Power Consumption and Thermals
We're not going to be including any benchmark scores in this piece, mostly because the Eee PC we tested is outfitted with a custom version of Linux and our traditional suite of application won't run on it. But also because we feel this type of system isn't about high frame rates or insane number crunching, but rather portability, convenience, and ease of use. You don't need us to tell you that a single-core 900MHz ULV Celeron isn't going to be very fast in comparison to most of today's Core 2 and Turion X2 powered notebooks.
We did, however, monitor power consumption, temperatures, and battery life. The results of our tests are listed right here...
Power Consumption and Battery Life
|Idle Power||15W (observed)|
|Load Power||19W (observed)|
|Battery Life||3 hours 3 minutes (observed)|
As you can see, the Eee PC 900 virtually sips power. While idling at its desktop, the system used only about 15W of power. And under load (which consisted of playing back an HD video, while simultaneously browsing the web), consumption peaked at only 19W.
To test battery life, we looped a video demo included on the machine, and browsed the web for about 10 minutes at a time, every half hour. Ultimately, the battery died at a few minutes past three hours, which is right on par with Asus' claims.
We also took temperature readings from different parts of the Asus Eee PC after numerous hours of use to see how hot the unit got to the touch. We found that the bottom of the unit got slighly warm, but it wasn't uncomfortable to touch at all. The edge of the keyboard and front portion of the wrist rest, however, did get somewhat warm. The machine's CPU and chipset lie underneath a metal plate / EMI shield / heat spreader, that is directly under the keyboard. So, over time, it is going to put off some heat. We measured the warmest temperature at only 36.5'C though, which is not very warm at all in comparison to some other full sized notebooks.