01-04-2012 07:53 PM
Got myself one of the Z835 Ultrabooks while Best Buy had them on sale just before Christmas. Been waiting for years for something of netbook weight and convenience but enough power and screen size to replace the pile of other computers for tasks requiring more than a netbook. Shopped all the ultrabooks and this Toshiba was hard to beat even for several hundred more. Been using it for several weeks now and I really, really like it - BUT - I don't seem to get anything even close to the battery life of 8 hrs claimed by Toshiba and validated by several of the reviews I read online. I'm getting more like 4 hrs. The best I've ever seen when I hover over the battery icon is about 5 hrs but 30 min later it will show something more like 3 hrs remaining. This all leads me to think I might have a defective battery that will completely conk out 3 days after the warranty expires. I don't have anything plugged into the USB ports and the screen is only about 1/2 brightness. The ECO utility shows I use about 8 or 9 watts. Anybody else with one of these getting similar performance? Should I take this back to Best Buy or contract Toshiba for a repair service?
Solved! Go to Solution.
01-06-2012 10:49 AM - edited 01-13-2012 10:38 AM
If you're getting battery results that are significantly worse than expected, contact technical support at (800) 457-7777.
[Edit to remove wrong information.]
01-07-2012 12:33 AM - edited 01-11-2012 08:05 AM
never ever trust any predictions on life
that rule actually works on fuel either.
car manufactures praise low x gallons per
mile. so do the big oil companies when
promising a longer run using their
they all have something in common -
always concealing under what circumstances,
demands and in which enviroment they achieved
this 'super' performance
therefore the results are of the same value for
customers as Kellog's low sugar praisings when
based on eating a 25gr portion of their cereal once
and only in the morning.
life as such - the point is when a fading
battery leads to a shut down. its power is
still sufficient enough to do many reboots
to been shut down again. try for yoruself.
I suppose that counts for battery life
either although not usable for an end user.
halfen the life given and add 20% as a matter of fairness
to have a real idea on the usable life, subject no demanding
games, CAD and lasting video encoding.
don't worry, things could be worse -
recently bought an Archos IT 28, 16 hour promised
but only running a maximum of 8 (music only) with
a sudden death. in my opinion customer fraud
almost liable for prosecution.
01-08-2012 01:43 PM
I am also experiencing very disappointing battery life on my Z830. In "eco" power mode, I rarely can eek out more than 2.5 hours of operation. Also it seems to drain power while in hibernation (yes hibernation not sleep) mode.
Here are some thoughts on this -- since I seem to be bleeding power while hibernated, I wonder if the (Toshiba) wireless mouse/keyboard transmitter which I leave plugged in to USB2 on back (this is supposedly the USB jack which does NOT have power when the computer is off). I wonder if both USB jacks on the backside are powered when the computer is off??
But besides this, not withstanding the possible "hibernation" power bleed, in general my battery is sinking at an alarming rate. When it says "3 hours remaining" when I hover over the battery, I find myself having to "plug in" about 1.5 hours later.
So it looks like my battery might have to be replaced. Ugh. I haven't called Toshiba yet because I wanted to see if I could confirm/isolate the problem further before I bugged them. This is when NON-removable batteries become a real pain. And to the Toshiba guy in this thread who gave the instruction to "remove the battery", you know the Z830/5 series has NON-removable batteries, right?
Aloha to all.
01-08-2012 02:32 PM
UPDATE: I just called Toshiba Tech Support, and spent about an hour on the phone. Oh my gosh I am getting very bad feelings about the quality and responsiveness of Toshiba Tech Support. Oh my, I hope I did not make a mistake by doing business with Toshiba. I really like the Z830, but I cannot live with this amazingly poor battery life.
01-10-2012 07:24 PM
Hawaii-Guy, I think I know where you're coming from. I called tech support on this battery issue and the tech rep was all ready to send me a replacement battery which I was ok with replacing as long as it didn't void my warranty. She was sure the battery released from the bottom with a couple of clips (like a std notebook) and I had to get very clear that the battery was internal on this model. She had to go look it up and then came back with a response that it would have to go to a service depot of which the closest is about 90 miles from where I live. Since I'm still in the window of return to Best Buy I called them and they said they can replace the battery if I can get it so now it's back to Toshiba again. It's like they really don't know their products or have a strategy for servicing them.
I called Best Buy and they said they *might* be able to help out and that I should bring my unit in for them to "evaluate" it. I did that tonight (Jan 10) and I must say I am somewhat underwhelmed by that. The GeekSquad guy turned it upside down and said he could take the screws out and replace the battery *if* I could get the battery. So I'm back to Toshiba for the part?!! What kind of customer service is this?
I did a lot of research before I bought this model and the reviewers on NotebookReview, ePinions, and several other sites were testing this model for real world battery performance and they were getting the touted 8 hrs. One of the nice things is the eco utility where you can see the wattage being used and I am consistently seeing less than 10 watts so it is not that I'm doing something to consume battery life excessively.
