There's a handy battery-preserving, energy-saving tool in Windows 7, but it's nowhere near the shiny graphics or slick taskbar. Online Tech Tips shows us how to audit our computers' energy efficiency using a simple command-line tool.
Head to your Start menu, type in cmd, and right-click on the Command Prompt result to "Run as Administrator." From there, type in powercfg –energy. Your computer will run a report, which you can access by typing energy-report.html. From there, you'll see all the efficiencies and settings changes Microsoft recommends implementing, along with driver changes or upgrades they recommend installing.
Hit the link for a graphical guide to running an efficiency report and a pointer on understanding what your read-out means. (We first pointed to this feature a year ago, but it's worth revisiting now that Windows 7 is on general release.)
How to Run a Power Efficiency Report in Windows 7 [Online Tech Tips]