The Future Of Netbook Battery Life

What would you do with your 6-cell netbook if you could leave it on for 36 hours at a time? It sounds pretty insane, but JKOnTheRun has unearthed information about some very realistic ionic battery advances from one Arizona State research team.

Batteries haven’t gotten a technology boost in ages, but in a time where mobility is key to much of the consumer electronics sector, upping the juice could have a tremendous effect. While netbooks have been taking massive strides into the developing world, for example, it’s still not economical to take a laptop or netbook on trips where reliable power outlets are few and far between.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The technology is currently directed at cranking battery life in electric vehicles, but it’s only a matter of time before the technology shrinks down to PC level. In the words of JKOnTheRun’s Kevin Tofel:

“Some quick math using the project’s median target shows why I’m hoping this comes to pass. If a 1 kilogram / 35.5 ounce ionic battery can hold 1250 Whr of juice, that’s about 125 Whr per 0.1 kilograms / 3.5 ounces. That works out to an energy density of 35.7 Whr per ounce of battery weight. The battery of my Toshiba NB205 battery weighs 11 ounces, so an ionic battery of similar weight could offer 392 Whr as opposed to the 63 Whr my current battery offers. I’m all for more efficient electric cars, but the ability to run my netbook for nearly a week of work time is pretty appealing too.”

Be sure to check out TechnologyReview’s focus on the technology itself here.

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