What's the minimum battery life you'll be happy with?

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As with most of these devices, the battery life usually ends up being the most important feature in the end.

I've heard estimates of up to 8 hours of light use, but of course it's the amount between medium and heavy use that counts.

What is the lowest you need or are going to be happy with? I think I'll be pretty disappointed if it doesn't hit 2 hours with demanding games.
 

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I mostly play indie games, visual novels are perfect for the deck since playing them on PC isn't very enjoyable for me, getting 6-8 hours with those would be enough for me. That said, if the experience is pretty good, I'd also try playing strategy titles like ck3, which can be quite demanding, but the battery might become a problem in those cases.
 
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About the same as the Switch. So 3ish hours in the most demanding games. It's already a really bulky handheld and I'd hate to have to bring a bulky powerbank with me everywhere as well. Ideally, I'd get 5-6 hours of play time (enough for a long play session or enough to play a couple hours and not need to plug it in right away and still have enough juice left to play a couple more hours later) but I don't think that's happening.
 
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shadow1w2

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8 hours top isn't too bad, the switch is around that isn't it?
I usually play lighter games on the go and plug in to play the bigger stuff with the option of portable when I need it so I'm already adjusted to that gaming life style.
Wonder if a battery bank would help much, maybe just when we need that quick extra moment to save last minute.
 

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I only expect about two and a half hours when running newer AAA games [email protected] FPS. Six or more when playing indie games or video streaming/web browsing.
Settings permitting, obviously. I'm not expecting to run heavier games at max settings for 3-4 hours. Most gaming laptops barely manage that.
 
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I can juggle numbers and performance vs time charts all day, but in the end there's only one thing that will make me happy. And I dare say that this goes for most other people:

it should last longer than a switch's battery life (when playing comparable games).
 
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8 hours top isn't too bad, the switch is around that isn't it?
I usually play lighter games on the go and plug in to play the bigger stuff with the option of portable when I need it so I'm already adjusted to that gaming life style.
Wonder if a battery bank would help much, maybe just when we need that quick extra moment to save last minute.
Haha, I wish. It's more like 3 hours or 5 hours on Mariko. And most of us don't have Mariko since they're harder to hack.
I doubt it will last any longer than 3 hours in most 3D games, it doesn't even help if the game is less demanding, since people will just turn the graphics settings up as high as they can while still getting decent FPS.
Modern laptops with integrated GPU get maybe like 5-6 hours in games and the Steam Deck is much smaller, the battery is probably a lot smaller too.
Realistically it will probably be less than 3 hours and closer to 2, looking at similar devices. Then again I guess the Steam Deck is a lot more bulky than the GPD's and Aya Neo, they could fit extra batteries in those chunky grips, but will they? Probably not. Even if they did, it would only add around 18.5Wh at most and probably less, modern laptops have batteries from around 60Wh all the way up to 99Wh.
 
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tpax

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I'll be disappointed, if it's under 4 hours, no matter what game.
Switch's (original) battery life is utter shit. If I'm playing in portable mode I feel forced to hold the home button every few minutes to check the battery status, so I can adjust my gaming for the Switch's battery not to die on me.
I remember the battery life of the Nintendo DS Lite. Never had to think about battery.
 
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I'll be disappointed, if it's under 4 hours, no matter what game.
Switch's (original) battery life is utter shit. If I'm playing in portable mode I feel forced to hold the home button every few minutes to check the battery status, so I can adjust my gaming for the Switch's battery not to die on me.
I remember the battery life of the Nintendo DS Lite. Never had to think about battery.
It draws like 3 times as much power as the Switch. You're not getting 4 hours in anything but the simplest games and you're just gonna have to accept that. It would simply make the device too bulky and heavy. Realistically, you'd be lucky to get 3 hours, and more likely 2-2.5 hours. They can't go lower than 2 hours, that's the bare minimum anybody would accept, and you'd hope they'd go higher than the bare minimum, but every additional half hour of battery life makes the device bulkier and heavier, and they won't want to cross a certain threshold, since it's a handheld, making it too heavy would make it tiring just to hold it during play.
PC x86/x64 architecture is not very power efficient. It's not really a good choice for a handheld, but if you want to play PC games, it's what you need to use, so there's not much choice. It's why Apple moved away from x64, and went all in on ARM, it's much more efficient. Maybe Windows will go all in on ARM some day too, if they include x86/x64 instructions like the Apple M1 so that it can still run x86/x64 applications natively on the CPU, rather than the x86/x64 emulation Windows on ARM has now, you'd still be able to run older applications that haven't been compiled for ARM at good speed so you wouldn't be missing out on anything. But you'd only get the efficiency advantage when running native ARM applications. And you'd be making the CPU more complex since it has to run two entirely different architectures/instruction sets, increasing cost. And they'd have to keep the x86/x64 compatibility in for the foreseeable future, until emulation became fast enough that it was no longer needed, as people need to be able to run older applications. Since Windows isn't a locked ecosystem and people use all sorts of weird applications from all sorts of places, it's likely many of them would never get updated with a native ARM version.
 
