Battery life on ibook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by nikeballa09, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. nikeballa09 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    #1
    Hi, I am unsure if i should buy the new 12 in ibook when tiger comes out. i am a college student and currently use my centrino based toshiba laptop to take notes in my classes. the battery lasts me through all of my classes and thats about 4 hours to 4 hours 30 mins. i would like to know whether i can get that kinda life out of the battery from the ibook. i have a 15 inch screen, and in some classes i fun wifi but not all. also what is a good app for taking notes on a Mac. thanks for the replies
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    WRT battery life, it really depends...a lot of people routinely get that much or more. Do you mean that you have the computer actively on and in use for 4:30 continuously, without it ever sleeping, or does this include changing classrooms, etc? You'll get longer life on just about anything using it in class, because, I'm guessing, you aren't exactly hitting the CPU hard with constant interaction, or running Photoshop algorithms during class.... :) My experience with the iBook G4 12" is 3:30-4:30 very realistic, with the lower end being screen bright, airport and BT on, and the higher end being dimmed screen, airport and BT off, single application running, so on, like writing. When I was novel writing, I routinely got low four hours of active typing (using XCharge to measure -- not the wall clock, since it also slept some during the time).

    A lot of people experience 5+ routinely with the same iBook series, though. I think it depends a lot on your usage style....

    For note taking, Word 2004 actually has a pretty nice notebook feature designed specifically for this purpose. It gives the document tabs (kinda like Excel), and it has nice built-in audio note-taking, and a few other niceties. II haven't played with it that much, but a lot of reviews really praised this feature (which isn't in Word.X...I'm not even sure whether or not it's in Word 2003)....Anyway, Word is one option.
     
  3. nikeballa09 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 22, 2004
    #3
    thanks for the reply. my computer goes into hibernate while inbetween classes. but that for 10 mins at a time. while in classes i dont fun anything cpu intensive, mostly word or one note to take notes, and maybe aim and ie to chat online and check mail and stuff like that. i have my monitor illumination turned down so i get better battery life. i really want to switch, but i just want to make sure that the battery in the ibook will last as long if not longer then the battery in my toshiba. i do not like taking notes on paper anymore cause i cant read my writing so i realy like using a laptop.
     
  4. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

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    #4
    I get 4 - 6 hours

    4 when brightness is up, Airport Extreme (WiFi) is on, processor is set to high performance

    6 When brightness is low, Airport Extreme (WiFi) is off, processor is set to reduced performance

    EDIT: You can also get another battery anyway so I wouldn't really worry too much about it.
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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  6. nikeballa09 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 22, 2004
    #6
    the thing is that i dont want to have to carry around 2 batteries or the ac adapter. i want the battery to last me as long as my toshiba for what i do. its not much in classes while taking notes so it shouldnt be a problem.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    The reason I asked about this is that sometimes people are loose about counting battery life on their laptop...if you had meant that, say, you have three classes that run from noon till 4:30, but the time spent with the computer on is only four hours, then I'd say an iBook would almost certainly make it regardless of your usage style.

    From reading a lot of threads on iBook battery life here, it sounds to me like 4-4.5 hours is sort of the median experience, with at least as many people like Chris who get much more, as there are people like me who never seem to get that....part of it is roll of the dice with the battery you get, and part of it is definitely usage style. I've never tried to turn auto sleeping off and max brightness/CPU and see how long it'd last if my iBook just sat on the table, but I'm guessing it would be longer than I get on reduced settings *using* it....

    It's easier to get a lot of data on the iBook, because there are relatively more people who have them than any one model windows laptop (since there are so many different win laptops), but if you get above average battery life on your Toshiba, you are likely to get the same on an iBook (and it's rated for >5 hours). If you get below average on the Toshiba, ditto on the iBook, because your usage style is not so likely to change from computer to computer.
     
  8. el_grapadora macrumors newbie

    el_grapadora

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    Jan 23, 2004
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    USA
    #8
    As everyone else said, it depends on what you're doing. When I was in school with my current iBook (14"), I'd get about 6-7 (not kidding) without wireless on relatively low backlight and 4.5-5.5 with wireless (and Safari/Mail/MSNM along with it). Most of what I was doing was writing up papers and doing research work...so we're talking the Word/Excel/Safari work you'll probably do. I once managed to burn an entire VCD in 3 1/2 hours and had some extra time left. :)

    I don't take notes on my laptop (I'm still hung up on taking paper-based notes, I guess...I'll wait for a MacOS tablet ;)), but I was able to work straight through with those battery times. I'd guess Word is your best bet, but I could be wrong.

    The other caveat was that--and you 12" iBook guys can correct me on this--the 14" has a longer battery life simply by virtue of having a larger battery. A fellow Apple fan told me that when I bought this iBook.
     
  9. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    Jul 17, 2004
    #9
    It will make it. Turn your brightness down and make sure your processor is set to Automatic or Longest Battery Life. Airport Extreme and BT can impact your battery life a bit, but overall 5 hours is cakewalk for an iBook.

