The battery life is nowhere near the claimed "up to 9 hours" (which I didn't expect it to be, given how I use the system), but it does last about twice as long as my former laptop with the same relative workload -- about 5 hours now, easily going the entire cross-country flight either direction which I tested last week. With the old laptop I had to bring along a spare battery and used them both up pretty well on the same trips (or I brought a power adaptor).
This is a screamer of a system. About the only thing I can say negative about it is that it only came with the integrated graphics card (they did not offer an option for an enhanced graphics card at the time I ordered -- they do now, but there doesn't seem to be an option to add it to an existing system).
So far Microsoft Vista has been OK. There are some things I like (recent places). There are some things that I miss from Windows XP (hardware profiles being one of them). I'll make a separate report later on Vista as I get more used to it and figure out the tricks.
One other note of interest: While the system does have 4GB of memory installed, the fact that I am running a 32 bit operating system (Vista) which can only address a total of 4GB and has memory reserved for hardware i/o mapping (and some shared memory for the graphics card), the net amount of memory I have is around 3.4GB. Much lower than I thought. I'm thinking about making the jump to a 64 bit OS next time.
I did come like this close (picture me with my thumb and index finger almost touching) to jumping on the Macbook Pro bandwagon this time. I just couldn't give up the 1900x1200 display and the availability of real docking stations. Perhaps next time.
As part of this upgrade, I have done my part for the tech economy, choosing to buy/install upgraded versions of most of my like 5 billion utilities that I use. I guess Microsoft does cut a wide economic swath within the tech industry.
This is the first system upgrade in more than 2 years for me and it was worth it. I've been looking for a while and waited for Intel's Santa Rosa platform to become available.