Hi Caco On to the battery. The advertised battery life is 3+ hours under normal use. I don’t know if watching a DVD constitutes normal use or not but on a recent trip out of town, I tried to watch a movie. On the way out, I got to watch 1 hour and 40 minutes before I was forced to shut down. On the return trip, I got to 1 hour and 30 minutes before I ran out of juice. Both times I had the battery fully charged prior to starting and manually turned off power to the wireless card. I am not sure if I got a lemon with the battery but I have an email in to Richard to see what he has to say.
DVD viewing is not considered "general/normal use" The laptop has to use extra juice to run the dvd drive along with powering speakers to produce sound and the cpu scales up slightly from 600mhz so if your getting around 3 hours general/normal use, 1 hour and 50 minutes sounds about right for DVD viewing. My compal CL56 to give you a comparison gets 4.5 hours general/normal use and for DVD viewing I get a little over 3 hours.Finally, onto heat and fan issues. I was surprised to find out how warm this system got. Under normal use (surfing, email, word processing etc), it took about 30 minutes or so before the fan kicked in. About an hour into using the system, the bottom of the unit got pretty hot and I definitely found it uncomfortable to have it on my lap (especially when wearing shorts and skin contact being made with the unit). The fan cycling was not terribly loud but I definitely noticed it. Maybe I need one of those notebook coolers that draw power from the USB port. But I am worried what that would do to my already dismal battery life! I might have to do the AS thing here soon.
Were you doing general use on your laptop for a hour before you started to feel that the heat got unbearable? Having a laptop on your lap or on a non flat surface is never a good thing to do for extended periods of time. If the bottom of the laptop has restricted air flow, heat collects on the laptop itself rather than being disappated by the cooler room temperature air. I've used my laptop a few times on my lap for a hour or more and it got a little warm, but not unbearable. However if I were gaming for that long on my laptop than its a different story (it'd get hot)
Notebook coolers are a nice solution and I opted for one for the sole purpose of a 24 hour lan party, but I found it to be portable and light enuff to work on my lap in conjunction with my laptop. If you want a cooler that is able to function like this (on your lap) make sure you get one that does not require an a/c plug as this defeats the purpose of a portable notebook cooler. You are indeed correct that a USB powered notebook cooler will take some battery life away. My evercool USB powered 4 fan notebook cooler when plugged in full power consumes 30 minutes off my normal 4.5 hour use, giving me 4 hours from full to drain with the notebook cooler running...