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I'm getting a brand new Dell Inspiron 13 7359 with 8GB of RAM, an Intel Skylake i5 processor, and Intel HD graphics (550 I believe). I did numerous hours of research and found this to be better than the Dell XPS for video chatting, for obvious reasons. The only thing I don't like is the battery life. With a 43WHr battery, people on Amazon claim anywhere from 4-5 hours of streaming or 6-8 hours for mixed workloads and some downtime. I ordered a slightly higher configuration of the laptop, which includes a 256GB SSD instead of a mechanical hard drive.

On Dell's website, the models that don't have an SSD are estimated to have an average battery life of like 6 hours. But also on Dell's website, the Inspiron 13 Special Edition, which is nearly identical except for a solid state drive, has an estimated battery life of up to 9 hours.

I can't seem to find any key differences between the one I ordered, and the "Special Edition" one, besides an i7 instead of an i5.

If I get the regular Inspiron 13 and don't get the best battery life out of it using Windows 10, would it make a significant difference if I put ChromeOS or even another Linux distro like Lubuntu on it? How does the manufacturer measure average battery life? Because even in Windows 10, there's a few services/built-in programs I like to disable. Would disabling garbage such as Windows Defender help me reach closer to 9 hours of battery life, regardless of what I'm doing?

I really like the Dell brand, so if you're wondering why I'm so hell bent on getting the most out of this Inspiron, now you know.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you!

  • You realize every time you charge a lion battery the run time decreases a little bit. – Moab Apr 19 '16 at 17:59
  • I thought batteries had cycle counts, and that the actual life of a cycle wouldn't change unless you go over X cycles. – RickyAYoder Apr 19 '16 at 18:24
  • if you use Win10, check this: channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Defrag-Tools/… – magicandre1981 Apr 20 '16 at 4:03
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First of all, the battery life cited on vendor websites is completely, 100% bogus and should never be trusted. There is no standard, industry-accepted methodology for calculating battery life. It's up to each manufacturer and is therefore heavily biased to make their own numbers look good.

Even if there were a standardized methodology, battery life is highly subjective and depends on the following factors:

  • Usage patterns (i.e. web browsing vs. gaming).
  • Screen brightness.
  • CPU throttling.
  • Attached accessories (a USB device draws power even if it has its own power supply).
  • Age of the battery.
  • Cycle count of the battery (number of times it has been charged/discharged).
  • Extremity of charge cycles (a few deep cycles degrade a battery more than many shallow cycles do).
  • Temperature (cold batteries yield less power per cycle but last longer; hot ones yield more power but also age more quickly).
  • Many, many other factors...

In Windows 10, you can get a "snapshot" of your battery usage over a 60-second trace with the powercfg command. From an elevated command propmpt, run:

powercfg /batteryreport /output %userprofile%\Desktop\report.html

This will dump an HTML file to your desktop with some vital stats for your battery, including cycle count, current capacity vs the capacity it has when it was new, current power draw, etc. It's very detailed.

You should make some power adjustments to your computer and run the report after each thing you try so that through trial-and-error, you can come up with the best combination of power-saving settings and use patterns you can.

It's impossible to say how long a given battery will last for you without a benchmark of your own machine with your own personal habits over time.

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