the 17" wide gamut is glossy. Further, they don't reveal a lot of deeper specs like the screen type (TFT, PVA, IPS, etc) or brightness. Maybe Jon or the folks in our Labs department can do some digging to uncover that, so that our customers can make the most informed decision possible :)

Posted on 2013-04-12 17:36:53
Preston_B

William and Jon,
Thank you! That would be excellent, indeed.
A high quality laptop screen that is durable, has excellent viewing angles and is easy to calibrate would be a boon.
Thanks again for all that you do!
--P

Posted on 2013-04-13 04:18:19