Intel is teaming up with display tech companies Sharp and Innolux to make laptop displays that consume a single watt of power.
It's unclear exactly how much power a typical laptop display consumes, but the company claims that a low-power display can add four to eight hours of battery life to a typical laptop during local (non-streaming) video playback. "That means battery life could be up to 28 hours on some devices," Intel said in a press release. Most laptops hang around the 12-hour battery life mark.
It's worth noting that Intel added some fine print to its 28-hour battery life claim where you'd usually find a lot of caveats. But Intel's fine print doesn't actually undo any of its claims.
Intel's testing was done on a decently powerful laptop with the company's "U" series of chips that are usually found in ultrabook laptops, which is a common and totally reasonable type of laptop to test out its claims. Ultrabook laptops are slim and light, and can easily handle everyday tasks, as well as certain heavier tasks. You'll find Intel's "U" series chips inside Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pros, for example, which are very capable machines.
Intel also noted in its fine print that the testing was done with "several power savings techniques." One of those techniques was to reduce the display's brightness down to 150 "nits," which isn't too bad in terms of brightness. Another power-saving technique was to play video locally from the laptop's hard drive for the testing rather than using power-hungry internet streaming.
The technology is still in the development stage at the moment, and there's no clear timeline for when we can expect laptops with low-power displays on store shelves. There's also no telling which laptop manufacturers would use the technology. Still, all in all, Intel's new low-power display tech appears promising.