I don't know about the power loss while hibernated that you're seeing. There is a setting to control the output of the USB ports when the computer is off. I turned mine off. If you want to charge something, use a charger. There are plenty available on Amazon.
01-13-2012 10:40 AM
Of course you're right about it being non-removeable. That's the trade-off for having such a thin laptop I suppose. Sorry for the wrong information. I should have caught that before hitting the "Post" button!
02-06-2012 09:46 PM
Like other posters, battery life is less than expected. Started out OK, but getting worse every day. Runs down when in hibernation with nothing in USB ports. Manual in one place says hibernation uses no power, in another it implies that it uses very little. Tonight I discovered that even when totally powered off the battery drains. I had it charged to 98% and shut it down and left it plugged in for a day. When I turned it on it was at 58% and went to 20% in less than 2 hours.
Perhaps leaving it charging is causing a drain? The manual says don't leave charge for more than 8 hours but I forget. Most Li-ion batteries now have built in circuits that shut off the charge when it is fully charged. Maybe the batteries in the Portege do not have that circuitry or something else is going on.
Reports on technical support don't sound good. I bought mine from Toshiba Direct. Sounds like it is going to be a problem getting it fixed.
02-09-2012 08:09 PM
Here is an update on my battery issue. As I mentioned on the earlier post, it was so far from what Toshiba stated and what other reviewing web review sites were stating they were getting that I was convinced I had a bad battery. I contacted Toshiba support and although they didn't seem to understand that it was not a user replaceable part they did in fact send me the battery. To preserve the warranty, I took the computer back to Best Buy to have them replace it. Turns out there is a security screw strategically placed in the center of the bottom case that requires a special tool that even the Geek Squad doesn't have. I really don't like that but that's for another post. Ultimately, Best Buy was generous enough to replace the entire computer.
So here's what I learned. The new computer is no better than the original one. And here's the real story, The battery is a 47 Watt Hour, 8 cell. So to get 8 hrs you would have to average power usage at or below 6 watts. One of the nice features Toshiba provides is the Eco Utility which shows exactly how much power you are consuming. I've seen 6 watts on occasion but only for a few seconds at a time and never less and that's with nothing plugged in, nothing running, wireless turned off and the screen so dark you couldn't do any useful work. Typically this computer runs between 7 to 10 watts which calculates to maybe a little over 5 hrs. And that figure is pretty much in line with about the best I've been able to obtain.
If you're thinking about getting a Z835 I would still highly recommend it but make your decision based on a 4 - 5 hr battery life and beware that you will not even have a good option to open it up for any future service, updates or just general curiosity. I guess you use it until the battery fails then I suppose you deposit it in the Best Buy recycle bin (the replacement battery was $174 and you'll have to send it to Toshiba to install it). I don't know about you but I'm not going to want to spend that much on a 2 or 3 year old computer. If you already have a Z835 and you're getting better battery life than this, please share your secrets here.
02-10-2012 02:20 PM
That was very informative.
Just a couple of clarifications related to the other points to remove the confusion.
Hibernation - the computer saves an image of the open windows in a the hard drive (something line hiberfil.sys...) then it "shuts down" or turns off. Unless the *sleep and charge* feature of the laptop is enabled, then it shouldn't have any power draining at all.
Based on my experience and it is a fact, that on the first few cycles that you charge the battery. It may seem that the battery life is short. It happened to me and learned it the hard way and was surprised after a week of using the laptop (a couple of recharging and calibrating the battery), the battery worked normally as expected (depending on your usage - watching video, surfing the net or just plainly using an office application).
Just my two cents worth.
The Z835 is indeed an elegant laptop. I wouldn't replace it for another an "air"
02-10-2012 10:22 PM
48Wh battery is pretty sad considering the Portege r835 has 63Wh 6 cell battery (although they advertise it as 66Wh). The r835 has standard voltage sandy bridge, and it uses almost the same power as the ULV cpus - as long as I limit the max cpu to 2GHz which is the same max speed of i5-2467m. R835 use 7W in eco mode, and this thing lasts 8 hours.
You guys are basically paying more for the thinness, light weight, and backlight keyboard. The ULV is marketing gimick. It's not like the old days' ULV cpus where they were actually better.
02-13-2012 10:20 AM
A few more observations.
Battery/power management tips are helpful; nothing really new but good reminders of what to check, e.g., turn off auto save in apps, quick scans by anti-virus, automatic backups, etc.
I have been experimenting with different settings as I notice that the life/usage while the pc is in use and in hibernation varies considerably.
One tip I think regarding Sleep & Charge setting in the Sleep Utility: I thought that enabling sleep & charge but not checking "Enable under Battery Mode" would send power to the USB port only when plugged in; the help explanation is not very helpful, but I now believe that is not the case. I think "Enable Sleep and Charge" should also be unchecked to completely avoid battery usage when in hibernation. This seemed to help as it maintained a full charge while in hibernation for 24 hours while the battery drained considerably under the first noted state.
