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View Full Version : New 15" PB Battery Concerns and Accessories Questions


Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 12:13 PM
I just purchased the new 15'' PB w/ Superdrive, backlit keyboard, 1.25 Ghz, 512 RAM, etc. on Friday afternoon and have a few questions for anyone who might have answers.

After having run the battery down to "10%" remaining juice yesterday, I plugged in the laptop and let it fully recharge. _When I saw that the battery had been charged, I removed the charger, turned on the PB, and found that with a 100% charge the estimated battery life was only around 2.5 hours. _I quickly went to Energy Saver to set everything to optimal battery life settings, but I still haven't been able to get the battery to get anywhere close to the advertised "4.5 hours." _I read the "Mac Help" section on how to prolong battery life, and I did everything that was recommended. _I would think that I could get at least 4 hours on a brand new battery. _So, what is the deal? _What am I not taking into account? _Is anybody else encountering this with their new 15'' PB?

My second question is about accessories. _Since this 15'' PB runs pretty hot (I found that out when I had it sitting on my lap for several minutes) I would like to get an accessory that will allow me to operate the PB cooler and more comfortably, but securely. _Which product do you recommend?

Also, what other accessories would someone recommend to a "new" laptop user. _This is my first laptop, so I don't know what I will encounter along the way. _I have already purchased an iGO Juice auto/air/AC adapter and a Timbuk2 carry bag.

I would appreciate any useful advice and constructive feedback. Thanks!

G5orbust
Sep 21, 2003, 12:22 PM
well, your first step would be to turn off airport and bluetooth. Those zap battery pretty quickly.

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 12:37 PM
Yes. I understand this to be the case. As I stated earlier, I followed all the recommended settings in the "Mac Help" about prolonging battery life. This included turning off Bluetooth, Airport, reducing brightness on both the screen and keyboard, and reducing the processor speed.

Despite doing all these things, by just simply turning on the 15" and not doing a thing with it, the battery is still estimating to run at only 2.5 hours...hence my earlier question.

So, I'd appreciate any useful advice and constructive feedback from anyone who may be able to help with respect to either the battery or accessories issue. Thanks!

Ramsos
Sep 21, 2003, 12:46 PM
Did you run the PB until it went to sleep then charge it, because that is what you are supposed to do the first couple of times to properly calibrate your battery for maximum life? I saw that you ran it down to 10% but I think you should let it run completely down then charge it, at least that was the rule for tibooks. Good luck -RAM

crees!
Sep 21, 2003, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by Jr.HighTeacher
Since this 15'' PB runs pretty hot (I found that out when I had it sitting on my lap for several minutes)

Hot, really? I've heard nothing but praise as these new 15" PB's are supposedly very, very cool.

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 12:53 PM
Okay. I'll run the battery down all the way this time as you suggested. I hope that does the trick.

Still, if anyone else has any ideas, please let me know.

And yes...it did run hot on my lap yesterday. I was wearing Dockers pants and felt the heat penetrating down to my skin. In fact, my thighs were red and clammy as though they were being slowly baked. ;-)

I'm not too concerned about the heat issue, since I know that it's a fast processor crammed into a laptop. I just want to know what "cooling" accessory is recommended for this PB, and what other accessories are a good idea to get.

Thanks!

JSRockit
Sep 21, 2003, 01:11 PM
I have heard of some getting the 4.5 hours of battery life and others getting 2.5 hours. Don't know who to believe.

Abstract
Sep 21, 2003, 01:28 PM
Wow!! With that type of battery life, you would have been better off getting a Dell. ;) Maybe you can call Apple and beg for a new battery since it seems like you got a lemon. Two and a half hours is unacceptable, especially when considering the price you paid for it.

JSRockit
Sep 21, 2003, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Abstract
Wow!! With that type of battery life, you would have been better off getting a Dell. ;) Maybe you can call Apple and beg for a new battery since it seems like you got a lemon. Two and a half hours is unacceptable, especially when considering the price you paid for it.

My 12" pBook gets 3 hours of battery life...and that is considered normal.

veedubdrew
Sep 21, 2003, 01:41 PM
Just FYI, Panther improves battery life A LOT. My iBook was getting about 1.5hrs on a full charge before Panther, and is now doing about 2:40. A big improvement. So, I'd imagine that Jaguar's battery issues are temporary.

actionslacks
Sep 21, 2003, 01:49 PM
1.25 15"

I too am getting about 2.5 hours. it is my only complaint so far. It is a little warm under heavy usage, but no more than most labtops I have used.

I am going to try running my battery down again today, but I don't know if it will help.

JSRockit
Sep 21, 2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by veedubdrew
Just FYI, Panther improves battery life A LOT. My iBook was getting about 1.5hrs on a full charge before Panther, and is now doing about 2:40. A big improvement. So, I'd imagine that Jaguar's battery issues are temporary.

Which iBook is getting that horrible battery life? An IceBook should get no less than 3.5 hours.

