Want Better Battery Life? Kill Cortana.

I was looking at an online review of the laptop I just got, the HP Spectre x360. The reviewer was complaining that with the screen at 50% brightness, he was only getting 5.5 hours and how dare HP advertise this laptop has a 12 hour battery.

Well, what the reviewer probably didn’t realize is that Cortana is a battery hog. That lovely “hey Cortana” feature that allows you voice command means your microphone is not just always on, but always processing sound input to try to figure out if you need it. It’s a really nifty feature, but it’s going to cost you battery life.

Unlike touch screens which I thought I wouldn’t use, then got used to, and missed when I gave it up. Voice controlling my computer has never been more than a novelty for me. After getting Cortana to tell me a couple of jokes and do a couple of searches, I turned her off.

Ever since I killed Cortana, I’m getting pretty nice battery life in the 8 to 9 hour range on a charge in balanced mode with 83% screen brightness. If I was to switch to battery saver mode, I’m sure I could get closer to 12.

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