Over the last decade, CPU manufacturers have spent an enormous amount of time and effort reducing overall power consumption. This effort has paid huge dividends, with modern chips capable of power-sipping modes that older ARM and x86 cores could never match. In fact, CPU power consumption has been optimized to the point that other aspects of the system now account for a higher percentage of overall power consumption — a fact Intel hopes to change with its push into building new, ultra-low power displays with overall panel power consumption as low as 1 watt.
Intel has partnered with Innolux and Sharp to develop Low Power Display Technology, a new technique that reduces overall panel and backlight power draw by 50 percent, from 2W to 1W. Those gains might not seem like much, but cutting power consumption by a watt could extend battery life by 4-8 hours according to Josh Newman, the general manager of mobile innovation for Intel. In a conversation with PCWorld, Newman claimed laptops that already hit 12 hours of battery life could reach 20 hours with display optimization.
I think that's a bit...outrageous, cutting one watt of power brings up to 8 hours of battery life? If that were true then cutting half a dozen watts from the CPU would extend battery life by over a day. Nah, solid state batteries and improved OLED displays combined with dark application themes, that's where the battery life is out, though the new Snapdragon 850 based laptops promise all day battery life, and so far they don't look that bad for a sub $800 laptop based on their demos. Might be looking at one myself to replace my Surface Pro 3, 5 hours of battery life vs 30 would make a difference.