Three laptops for the road warrior
For those who are planning on working with a laptop, without access to a power outlet for extended periods of time, there are a few serious considerations to make:
While battery life is an obvious one, having a good, long lasting battery isn’t the only factor to take into consideration when shopping for a “road warrior” laptop. The hardware that uses that battery, as well as the software that controls it, must be able to make efficient use of that power, to enable the user to work longer while untethered from a steady power source.
Power, performance and battery life come together in a beautiful package, powered by a1.3 GHz dual core Intel M7, with 8GB or memory, up to 512GB PCIe flash storage, and a native Retina resolution of 2304 x 1440 x 226 ppi, driven by an Intel HD Graphics 515.
The 2016 MacBook’s battery lasts up to 10 hours (web surfing), 11 hours (iTunes movie playback), and up to 30 days in stand-by, and can be recharged using a 29W USB-C Power adapter, via its unique USB Type-C port.
For the type of user looking for a powerful yet lightweight laptop that goes the distance, the 2016 refresh of the MacBook delivers rather well, but not without two caveats: First of all, the MacBook 2016 can’t be upgraded. Both memory and internal storage are soldered in, as well as the processor. The only way to expand its storage, temporarily, is to expand the USB Type-C port with an adapter, and plug in an external drive.
Lastly, the 1.3GHz processor is simply not fast enough for high-end applications, like Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, or other image and video editing software. With that said, the 2016 MacBook is perfect for office applications, such as presentations, editing of complex documents, and spreadsheets.
Similarly to the Apple MacBook, the VAIO S has a great performance/battery ratio. This model is powered by a 2.5GHz Skylake Intel Core i7 CPU, and comes with 8GB or memory, and 256GB PCIe SSD. The display on this model is a 13.3 inches 1920 x 1080 IPS, driven by an Intel Graphics 520.
Unlike the MacBook, the VAIO S comes with plenty of ports available for data, audio and video, as well as a dedicated power port.
The VAIO S and the MacBook balance each other out, somewhat, as on one hand the MacBook lasts longer, while the VAIO S offers slightly better performance. With that said, the VAIO S runs Windows 10 Professional, which has a completely different way to manage battery usage, compared to Mac OS X.
Another thing the VAIO S and the MacBook have in common, is that neither can be upgraded, which means that while most configurations will ensure great battery performance, it would be wise to pick a model that offers better hardware, depending on the type of work expected of this laptop.
The ATIV 9 is one more device that offers a balanced experience between performance and battery life. The Samsung ATIV 9 is a Windows 10 Pro laptop powered by a 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 (Skylake) CPU, with a 13.3 inches display driven by Intel HD Graphics 520, which allows for a native resolution of 1920 x 1080.
The ATIV 9 comes with 8GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD, which unfortunately, follows the same trend of on-upgradeability as the MacBook and the VAIO S.
In spite of having nearly identical specs with the VAIO S, the ATIV 9 features a few neat tricks, such as a more advanced display brightness control, dynamically optimized using 350nit SuperBright technology, for better handling of power resources.
Alas, the ATIV 9 still falls short when it comes to battery life, with 7.3 hours of usage.