Battery life is the single most important consideration when shopping for a netbook and the OCZ Neutrino DIY netbooks biggest fault will have to be the battery. The Neutrino comes with a 4 cell 2200mAh removable battery pack. Many of today’s most popular netbooks come with 6600mAh or even 8700mAh battery packs, so you can see how the Neutrino’s 4 cell 2200mAh battery is on the weaker side of things.
To give you a better idea of things the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE comes standard with an 8700mAH 6-cell battery and retails for $379.99. Pictured above you can see the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE 8700mAH 6-cell battery pack on the left sitting next to the OCZ Neutrino DIY 2200mAh 4-cell battery pack on the right. Both have the same width, but you can tell the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE packs a bigger punch since it rises up into the spine of the netbook.
When comparing the size of the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE to the OCZ Neutrino DIY, they are nearly identical, so you can see how one chassis manufacturer designed around the battery and the other did not. That being said we didn’t expect more than a couple of hours of battery life out of the Neutrino as two hours is about how long a 2200mAh 4-cell battery pack is known to last.
To test out the Neutrino’s battery performance we did so by browsing the internet till the battery alarm went off. Browsing the internet is hands down the number one purpose for a netbook, so this test should be important to our readers. In order to set up this test we downloaded Firefox 3.0.10 and the add-on ReloadEvery 3.0.0 set to refresh two web pages every thirty seconds through the Wi-Fi internet connection. The laptop was set to battery save mode and the screen brightness was set to the lowest possible setting. The Neutrino lasted two hours thirty-seven minutes before shutting off, which isn’t too bad considering the 2200mAh 4-cell battery pack. OCZ has a 6-cell battery pack coming out in the very near future that should increase battery life.
Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on the OCZ Neutrino Netbook to see how much power this little PC consumes.
Results: The Neutrino has awesome power consumption numbers as you can see from the chart above. The system consumes just 15 Watts while sitting at idle on the desktop, and when it is in sleep mode it consumes just 1 Watt. When running Cinebench R10 with the Intel Atom processor at full load the entire netbook power consumption jumped up to 19 Watts, so only a 4-Watt increase was observed between idle and load. If the battery is drained and the system is charging the power consumption jumps up by roughly 30W, but this is still great. Using a netbook is clearly more energy efficient than using a notebook.