DELL vs HP, The Battle for the Longest Battery Life!

The battery on my trustworthy Latitude D410 will last a mere 2 hours on a good day. This kind of battery life is expected for a 3 year old system. That wasn’t always the case though. When new, it had the ability to last up to 3.5 hours if configured properly. To me this basically meant I could work for a decent amount of time, without having to lug my power adapter with me everywhere I go.

Battery life has become one of the most important factors when considering a laptop purchase. The fact is many laptop manufacturers brag about battery life. Some promise up to 4 or even 6 hours battery life on even their most affordable systems. It is important to note however, that your “real world” results will certainly vary from the manufacturer’s lab test results.

Now imagine if you will, a laptop that promises up to 19 or even 24 hours of battery life. What would this mean to you? Depending on who you are and how you use your laptop, it could mean the ability to work all day and all night – being able to work while flying from New York to Hong Kong non-stop (16 hours) – being able to work in a remote region of the world where the nearest electrical outlet is miles away.

Welcome to the “Battle for the Longest Battery Life” featuring Dell in one corner, and HP in the other. I am going to take a look at quite possibly two of the most dependable and feature packed business laptops available today. Allow me to introduce the Dell Latitude E6400 and the HP EliteBook 6930p.

Latitude E6400

Let’s begin with Dell, who says its Latitude E6400 (pictured below) if configured properly and equipped with a 9-cell primary and a 12-cell battery slice will last up to 19 hours.

Latitude E6400

Latitude E6400

Photo credit:


By configured properly Dell explains; a Solid State Drive (SSD), Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics chip and of course a 9-cell primary battery (instead of the standard 6-cell) and a special 12-cell battery slice which attaches to the bottom of the system (shown below)

Software configuration is also necessary

E6400 Battery Slice

E6400 Battery Slice

“27% longer life than HP compares the Latitude E6400 Dell lab test results above to the HP EliteBook 6930p”

The statement above pertains to the HP EliteBook when the announced battery life was up to 15 hours.

EliteBook 6930p

Now let’s have a look at what HP has to put forward. Like the Latitude E6400 the EliteBook 6930p uses a specific configuration as well, which includes a 6-cell (55 WHr) Li-Ion primary battery, 80 GB SSD, a LED display and an Ultra Capacity Battery.

Software configuration is also necessary

HP EliteBook 6930p

HP EliteBook 6930p

Photo credit:

“While Dell was busy working on getting 19 hours of battery life, we were putting the finishing touches on getting up to 24 hours.”

“Dude your Dell died 5 hours ago!”

Let the games begin – This is obviously a serious competition between Dell and HP.

EliteBook Ultra Capacity Battery

Business travelers you ought to be drooling. Competition to make your lives easier! This would mean no more futile searches for power outlets at the airport. Less frequent “Your battery is critically low” messages.

Let’s talk about safety. Some of you may be concerned about carry around a system fully loaded with lithium-ion batteries. Both Dell and HP take measures to enhance the safety and reliability of these batteries. We really don’t need a repeat of the infamous exploding laptop. By the way, HP says they were “the only top notebook manufacturer in 2006 and 2007 to not have a battery recall, when other manufacturers experienced major safety issues and recalls”. I think that was directed at Dell.

HP Battery Safety features

HP Battery Safety features

Images from regarding its safety standards

It’s also interesting to note that the TSA issued this travel alert:

Effective January 1, 2008, the Department of Transportation will prohibit loose lithium batteries in checked baggage.

Learn more about it here:

Here’s a breakdown of what it will cost you for the extra battery life:

Latitude E6400

  • The standard 6-cell battery is included at no additional cost
  • To upgrade from the standard 6-cell to a 9-cell primary battery will cost an additional $99
  • The 12-cell High-Capacity Battery Slice will cost an additional $399.

EliteBook 6930p

  • The standard 6-cell battery is included at no additional cost
  • The 12-cell Ultra-Capacity Battery will cost an additional $209.00

And the Winner is… The EliteBook 6930p

In conclusion the HP came out on top. It simply costs less to configure the HP with the necessary battery cells to last up to 24 hours. HP manages to use a combined total of 18 battery cells (6-cell primary + 12-cell add-on) to achieve 24 hours, verses Dell which uses a combined total of 21 battery cells (9-cell primary upgrade + 12-cell add-on) to achieve 19 hours. If you are thinking about making a purchase, I recommend visiting each manufacturer’s website to get up-to-date information regarding configuration and prices.

Author: Wayne Osborne

Feel free to comment and add any missing info or important details


2 responses

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