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Computer Technology

Permanent and transitory systems are included. Full-time dataloggers are needed for the acquisition, storage, and transfer of measurement data. Low power single board computers applicable to more complex calculations, processes, and protocols are discussed. Measurements of power consumption for selected laptop computers are presented to allow users to make informed choices in this common tool used during field trips.

Laptop Power Consumption

Computer technology plays a big part in polar research, however choosing a system that can complete the task while using the least power is important. Below is power consumption data for candidate laptops in various operational modes.  Clicking on the laptop name will display a graph of its power usage in different modes of operation.  

Laptop Brand and Model Number Watts Windows Bootup Simple Computer Operations USB File Transfer Defrag HDD Lid closed (Screen Off) Screen Max Brightness Screen Min Brightness WLAN off Standby Hibernate
Dell D620D620 power plot
avg 28 27 30 28 17 25 20 26 2.5 .9
peak 50 38 35 35

Lenovo T40pT40p poer plot
avg 33 25 31 27 17 26 17 25 1.4 0.7
peak 40 32 39

Lenovo T60pT60p power plot
avg 38 33 37 36 25 33 26
0.5 0.0
peak 49 52 45


Panasonic CF-18CF-81 power plot
avg 18 14 17 18 8 15 8 14 0.8 0.8
peak 20

Panasonic CF-30CF-30 power plot
avg 17.5 16 20 17 13


peak 28

21 15

Low Power Single Board Computer

The Technologics TS-7260 single board computer (SBC) is a very low power computer board with a high degree of functionality. The board consumes less than 1 Watt at full 200 MHz processor speed. Power consumption can drop to 0.25 Watts at slower clock speeds. The ARM-based processor runs Linux. The board supports Ethernet, USB, serial, and analog and digital I/O. It has been used successfully on several projects by SRI International.  Please check back for more information or contact Roy Stehle via the link on the Contacts page.