So you want to watch a movie or two on your Windows laptop, but there might not be a power outlet nearby. Your choice of video player and video format could make a huge difference in how long your battery will last.
TechSpot performed several playback tests using a number of video players on Windows 8, as well as various encoding formats such as H.264, Xvid and the new HEVC format. The results might surprise you.
On both a tablet with an Atom processor and an Ivy Bridge-based laptop, Windows 8’s Videos app (the default app that opens in Metro-mode) lasted over three and a half hours longer when playing the same Toy Story 3 video compared to the ever-popular VLC. (Our pick for best Windows video player, Daum PotPlayer, wasn’t tested, unfortunately.) The Videos app also lasted 20 per cent longer compared to the desktop equivalent, Windows Media Player.
As for video formats, 720p H.264 came out as the most efficient — lasting 120 per cent longer on battery than 1080p HEVC.
The article concludes:
If these tests have taught us anything, the video player you use and the format of your video is critical to achieving the longest battery life. A combination of a 720p H.264 video played in the stock Windows 8 Videos app gave the longest battery life out of those that I tested, although using 1080p or 4K resolutions can give much better quality with only a small decrease in stamina.
Food for thought for your next long plane ride with only your laptop to entertain you.
Check out TechSpot’s detailed analysis for the full test results.