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The Tablet Conundrum – Part 7

 

This time on the Geek Guru Blog we’ll be looking at battery life and features available to help you extend it if necessary.

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It’s annoying when your gadgets run out of juice just as you need them most. Luckily, technologies are evolving not only to allow your device to store more power, but to save power when required.

If you have a high-end tablet, the chances are that it’ll come with a powerful main processor and graphics processor, as well as other advanced features. Of course, more powerful tech requires more power, so usually the battery life of a high-end tablet running at full capacity will be much less than that of a budget model.

Most tablets on the market now, in any price range, come with power saving modes. They limit the speed of the processor(s) to make it consume less power, reduce power sent to speakers, reduce the brightness of the screen, and reduce power consumed by communications technologies such as WiFi or Bluetooth by turning them off when not in use. If you’re running a tablet in power saving mode, however, you’ll likely lose some performance as a result – the battery saving options allow you to trade off raw power for extended battery life.

The type of tablet and the job it’s doing is also a big factor in battery life. If you have a tablet connected 24/7 to Bluetooth peripherals, you’ll find that its battery life is less because of this, although a new iteration of the Bluetooth technology known as BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or Bluetooth Smart is becoming more popular with manufacturers now as it allows the device to communicate with some peripherals without using as much power. Up and coming ‘Smart’ Watches use the technology, allowing increased battery life for both the peripheral and the host device. Always-on WiFi can also drain quite a bit of power, particularly if there is a lot of interference nearby or if the WiFi signal is weak. It’s best to turn both of these functions off if they’re not necessary – all tablets, smartphones and phablets allow you to do this manually within their settings.

Larger screen models are also more power hungry, as the screen is often the one part of the device that drains the most battery. Again, advances in screen technologies and automatic power saving adjustments mean that now you can still achieve great battery life even on the largest screen models.

Most power saving features on tablets are configurable. If you want your power saving feature to leave processing speed at max while activating all the other power-saving features, this is often possible from within the settings of the power saving feature itself. This means if you really need a feature to remain on to be able to work properly, you can have it, while saving power in all other areas.

External batteries, power ‘sticks’ and even solar panels are also available for many devices now – they act as an additional battery or charger if you need them. If your device is critical to your work, we’d definitely recommend getting one or more of these and keeping them charged as a standby option. At the Geek Guru offices we’ve tested a few and find them to be invaluable, particularly as they usually come with multiple connectors for all of the different gadgets we have!

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Next time on the Geek Guru blog we’ll be looking at the varying power of tablet processors, different types, and what they’re capable of.

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If you’d like more help, advice or information on choosing a tablet, if you’d like to discuss joining one of our support packages, or if you’d like to talk about anything else IT-related with us, give us a call or drop us an email!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

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Posted on by Emily
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