Testing Batteries

from the don't-bother dept

The NY Times (who are so mean that they won’t let you read this fascinating article unless you gasp register) has an article about testing battery life. Apparently it’s not so easy. The reporter called up a number of battery companies who told him it’s a waste of time to buy a bunch of different brands, put them in a device, turn it on and see how long it lasts. The problem with that method is that there are very few battery powered devices that work like that. Most you turn on and off for short periods of time. Some require a lot of battery power, others just a little. So, the whole world of batteries is a bit more complex than you might think. The article attempts to look at the difference between alkalines, premium alkalines, and other types for various battery powered goods. I never knew batteries could be so interesting since I was a kid and discovered the “nine-volt battery taste test”.

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Comments on “Testing Batteries”

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todd says:

back in the early days...

When PC magazine was new and laptops with a “sleep” mode were just arriving on the scene (I won’t date myself here), they created a “spacebar actuator” that you could actually buy from them at $2000 if you wanted to test your own laptop fleet. This device depressed a pencil eraser-like device on the spacebar of a computer every 30 seconds. It was intented to help test battery drain. This was before processors and hard drives spun down of course.

That said, it might behoove some of these product testers to dig up a couple grand and resurrect a spacebar actuator. I’d bet it would press an MP3 play button nicely all night long…

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