Currently I'm using a Netbook (Dell Latitude 2100 non-touch scree) (2GB RAM, 1.6GHZ Intel Atom Processor, 60GB HDD, originally Win Vista Business, currently WIndows 7 Pro and a windows experience index of 2.2) and with the Processor settings set to increase max battery life and OS priority set to performance over display, I'm averaging about 1.5-2.5 hours of battery life from a 6 cell Li-Ion battery.

If I were to install the latest version of Ubuntu on the current HDD would I see an improvement in battery life? What if I were to buy/install like a 16GB SSD and the latest version of Ubuntu, would I likely see more of an improvement if any on battery life?

The biggest problem I'm currently experiencing is that as an engineering student running this laptop as a secondary computer to run to class with, it's obviously slow being old and running on Intel Atom, and if i prioritize speed over battery life, I'll get at best 45 min to an hour of battery life, and that's hardly sufficient enough to get by one class. I figured converting to SSD would definitely improve performance and allow me to run tasks faster, and using Ubuntu which is a far simpler platform to Windows 7 I'd browse the web at superb speeds efficiently, and running Wine I'd be able to open Word and Excel and run my files off a cloud service despite the lack of storage space.

What does everyone else think? Open to suggestions. Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Changing the HDD to and SSD would indeed give you more battery life, but probably not more than 15-30 minutes. Ubuntu is not really more power saving than windows, but if you run a desktop environment that is low on processes and not too shiny, you can probably get some more minutes out of it.

I would suggest you try it out from a Live DVD/USB. See how long the battery lives on that with the HDD. If you got the money to spare, check also with the SSD. Maybe even just install Ubuntu on the SSD and just change the disk according to what suits you better.

Also, old batteries tend to loose capacity over the years. I've got a laptop that just cannot hold power more than 45 minutes, because of bad cells in the battery. So maybe consider trying with a new battery as well.


I run my main laptop on solar power all the day and have limited power. Reducing CPU clock speed helps the most in my experience.

You can install CPUfreq tool, and set a Powersave option or manually set the lowest clock speed.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq

Also switching off Wifi from device physical on/off switch will improve battery timing significantly.

I've been on Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10, 12.04 and now 14.04. There is no difference in Power Consumption, though I feel a little (10%-15%) performance hit now that I'm on 14.04 LTS. There is nearly 35% - 40% reduced power consumption by under-clocking. Nearly another 10% when I switch Wifi down.

I also apply these settings on my Intel Atom powered Hp-mini 200 netbook, battery lasts around 6-7 hours while programming. While, around 3 hours while playing Videos.

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