Day 16: My ASUS laplet and its troubled sleep

Lincoln Spector

Last night, I passed the halfway point in my 30-day ordeal of temporarily replacing both my Windows 7 laptop and my iPad with an ASUS T100TA-C1-GR Transformer Book laplet (laptop/tablet hybrid). I can smell the finish line.

One thing really drives me crazy about the ASUS: It consumes electricity like crazy when it’s supposed to be in power-saving mode. When it’s plugged into the wall, that’s just a waste of resources; when it’s unplugged, it could mean a useless laplet in the morning — and a foreshortened overall battery life.

Windows’ Sleep mode — at least in theory — sips the tiniest bit of electricity when you’re not using the computer. The small current should be enough to keep open programs and files in RAM, so you can quickly return to where you left off.

But when in sleep mode, this ASUS tosses and turns as if it’s having bad dreams. One night last week, the battery was at 79 percent when I put it to sleep around 10:00. Ten hours later, when I woke it to read the newspaper, it was down to just two percent. That wasn’t the only time it’s lost battery power essentially doing nothing, it’s just the only time I specifically took note of the battery’s condition.

Why not use Windows’ other power-saving mode — hibernation? By writing the data in RAM to disk and then shutting down Windows, it consumes no power at all. Sadly, this model of ASUS doesn’t support hibernation; it’s not an option.

So I’ve been shutting the laplet down a lot. Luckily, the device boots very quickly. Still, it’s an annoyance.

While composing this post, I asked my fellow Windows Secrets contributors for possible solutions to this problem. Fred Langa suggested opening a command-line window and using the shutdown /h command to put the ASUS into hibernation.

Thanks, Fred; it worked! (Oddly, I knew that command but never thought it would work when hibernation isn’t listed among Windows’ shutdown options.



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Lincoln Spector

About Lincoln Spector

Lincoln Spector writes about computers, home theater, and film and maintains two blogs: Answer Line at PCWorld.com and Bayflicks.net. His articles have appeared in CNET, InfoWorld, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.