    Linkety to the spec page. Scroll down (all the way) and look at the battery life stats. They say 6 hours, which you can do, but don't sweat it if you get 5.5 hours.

    I get 5 hours from my 12" PowerBook with 1 brightness bar, and no wireless stuffs with the processor to Longest Battery Life. I have no problems with it. :)
     
  10. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    Brisbane, Australia
    #10
    When i take my iBook to classes from one room to the other i get 4hr to 5hr. With only word open, airport and bluetooth off and brightness on highest settings. I would highly reccomend the laptop, good performance in a compact package (you notice the size and wheight when you have 3 textboolks in your bag) at a very good price. The only cheap pc laptops i know off are large 15 inch ones.

    I would also reccomend microsoft office for taking notes. There's a notebook layout which is very handy. Download a trail version to try it out.
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #11
    This is soooo true. Having a <5 pound laptop is a nice, nice thing, when you walk to class. :) And people are always commenting on how small (and of course, how cute) it is. :rolleyes: 12" and smaller laptops are a love-em-or-hate-em thing. For me, I wouldn't buy anything bigger if I can avoid it.
     
  12. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #12
    i'm in the exact same boat here....i carry my HP laptop to class to take notes using MS onenote. i would really like to switch to a mac (already got a mini and love it - just need more RAM). the main thing i needed to know was about which program to use for note taking.

    also, about putting the ibook to sleep - is it totally off? does it use any power? i've noticed that the light is still on with my mini when it's asleep
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    It is not totally off. I was curious about this too, so I used XCharge to answer that. On my iBook G4/800/640MB/AE/BT, it seems to use about 2-3% of battery charge per 10 hours of sleeping. So it does use power, but not too badly. Last week, I gave a presentation on Friday with a projector, off of battery, brought my laptop home, let it sit asleep over the weekend while I was out of town, and it was fine on Monday morning.

    Most Mac users, at least in the MR crowd, don't bother with shutting down their computers, except for maintenance / upgrade reasons.

    This number will be dependent on how much ram you have. If you compare to the Windows world, Mac sleep is analagous to Windows sleep, and not to Windows hibernate (which pretty much fully shuts the computer down, by saving ram / processor state to the hard drive).
     
  14. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #14
    Word is very good, in fact i find it better then the microsoft version. It has notebook layout which is good for notes. Here's the screen shot.
     

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  15. nikeballa09 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    #15
    i know the ibook comes with 256ram, i have an extra 256 in my toshiba. will i be ok with 512 ram in an ibook or should i leave the extra 256 in the toshiba and buy 512 extra for the ibook? thanks. will the extra ram kill mt battery faster?
     
  16. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #16
    If price is not much of an issue go for the 512mb stick. Mac's love ram. But 512Mb should be fine.
     
  17. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #17
    thanks for the screenshot ds1. that helps alot.

    now i just have to save up some money :eek:
     
  18. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #18
    Your alright, yer office is expensive espicallay if you can't get the educational discount.
     
  19. john1123 macrumors regular

    john1123

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    Down Under
    #19
    AFAIK, only the ram is powered during sleep.
     
  20. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #20
    Uhhh... don't the newest ibooks use 266Mhz DDR ram? that's definitely not 15ns
     
  21. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #21
    yer sorry i checked the site again, my bag, sorry again.
     
  22. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

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    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #22
    I know some will disagree with me on this because there are always exceptions. I switched from a Centrino based laptop to an iBook a few months ago. Overall it was a pretty comparable switch. The one thing I noticed is the reception was not as strong for the Airport Extreme as it was for the Centrino. My University offers wireless on campus ... pretty much everywhere except in the classrooms. You can usually get a decent signal depending on the room you are in but sometimes you get nothing. I guess they don't want us surfing while the prof is lecturing. What I noticed is my iBook will not get a strong enough signal to surf in rooms my Centrino was able to. I would periodically check my e-mail in class when the prof started going off topic and I can't do this with the iBook. I brough my Centrino to the same class to see if something had been blocked but it seemed to work just fine from the same spot. The Centrino's reception was just a bit stronger and it was enough to make a difference between nothing and something. It may be something to consider.
     
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #23
    Hey, if you really worry about battery life, don't get the 12" iBook. Get the 14" iBook. It'll get the battery life you want even at decent screen brightness. Not a problem at all. :)

    Get a 12" iBook, and you may get 4.5 hours if you do everything right. Of course, Li-Ion batteries lose charge capacity with age and misuse, so that 4.5 hours may drop to 4 hours in 12 months or so. I don't know about you, but I'd get the 14" iBook in your case. I would always get the 12" iBook or Powerbook (which I own), but not if battery life was the main issue.
     
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #24
    I have never had a Centrino laptop, but my experience is the same, vis-à-vis some other classmates' PC laptops. FWIW, several people have said the PB is slightly worse than the iBook, because of its metal casing.
     
  25. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #25
    i have the educational discount, but i gotta save up my money for either the ibook or the powerbook
     

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