Are two batteries really an option?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by reaper, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. reaper macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    19th Hole
    #1
    Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the two battery issue for powerbooks.

    I am thinking about getting a powerbook for law school next fall, but am wondering how viable an option it will be when I'll need it for at least 4-5 hours of class a day (I will be getting at least a 15", so I assume one battery will not last that long and I don't want to have to worry about lugging a charger with me wherever I go).

    Any thoughts or experiences would be helpful. Thanks.

    - reaper
     
  2. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #2
    If you turn down the lcd backlight and set the the energy saver to longest battery life 1 battery should last long enough.
     
  3. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    In a nice place..
    #3
    I think with running the smallest amount of stuff (and the LCD way down), you might be able to get the rated 4.5 hours. But having an extra battery, or an available power outlet may be required.

    Kimo
     
  4. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    hm.... I was just thinking..... If apple could make another bay in the powerbook for a floppy or an extra drive or an extra battery or a somthing.... O well. just a thought
     
  5. parrothead macrumors 6502a

    parrothead

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    #5
    Two batteries are better than one. I had two batteries for my Tibook and it really was nice when I needed to use them. They really aren't all that big or much more weight to carry around. Plus the nice thing is when it comes time to change batteries out, you can do it without shutting down the powerbook. There is enough power in the small batteries that are built into the computer that keep the RAM going that unless you take a long time to switch your batteries, everything will be normal when you wake the computer back up.
     
  6. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    19th Hole
    #6
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. I know it would be really hard with the current form factor, but I think it would be really useful.

    The problem is that I don't want to be running on fumes by the end of the day, so I guess I have no choice but to lug around an extra battery. Does anyone have experience with this, and is it a fairly painless process to change them out - even if I were in the middle of class? :eek: Thanks.

    - reaper

    (EDIT: sorry, was writing while parrothead was responding. thanks!)
     
  7. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #7
    Obviously you haven't seen the inside of a powerbook. It is absolutely full of stuff. There is no room for another bay.
     
  8. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #8
    I know I have seen a battery that the pb can sit on top of. I thing you can have something like 12 hours from it.

    link

    it costs lots o $$$$$$$
     
  9. Calvinatir macrumors 6502

    Calvinatir

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2003
    Location:
    LA
    #9
    It would look tacky with removable drives like the Dells and such. Sure, maybe a touch usefull, but i dont want things fallin off my PB like my buddies Dell laptop. :eek: :eek:
     
  10. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a

    IndyGopher

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #10
    If you will have a power outlet available, the power supply for the powerbooks is smaller and lighter than the battery. Either way, though, I think 2 batteries is the way to go.
     
  11. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #11
    Accually... as a matter of fact. One night I was bored so I opened up my brand new 17" PB. What I'm saying is that maby they could make another model that was slightly thicker, however had a removable bay. It would only be one a 15" and the 17"
     
  12. bennetsaysargh macrumors 68020

    bennetsaysargh

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #12
    pismo! you could have 2 batteries, but then no cd drive. im not 100% sure about being able to have 2 batteries in the bays at the same time, but im pretty sure of it.

    gotta love pismo :)
     
  13. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #13
    With the Powerbook, its very easy to change the battery. You can pop the empty one out (only one latch to move) while the computer is asleep and then pop the new one in, and then go right back to your work. Yes, thats right, you don't even have to shut the computer down =) You have something like 30 seconds on the current Powerbooks to switch the battery, which is more than enough, considering that it only takes around 10 seconds to switch the battery if you're not used to doing it, more like 5 if you do it often.
     
  14. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    19th Hole
    #14
    I'm going to look into that. Looks like it would be great for extended use where there aren't any outlets (maybe library stacks or something). Thanks.


    That's cool, I didn't really know how big the power supply was, so that's also an option I guess. Hopefully I will be able to get a bag that can hold an extra battery and the power supply, just in case. :rolleyes:


    AWESOME!!! I didn't know it was that easy. I am so used to PC laptops and having to shut down. :mad:

    - reaper
     
  15. TDT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    University of Iowa - Iowa
    #15
    I use my powerbook at school all the time. The basic idea of what I do is have a break scheduled somewhere around lunch, where I can eat and recharge a little. I use it for 2-3 classes (2-3 hours depending), then an hour in the afternoon. I doubt you will have back to back classes (at least i would hope not since that really kills the brain cells), so you should get by with a quick recharge.

    To give an idea of how well this works for me, I do not have the LCD down on my 15 inch powerbook, I'm doing some compiling at times, but mostly note taking. I also have wireless internet going, and multiple other programs. I do this for the two full classes, and am at about 50% battery life or so. With my current battery setup, I get about 3 hours before the laptop dies. I have one hour lunch, so I head down stairs and plug it in immediately while I get something to eat adn drink...then use it as needed there and unplug to bring to my next class.

    This method works well for me, and with my next semester's schedule, it should formulate very similar to this semester in usage. Maybe you want to aim for a similar goal, I know that every ounce of weight is a lot when trying to go from class to class with books, pb, and notebooks.

