Battery life is incredibly important to anyone using a laptop or tablet, but most people only think about how long a machine can be powered up. Another important consideration to keep in mind is how the battery is used in sleep mode. On Windows 8.1 systems that support InstantGo the Sleep Study tool can be used to diagnose battery drain in sleep mode.
In a post on the Windows Experience Blog, Kevin A Chin explains how it is possible to use the utility to determine just what is killing your battery whilst sleeping. It's not a tool that can be used on every computer, but if it works for you, it provides a great way to home in on power hogs that reduce the amount of time you can spend away from a power outlet.
The problem with any battery life testing utility is that it will itself use some battery, meaning that it will not provide an accurate set of figures. With Sleep Study -- which is built into Windows -- Microsoft worked hard to minimize the tool's impact on battery life to help make it a more accurate way to track down other culprits.
The blog post explains how to check to see if your computer supports InstantGo, and thus is able to use Sleep Study. One activated, it will run in the background and analyze your computer whenever it enters sleep mode. A comprehensive set of graphs is generated, and you'll be provided with a list of the top five battery consumers.
The information can help you to identify drivers and devices that are causing problems so you can take the appropriate action -- if a driver is causing a device to suck power, it's time to check whether there's an update available! But the charts also make it clear just how your battery is being used. You might be surprised to discover just how much power your Bluetooth adaptor uses, for instance, and when battery life is of the utmost important, you can opt to disable these power drains.
Give it a try and see what results you get!