QCassidy352
Sep 21, 2003, 02:37 PM
I had a 12" ibook that got under 3 hours (under 2 hours watching a dvd) and Apple said that was "acceptable." My current 14" ibook can get over 3 hours watching dvds and over 4 hours with "normal" use.

So my point is just that battery life is never as advertised (though I am quite satisfied with the 14" battery life).

JSRockit
Sep 21, 2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
I had a 12" ibook that got under 3 hours (under 2 hours watching a dvd) and Apple said that was "acceptable." My current 14" ibook can get over 3 hours watching dvds and over 4 hours with "normal" use.

So my point is just that battery life is never as advertised (though I am quite satisfied with the 14" battery life).

Yes, never as advertised, but the iBook is advertised at 5 hours. The iBook, with screen dimmed down and on settings for best battery should get more than 3.5 hours if my 12" pBook can get 3 hours. The G4 consumes more power than a G3 and the screens are the same.

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 06:41 PM
I drained down the battery all the way until the PB went to sleep, recharged the battery to 100%, and still just a few minutes past 2.5 hours or "calculated" use time. So, the 15" is a huge drain on the battery. I got that.

However, I am still hoping to get some advice about a "cooling" accessory and any other recommended accessories that would make my experience of owning and using the PB more enjoyable and less troublesome.

Thanks.

crees!
Sep 21, 2003, 06:51 PM
Just received this in an email:

Here is another document where Apple talks about the different battery technologies that it has used, and the best practices for recharging. Even for Lith-Ion, they recommend to fully discharge before charging.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=10970

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 07:47 PM
Okay, can someone explain to me what just happened with my 15" PB?

I had turned it on about an hour ago after having fully charged the battery. _At that time, the battery calculation said 2:33 of useful time. _I then closed the lid and put the PB to sleep. _A moment ago, I raised the lid up and the PB awakened. _It recalculated the battery time, only THIS time is actually said (and I couldn't believe my eyes) 3 hours!

Then, maybe after a few seconds, it dropped instantly to 2:45, which is still better than the 2:30 that I have gotten ever since yesterday.

Out of curiosity, I closed the laptop again and put it to sleep. _After a few minutes, I opened it again only to have it recalculate back to 3:04 at 97% battery charge, which then drops to 2:48 after a few seconds. To make matters worse, I opened a simple spreadsheet program that I use to enter my student's grades, and the time plummeted back down to 2:33. _So, I'm wondering if someone can explain any of this to me. _Why the sudden fluctuations in time only after seconds, not minutes?

Ideas anyone? :(

crazzyeddie
Sep 21, 2003, 08:09 PM
With my 15" Titanium, I find that i get more than the "calculated" battery life. Basically, the less stuff you do, the longer the battery lasts. This includes turning off your screen saver. Apps that use constant CPU power, like iTunes, will decrease the life alot. Sometimes, why my calculated time is 1:30, i get more like 2:45 of actual run time.

crees!
Sep 21, 2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by Jr.HighTeacher
Okay, can someone explain to me what just happened with my 15" PB?

I had turned it on about an hour ago after having fully charged the battery. _At that time, the battery calculation said 2:33 of useful time. _I then closed the lid and put the PB to sleep. _A moment ago, I raised the lid up and the PB awakened. _It recalculated the battery time, only THIS time is actually said (and I couldn't believe my eyes) 3 hours!

Then, maybe after a few seconds, it dropped instantly to 2:45, which is still better than the 2:30 that I have gotten ever since yesterday.

Out of curiosity, I closed the laptop again and put it to sleep. _After a few minutes, I opened it again only to have it recalculate back to 3:04 at 97% battery charge, which then drops to 2:48 after a few seconds. To make matters worse, I opened a simple spreadsheet program that I use to enter my student's grades, and the time plummeted back down to 2:33. _So, I'm wondering if someone can explain any of this to me. _Why the sudden fluctuations in time only after seconds, not minutes?

Ideas anyone? :(

Sounds like a "real-time" calculation of the battery life depending on which programs you are currently running and what you are currently doing. Hence a 3 hour battery life would be longer while sleeping than when you would be playing a video game. Sounds... intelligent. ;)

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 08:34 PM
:)
I realize that running a program will reduce the time, but a spreadsheet program will knock off 20-30 minutes?!

Heaven forbid I should want to play a DVD movie while away from any power source.

It's just a drag, that's all. :(

I'll just have to get used to the idea of plugging it in wherever I go, and at least that way I can enjoy the features that this PB offers without worrying whether the battery is going to die on me or not.

alxths
Sep 21, 2003, 08:38 PM
How many rpm does the HD you got have? I'm pretty sure that a higher RPM could put a little added strain on battery life...

crees!
Sep 21, 2003, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by alxths
How many rpm does the HD you got have? I'm pretty sure that a higher RPM could put a little added strain on battery life...

