The magic number for notebook designers in the near future just might be eight–as in the hours of a full workday. A somewhat outlandish idea a few years ago, the eight-hour notebook is moving closer to reality as promising trends in battery materials and power consumption converge. If all goes well, within three to four years, portable PCs could see battery life double from today’s four-hour stretch.
The biggest gains in battery life are likely to come from the guts of the batteries themselves. For instance, start-up Zinc Matrix Power has devised a way to produce batteries out of zinc alkaline that can provide more energy than conventional lithium ion batteries but don’t take up any more space inside a laptop, according to Mike Trainor, chief mobile technology evangelist at Intel.
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