Intel showed off "Spring Meadow" at the IDF in San Francisco, an update for Smart Connect that makes laptops behave a lot more like mobile phones by incorporating support for new sleep modes that enables the system to periodically download/apply various updates, and then go back to sleep. Hot Hardware says the technology bring laptops a bit closer to the "always-on" casualness with which we use smartphones.
A laptop without Smart Connect has to remain in idle-but-awake mode in order to receive real-time status or program updates. Put the system to sleep, and programs will lag at wake-up as they fetch all available updates, tweets, and messages. Smart Connect addresses this by waking the system periodically, downloading / applying various updates, and then going back to sleep.
Intel's Spring Meadow update to Smart Connect saves power by cutting back on how often it spins up the wireless radio. Look at packet reception/transmission rates between the two platforms, and you'll see that Spring Meadow has been put on a hefty diet. CPU-side improvements also reduce power consumption by increasing the number of specific areas that can be deactivated when the CPU is idling.