ASUS N10Jc-A1 Netbook Review – Atom N270

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Battery Life and DVD Playback

Battery

The ASUS N10JC-A1 Notebook PC is designed with mobility in mind.  This being said, it is of utmost concern that the battery is able to last the duration needed. The computer we received for testing came with a 6 cell battery, which has 4800 mAh.  For testing, the ambient room temperature was kept at a steady 67*F (19.4C).  The wireless was on, all power settings were set to “always on” and the screen saver was set to “off.” The battery was charged completely before booting the computer and timing the battery life before the system went into standby mode.  We tested the battery life both while idle and during movie playback, and each test we did twice – once with the graphics switch “on” and once with it “off.”

Battery Life Graph

As you can see from the graph the NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS certainly draws on the power whether in idle or during use.  By having the graphics switch on, you are shortening your battery life by approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Also, notice that at idle the 6 cell battery lasted just over an hour longer than with movie playback.  With the graphics switch off and with “normal” use (meaning nothing too graphics-intense), I imagine you should be able to expect the 6 cell battery to last 4-4.5 hours.

During movie playback, the battery lasted 3 hours, 43 minutes while using just the Intel integrated graphics, and then slid down over an hour to 2 hours, 32 minutes when we used the NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS video card.  If you have a fairly short movie, it’s okay to use the video card, but I’d stick with the integrated graphics for most longer-length films unless you want to be cut off right before the major announcement of “whodunnit?”

DVD Quality

Lord of the Rings Intel qualityLord of the Rings NVIDIA quality

Given the choice above to use the NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS graphics card or Intel’s onboard graphics, I would probably pick NVIDIA if I have a short video to watch or I am able to plug in the netbook.  The images above are from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The one on the left is using Intel’s integrated graphics, and the one on the right is using NVIDIA graphics.  If you click on the thumbnails, you can get a better idea of how much clearer the picture is when using the NVIDIA 9300M GS card than when simply using the onboard graphics.  That being said, the difference is not such that it would make the movie unenjoyable to watch while the graphics switch is off; rather, the details are just a little finer and the action is slightly less blurred when the NVIDIA 9300 is used.

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