I've got an Ubuntu 11.04 installation on a brand new HP dv6t laptop. When I pull the charger plug, the system knows that it's on battery and seems to apply the power management rules I've got set up. Nevertheless, sitting at idle I can see the battery charge percentage indicator dropping the number by about 1% a minute. I don't expect stellar battery life, but that seems wrong.
I've verified with the "i7z" tool that my CPU is definitely being clocked down when it's idle. I'm not using the ATI graphics adapter in the laptop (because the drivers don't work). I don't see any stray background processes running, just the things I expect, and the load average while I watch the battery drain is always almost zero.
What I'm wondering is whether there are any diagnostic tools or techniques that can narrow down exactly what it is about the electrical situation in the machine that's consuming so much power. I've thought about trying a live CD from some alternate distribution, just to see if it'll behave the same way. Are there any other things to try?
(Yes I realize that it could be a dud battery, but it's really brand new so I'm going to consider that to be unlikely for now.)