If you don't turn off some of the new flashy features of Windows Vista your notebook's battery life could be significant less than with Windows XP.
The drop will come from the extra power needed to run the high-end processors, graphics cards, and memory capacity required to support Vista. Microsoft has designed the new OS to deliver novel visual effects such as the translucent "Aero" windows on the desktop interface and to offer improved performance as a digital media hub. The business version of the OS was released last month, with the consumer version due out next month.
"If Vista is run in full Aero mode, with none of the Vista-provided power management settings turned on, it is likely to demand more power, and have an impact on battery life," said Dell spokesman Ira Williams, in an e-mail interview. "That said, if you run Vista in battery-optimized mode (using a non-3D interface), we would not expect the battery life to be significantly different from XP in that scenario."