Transmeta talks benchmarks … and 10 hour charges

Hitachi to use li-poly in Crusoe notebook?

Transmeta didn't sound like it was on the warpath when we caught up with executives this week to talk benchmarks.

Director of Marketing Ed McKernan points out that the ZD Battery Life benchmark takes no account at all of LongRun, and simply hammers the machine until the battery gives out. A more realistic working set that allows the machine to take advantage of LongRun, can add 30pc to battery life by throttling back the voltage.

"There's a disparity between what the benchmarks say and what the users experience," says McKernan. "The Winstone benchmarks shows us as being more like a P1 [Pentium] class machine. But if you're a P1 class machine, you wouldn't be able to play DVD."

However Transmeta says that rather than fight old benchmarks with new benchmarks, it intends to encourage OEMs to provide reviewers with sample machines for longer. McKernan points out that Business Week reviewer Stephen Wildstrom used a Crusoe powered PictureBook for several weeks, and found that it indeed lived up to Transmeta's claims.

Transmeta says that Hitachi's larger machine - boasting a much larger battery - can stretch to over 10 hours life, including 3.3 hours of DVD playback. That's just long enough to see all of Celine and Julie Go Boating (192 minutes), but you'd miss the last half hour of the extended edition of Dances with Wolves (224 minutes), for example.

Hitachi itself claims 8.4 hours battery life for the 10.4 inch screen model, or 7 hours, or 3.1 hours of DVD playback, for the 12.1 inch version of Flora 220TX. Models use either the 533Mhz rated TM5400 or the 600Mhz rated TM5600 Crusoes. The first two permutations ship in Japan on Monday, with the rest following on November 27. These models vary in weight from 3 to 4.1lb.

It apparently uses a lithium polymer battery, but we couldn't confirm that. HP had heralded, then withdrew a li-poly notebook a couple of years ago, and although li-poly is common enough in phones now, this would something to shout about. If you know more, drop us a line. ®

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