    Just an idea :)
     
  16. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #16
    I don't have a PBook (yet...another week or so :) )but I'm thinking that I doubt I'd need a second battery...

    With the exception for those off days where I feel like going to the hillside to work- or some other outdoor place... the majority of where I'll be will be near a power outlet (Starbucks, Borders, library, my living/bathrooms, etc)... Unless you're sitting in the middle of the classroom- I don't see you being too far away from power either.
     
  17. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #17
    i use a 17 in class everyday, dont run into battery issues that often, if i have about a 5 hour day ahead of me i just bring my power brick and charge up when theres an outlet near by. but if u got the spare cash might as well srping for a battery cuz u might need it on long flights or in the unlikely case u cant find a free outlet.
     
  18. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    19th Hole
    #18
    Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, but I think I am going to have to get an extra battery anyway, based on what everyone is saying. I think I will have some free time to charge up, but, unfortunately, a 1L's schedule is not that flexible and I can't be guaranteed enough breaks to ensure a good charge.

    I'm just happy to hear that carrying an extra battery + charger and changing the batteries are not really that bothersome with the powerbook. That was my biggest fear. :)

    - reaper
     
  19. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #19
    I would have to agree with the other poster who said that the charger is smaller that a battery.

    So youwould rather lug arround a heavier, bulkier battery than the charger?
    Or do you just mean you would rather have two batteries rather than a charger cord attached?

    btw the Apple charger is very stylis and designed very well. Easily poartable.

    What I would do is check out how well you do with one battery and the charger. I mean if your between classes and near an outlet, you could just charge it for a bit then, with a little in between charge you should be able to make it through all your classes no prob.

    Of course if money is no prob, by all means, get two batteries. Swithcing betwen two batteries would extend the life of both batteries as well.

    Good Luck withyour new computer.
     
  20. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #20
    What law school are you going to? Most law schools are at least trying to get into the computer age....and so often have power points available. My school now has power points and ethernet drops at every seat, with wireless available everywhere also. (And all it took was a new $65 million building.....) So if you can, take the charger with you and plug in when you can...

    If you can't, I'd get a second battery just to be safe--I'm getting about 3 hours out of my 15" PB battery doing Word, Safari, Mail, etc.

    Best,

    Bob
     
  21. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    19th Hole
    #21
    My concern was that I wouldn't be able to find an outlet in class and, because of my hectic schedule, I wouldn't be able to charge between classes and would wind up running out of power before the day was over.

    But, I think that over lunch I might have some time, so I am going to experiment with one battery at first and then, if I need it, purchase another to supplement when I can't get to a power outlet during the day.

    - reaper
     
  22. reaper thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    19th Hole
    #22
    Thanks for the info. That's good to know about how much time you are getting out of your 15", since it seems that I'll be using it for many of the same things. Is that 3 hours with airport running? I'd be interested to know if the battery run times differ with and without airport on. Thanks.

    - reaper
     
  23. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #23
    i dont think you need a second battery. a friend of mine got a second battery for his iBook and never used it. going to class and all. so when i got an iBook i didnt get a second battery and realized the battery life on apple laptops rocks!!! i now have a PB and still have no bettery problems. if you know youre going to have it on and using it at full blast for more than 4 hours then i would consider a second battery. otherwise time b/w classes you can usually find an outlet to grab a quick charge at. (just look for all the PC guys with their laptops. . . come on they cant go more than like 10 min w/o having to plug in!!! especially the ones with teh 3"thick laptops that have the removable media bays (yeah not a good idea for apple))
     
  24. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #24
    I have a 17" Powerbook, and here are my experiences.

    Running AirPort does decrease your battery life more quickly. I always turn it off (along with bluetooth) when I'm not using it.

    In my estimation, screen brightness is the number one battery sucker. The dimmer you can handle the screen (dark lecture halls are perfect for one bar) the longer your battery will last.

    CD spinning is a killer also. I don't leave CD's in my drive.

    Backlit keyboard doesn't suck away too terribly much.

    The powerbooks "wake up" from sleep very quickly, so if I'm idling for a moment, I always close the lid and put it to sleep. At the least, dim the screen to black.

    By doing all of those things - which will also extend the life of your PB - you can get quite a bit of use out of your PB on one full battery charge.

    That said, there are many times in which I wish I had a second battery, and I recommend that you buy one.

    My first Mac was a Pismo (that still gets heavy daily use) with two batteries at once. When the TiBooks came out with only one battery and no bays, I couldn't believe it. I still miss having two batteries in my machine at once.

    Cheers
     
  25. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #25

    That's a good point. Lithium batteries can only be recharged a certian number of times.

    I am not sure how many times the PB battery can be recharged but the PC laptop I have, it's battery won't even hold a charge after 2 years.

    I would recommend that you completely drain the battery before recharging it, that should extend the life of the battery.
     

Share This Page