Microsoft has recently admitted that the forthcoming Surface Pro tablet will be having only half the battery life as compared to Surface RT which has ignited a debate about the costs of using Intel instead of ARM.
The Surface RT which was released by Microsoft had a good battery life. The Surface RT had the ARM based processors and one of the characteristics of the processor is that it uses less power. This is one of the reasons why ARM architecture is preferred in most Smartphone and Tablet devices. The ARM processor may be a wee bit less powerful than the Intel processors but they are gentle on the batteries giving a much longer battery life to the devices.
Since we have in front of us both the Surface models, it gives us a rare opportunity to compare the two architectures on different parameters like power consumption. The Microsoft Surface Pro will have an Intel Core i5 Processor of roughly the same configuration as the ARM based processor which is featured in the Surface RT.
The Surface Pro will have 4 to 5 hours of battery life as compared to the 8 to 9 hours of the Surface RT. It highlights the drain which Intel Processors extract from the batteries. Intel Processors also has the heat problem which is often encountered by Smartphones or Tablets which run on Intel processors. As the Smartphones and Tablets are becoming more and more compact and thin this problem is further aggravated. This could be one of the reasons why a majority of smartphones and tablets have ARM based hardware as compared to Intel.
Intel is also keenly aware of this drawback and the next Generation of the Intel’s Atom processor, the Clover Trail is less taxing on the batteries. However Microsoft has chosen the Intel Core i5 processor. Probably it wants its tablets to be as productive as a lap top. This may be fine for the power users but will not be suitable for Mobile users.