According to everything I can find the only power usage while in hibernation should be to keep the RTC batttery charged--a very minimal drain.
Re Geek Squad lack of tools: Geek Squad is not an authorised repair facility for Toshiba--thus no tools. Find an authorised repair shop: http://pcrepair.toshiba.com
02-13-2012 01:12 PM - edited 02-13-2012 01:14 PM
I have come to the unfortunately conclusion that battery life of the Z830 is substandard and severely cripples the usefulness of this product. If I am VERY careful I can eek out 3 hours of useful battery life which is just not enough for over-ocean flights.
I bought an HP Folio 13 at the same time as the Toshiba Z830, and I must say that the HP gets about DOUBLE the battery life of the Toshiba. Its battery also seems to keep its charge better when the system is hibernated than the Toshiba. It is true that the HP is a bit bigger, and heavier, and perhaps its weight goes into a larger battery, I don't know.
But given that batteries cannot be exchanged, and therefore it is not possible to bring along another charged battery for long flights, I must say that I am profoundly disappointed with the Toshiba model. I have pretty much given up trying to get anything NEAR to the 8 hours advertised life from this battery, I think that claim is a complete fabrication alas.
PS By the way I have a Z830 with a i5 processor.
02-13-2012 10:06 PM
Hawaii-guy, you are right--advertised bettery life is a fabrication, or more correclty, fabricated in ideal lab conditions with nothing running, cooled to shiver, etc.
However, part of your problem is the i5 processor. Try setting it to maximize battery life on flights. You probably don't need maximum performance in the air unless you are crunching massive spreadsheets or something.
I have the i3 and when traveling doing mundane things like watching videos, listening to music, writing letters or playing a simple game and even downloading emials in the terminal I can get at least 5-6 hours on a full charge in eco or balanced mode; perhaps longer with some other tweaks.
So far my only real issue has been the hibernation thing and I may have fixed that by disabling Sleep and Charge.
02-13-2012 10:32 PM
Thanks for the tips. Yes I have an i5 processor, but I am running almost completely in "eco" mode. I assume that is the most power-preserving mode, no? I have not disable "sleep and charge" yet but I presume it might be part of my problem. I keep the Toshiba nub transmitter (for keyboard and mouse) plugged into the NON-charging USB2 port at all times and I think this might be part of my problem. Well the wireless keyboard and mouse were sold as Toshiba accessories when I bought the Z830 so I presumed they would be compatible but maybe the transmitter is a power hog, I don't know. Anyway the transmitter, as I said, is plugged into the NON-charging USB2 port, so presumably does not use power when the computer is in sleep, hibernate or "off".
Again the best I get is 3 hours, and that is already with some babying ("eco" mode and no high demand of the processor.
02-13-2012 11:13 PM
The USB mouse and keyboard may not use power in hibernation but I'm sure it does when you are using the pc--constantly sending signals back and forth, especially the mouse.
I'm not sure if you can adjust CPU clock speed on these, maybe in BIOS. Couldn't find in the Toshiba or Windows power settings. Eco and Balanced mode are supposed to adjust cpu to meet demands on the fly.
There are a lot of other tweaks in Windows you can try to improve performance and reduce background stuff happening (e.g., search indexing, a lot of processes (especially Toshiba programs) running in the background that can be eliminated from the startup, nice graphical stuff, etc. Explore the Windows help files and run the performance troubleshooter.
Don't forget to turn of Wi-Fi when you are not using it (like on a plane)--big drain.
And the biggie I almost forgot: make sure your Battery Manager (Toshiba programs) is set to normal charge mode, not eco mode. Eco mode extends battery life cycles when you use the AC adapter a lot by not fully charging the battery, which obviously results in shorter life per charge.
02-14-2012 05:56 AM
Just thought I'd add that the display usually consumes most of the power - the dimmer the better. Be sure it turns off after a short time of no use.
While I'm here..
Anything plugged into any USB port will draw power - even a flash drive.
When any wireless (including Bluetooth) is turned on, extra power is consumed.
Visual effects require energy. Search Control Panel for Performance Information and Tools. Select that and then Adjust Visual Effects. Set Adjust for best performance.
02-15-2012 02:05 PM
You are not alone in this regard when contacting toshiba support. More like clerks and note taking to me. Any kid out there can speak better and do better job. Waiting for someone to answer the phone is ridiculous; the phone system will transfer you around and around, if someone picked up the phone, they refused to give you the phone number to call back because they will transfer you to a unattended phone and you will get dropped one way or the other. Basically, those who answers your phone call wont know anything about the products, they are not specically trained on these specific product lines. They will ask and ask and ask, and you will need to spell, and spell, and spell it out, to the point you will probably spell out the solution yourself.
Toshiba has good products, but it is sad they can't really support their product properly. They should take one step back and look at their support dept, and that will help them with two steps forward. It seems to me their support dept is waiting for the consumers to do all the troubleshootings and spell them out before they can come up with a solution.