There are many discussions already about battery life (e.g., Will there be a long battery life version?, [Battery Life] Impact of RAM / memory configuration + extra data). I think the consensus is that the ~5hr battery life is a major drawback for Framework laptops. This is true for me as well although I don’t yet have one: it’s the main reason why I can’t bring myself to click the “Continue to Checkout” button on the laptop I’ve configured. I’m raising a new issue to discuss how we could, perhaps through some design changes, improve the battery life.
Edit—the 5hr figure was taken from anecdotal reports from users, and may only be relevant for users of Linux that hasn’t been properly tuned; Windows users and some Linux users have claimed ~10hrs; nevertheless, battery life is a frequently discussed topic so I still think it’s worth brainstorming possible improvements
Some people have suggested getting an external USB-PD power bank to supplement the built-in battery. This is a good suggestion, but I’m curious what kinds of gains we can get through various design changes, because one reason I’d want a thin and light laptop is to not lug around extra weight. Note: I don’t do hardware design so forgive me if any suggestions are naive.
For instance, LPDDR4x memory uses ~half the power of DDR4, but (as I understand) it must be soldered on to get a reliable connection, which is somewhat antithetical to the promise of a repairable laptop. My question here is: how does the lower-voltage memory translate into real-world battery life improvements? Would it gain 15 minutes on an average load? 2 hours? If the latter, perhaps that’s a compromise on repairability that I could accept. Or could we have 1 soldered LPDDR4x stick with a second open DDR4 slot for expandability, and maybe the second could be off/low-power until it’s needed, or only on when the laptop is plugged in, etc.?
Some possible areas of improvement:
- LPDDR memory (see above)
- More efficient CPU (e.g., Intel Alder Lake, AMD, or ARM)
- Underclocking or dynamic scaling of CPU (reduced wattage in CPU, reduced use of fan)
- Underclocking memory during low-load (is this possible?)
- OS-level performance tuning (I’m concerned about Linux, here)
- Adaptable refresh rate of screen
- Piezoelectric keyboard (only half-serious)
Does anybody know how the above translate into minutes of battery life, or at least to the overall power draw of the laptop? Ideally the laptop would last an average work day (8 hours) plus a little extra, so say 10 hours. So if the 55Wh battery is lasting ~5 hours on average load, it’s pulling 11w? So we’d have to get that to an average of ~6w for 10hr battery life?
I don’t expect we’ll soon see a new mainboard to accommodate other CPUs or memory configurations, but it might be useful to think about where to focus efforts.