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Intel teases 28-hour laptop battery life. Here's what you need to know

Seriously impressive, even if caveats abound.

Dell XPS 13 (late 2017)
Sarah Tew/CNET

More battery life. We all want it, but batteries aren't improving, at least not quickly enough. So companies have to find battery savings elsewhere. But when it comes to laptops, chipmaker Intel may have just found a veritable jackpot. According to the company, Intel's new Low Power Display Technology will let a standard lightweight laptop run up to 28 hours on a charge.

What's the secret? The screen. Intel says it's using a special LCD panel from Sharp and Innolux that consumes just 1 watt of power. That's half as much as a similar laptop screen would use before.

Intel says a standard Dell XPS 13 with the screen installed lasted 25 hours and 14 minutes, while a prototype Intel device managed the full 28 hours. More generally, the company's forecasting 4 to 8 hours of local video file playback for systems that adopt the technology.

Mind you, when Intel says "28 hours," you should know we're probably not talking about heavy use. The company also claims the existing Dell XPS 13 already manages 20 hours on a charge, but we only saw 12 hours of streaming video playback in our review. That gives you some perspective.

Intel also says its 28-hour run was with the screen set to 150 nits of brightness (dimmer than you might be used to) and using headphones instead of speakers.

And if you want to take advantage of improved battery life, you probably won't be able to simply install a new Sharp or Innolux screen in your existing PC. It requires Intel's power management solution, plus The Verge reports that it only works with Intel's integrated graphics, not the Nvidia or AMD solutions you might want for gaming.

But when it comes to battery life, I'll take what I can get.

Curious what else Intel announced at Computex in Taipei this year? Check out our full report.