I upgraded to the 5400 rpm drive myself... but if you think about it.. eventhough it is a faster drive and might need more power.. it's not running as long as a 4200 rpm drive because it writes the data faster. My guess is that battery life would have little difference between those 2 drives.

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 08:47 PM
When I run Apple System Profiler, it just tells me what kind of a hard drive I have and how large it is.

It is a Fujitsu MHT2080AT 80 GB drive
Device Revision 8162

How can I find out what RPM's it runs at?

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 08:50 PM
I guess my drive runs at 4200 RPM.

crees!
Sep 21, 2003, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by Jr.HighTeacher
I guess my drive runs at 4200 RPM.

You're correct. If you didn't upgrade the harddrive then it would be at 4200rpms. Were there any other questions you might have?

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 21, 2003, 09:14 PM
The only other questions I had dealt with a "cooling" accessory. There's one from Macmice (http://www.macmice.com/ibreeze.html) that looks interesting, and it has fans and runs off USB pulling little juice from the battery (hopefully).

I'm just wondering if there's anything better out there, and whether there are any other accessories that I ought to look into now that I am using a laptop. I already have the carrying case and an extra AC/auto/air adapter.

Thanks for your input. :)

Phatpat
Sep 22, 2003, 04:37 PM
I have a 1.25 ghz alubook and have been getting much better battery life. I have found the "show time" indicator to be rather inaccurate though. I don't know what's up with it, but it seems to underestimate, then not move for awhile. I just use the % indicator. As long as I'm not gaming or watching a dvd I can pretty easily get upwards of four hours.

Phatpat
Sep 22, 2003, 04:40 PM
Do you really feel you need a "cooling device"? I hate the ones with fans; I like my powerbook nice and quiet. Apple designed it to be stable at the heat the computer produces, I don't really understand the need for concern. I have to say the GBreeze notebook cooler on macmice looks pretty phat, though it's not worth the money to me.

haifischjunge
Sep 22, 2003, 05:09 PM
Has anyone already noticed, that the battery in the new 15" PB only has 46wh, compared to 61 in the old one.

Even the new 12" has got a 47wh battery. Not to forgett that in the specs for the new 15" is marked, that the "up to 4.5 hours" are based on the 1ghz modell. they did't mention a battery life for the 1,25ghz 15" PB.

I would say that apple doesnt forget to mention the number by accident. You could estimate that the 1,25ghz PB will go in the direction of 3 hours (if apple themself would calculate it) compared to up to 4 hours for the 1ghz 15" and 5 hours for the 12"
.

xtoph
Sep 22, 2003, 06:30 PM
My Alu 15 is still in transit, but I have some cooling strategies based on the TiBook I've been using for a couple years...

The single biggest tip is to be certain that the PowerBook has air exposure on all sides. One way to think about it: any place that gets hot will also be where the heat gets dispersed, as long as you aren't insulating that spot.

Setting the computer directly on a couch cusion/pillow/lap/table cloth will usually impede the airflow beneath the machine and make it get a lot hotter.

For me, something as simple as a thick piece of cardboard/wood, large book, etc -- anything rigid enough to support the powerbook by its feet instead of its belly -- is sufficient.

Additional cooling fans etc shouldn't be necessary unless the environment is also uncomfortably warm, or you're performing a long, processor-intensive task... in such cases just increasing the gap below the computer usually compensates.

Try the easy stuff first! :-)

JSRockit
Sep 22, 2003, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by haifischjunge
Has anyone already noticed, that the battery in the new 15" PB only has 46wh, compared to 61 in the old one.

Even the new 12" has got a 47wh battery. Not to forgett that in the specs for the new 15" is marked, that the "up to 4.5 hours" are based on the 1ghz modell. they did't mention a battery life for the 1,25ghz 15" PB.

I would say that apple doesnt forget to mention the number by accident. You could estimate that the 1,25ghz PB will go in the direction of 3 hours (if apple themself would calculate it) compared to up to 4 hours for the 1ghz 15" and 5 hours for the 12"
.

My 12" pBook gets 3 hours.

Jr.HighTeacher
Sep 23, 2003, 12:19 AM
All posts are great input, and thanks for the recommendations on how to operate the PB cooler.

I just figured that the millimeter or so of space that the tiny feet provide just isn't adequate to allow for sufficient airflow, and that is why I was concerned about heat dissipation. I'll give your suggestions a try before buying anything. It's not like I haven't spent enough money as it is! ;)

JSRockit
Sep 23, 2003, 05:25 AM
Originally posted by Jr.HighTeacher
All posts are great input, and thanks for the recommendations on how to operate the PB cooler.

I just figured that the millimeter or so of space that the tiny feet provide just isn't adequate to allow for sufficient airflow, and that is why I was concerned about heat dissipation. I'll give your suggestions a try before buying anything. It's not like I haven't spent enough money as it is! ;)

The heat is normal...it is dissapating through the aluminum.