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tpax

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It draws like 3 times as much power as the Switch. You're not getting 4 hours in anything but the simplest games and you're just gonna have to accept that. It would simply make the device too bulky and heavy. Realistically, you'd be lucky to get 3 hours, and more likely 2-2.5 hours. They can't go lower than 2 hours, that's the bare minimum anybody would accept, and you'd hope they'd go higher than the bare minimum, but every additional half hour of battery life makes the device bulkier and heavier, and they won't want to cross a certain threshold, since it's a handheld, making it too heavy would make it tiring just to hold it during play.
PC x86/x64 architecture is not very power efficient. It's not really a good choice for a handheld, but if you want to play PC games, it's what you need to use, so there's not much choice. It's why Apple moved away from x64, and went all in on ARM, it's much more efficient. Maybe Windows will go all in on ARM some day too, if they include x86/x64 instructions like the Apple M1 so that it can still run x86/x64 applications natively on the CPU, rather than the x86/x64 emulation Windows on ARM has now, you'd still be able to run older applications that haven't been compiled for ARM at good speed so you wouldn't be missing out on anything. But you'd only get the efficiency advantage when running native ARM applications. And you'd be making the CPU more complex since it has to run two entirely different architectures/instruction sets, increasing cost. And they'd have to keep the x86/x64 compatibility in for the foreseeable future, until emulation became fast enough that it was no longer needed, as people need to be able to run older applications. Since Windows isn't a locked ecosystem and people use all sorts of weird applications from all sorts of places, it's likely many of them would never get updated with a native ARM version.
I think your assumptions on the battery life are inaccurate. I'd link you to the Tom's Hardware article with the early devkit results, but someone already did. Taking into considerations the devkit results, 4 hours for regular, semi-modern 3D games is more than realistic.

But I'd have to agree on the inefficiency of the x86 architecture in regards to the power consumption. I think we're past that and the further move towards the ARM architecture can be expected.
 
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MikaDubbz

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Depends on the device, my phone better get through most of the day on a full charge. But my Switch can serve me well 3 to 4 hours and that's fine, it's not often that I'm playing the device and am also not within reach of an outlet so I can charge while I play if need be, nor is it often that I'm ever on the go and playing more than a 4 hour session anyway.
 

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It draws like 3 times as much power as the Switch.
I think your assumptions on the battery life are inaccurate.
His assumptions are indeed inaccurate...the max power draw of Switch's Tegra X1 is 15 Watts, exactly the same as Steam Deck's APU. It is however rare that Switch draws more than 10 Watts at any given time, and similarly it'll probably be pretty rare for Steam Deck to max out its power draw.
 
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His assumptions are indeed inaccurate...the max power draw of Switch's Tegra X1 is 15 Watts, exactly the same as Steam Deck's APU. It is however rare that Switch draws more than 10 Watts at any given time, and similarly it'll probably be pretty rare for Steam Deck to max out its power draw.
Okay, it's not 3 times, the Switch draws under 10W in handheld mode, and the Steam Deck (total power draw, not just the APU itself) can supposedly draw up to 20W max. But it has a 40Wh battery so that still lines up with 2 hours minimum.
Didn't see the Toms Hardware page though. Seems to draw less than I expected/less than the actual max rating from Valve.
I think your assumptions on the battery life are inaccurate. I'd link you to the Tom's Hardware article with the early devkit results, but someone already did. Taking into considerations the devkit results, 4 hours for regular, semi-modern 3D games is more than realistic.

But I'd have to agree on the inefficiency of the x86 architecture in regards to the power consumption. I think we're past that and the further move towards the ARM architecture can be expected.
I expected it to be pretty close to the maximum 20W rating from Valve in "modern" games (anything from the last few years) but it actually seems to draw a lot less than that, which is a pleasant surprise.
 
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Xzi

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Okay, it's not 3 times, the Switch draws under 10W in handheld mode, and the Steam Deck (total power draw, not just the APU itself) can supposedly draw up to 20W max. But it has a 40Wh battery so that still lines up with 2 hours minimum.
Didn't see the Toms Hardware page though. Seems to draw less than I expected/less than the actual max rating from Valve.
Yeah I think the only way to hit max power draw would be multitasking while also running a AAA game. Still not sure where you're getting that max draw number from though, the tech specs page lists it at 4-15W.
 
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Yeah I think the only way to hit max power draw would be multitasking while also running a AAA game. Still not sure where you're getting that max draw number from though, the tech specs page lists it at 4-15W.
15W is for APU according to the specs, other parts of the system draw some power too.
The 20W figure came from Google but "The 20W max power draw metric comes from Valve suggesting a minimum two-hour battery life from a 40WHr battery" so it's just an estimation, not actually part of the specs. But still, a few watts of power draw for the rest of the system (mainly the SSD) is a reasonable assumption.
 

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