How much battery life do you actually use?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ieani, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. ieani macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2006
    the states for now
    The big question of everyone concerning laptops is battery life and it is no different with me. But I want to discover exactly how much I really need rather than hypothesizing.

    I have a friend with an HP that squeaks out 2 hours with normal use and says its enough since most places have plugs available if he needs one.

    So, how much battery life do you use lets say in a typical visit to the library?
  2. Temujin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2005
    I don't often go to the library. I use my PB on the train to school, 1:15 hours each way. And about 3:00 hours at school, a total of 5:30 hours.

    My PB has battery life for about 5:00 hours. The long battery life is important to me cause I can't always get to an outlet (there are often outlets on the train though).

    If you have easy access to an outlet at least every two hours then you need battery life for two hours. If every three hours......well you get the point.
  3. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Well, I don't have a laptop just at this moment, but I have had a few in the past, and have one on the way...

    Personally, I'm not an amazingly mobile person. Having a laptop is just something convientient to let me take a computer TO someplace, and not so much use it "on the move". I suppose that I am like your friend there, two hours would probably do it.

    However, there are times, such as plane trips, when I would want to get massive battery life. Say, 2.5 hours of HARD work hard for the computer), like watching a DVD or playing a game. PLUS another 2.5 hours of energy saver mode work (for you not the computer) like using a word proccesor or browsing websites (in the case of plane trips I have in the past cached up several of my favorite sites a few links deep before I left).

    There are people who do things like that ALL the time, so I can see them wanting a 5+ hour battery. I think the old PowerBook G3 (and all the laptops with the swappable bays) design was the best. I'd love a 12" MacBook Pro with an optical bay that was removable and could instead have second battery for 6-8 hours of battey time.
  4. thahater macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2006
    i use my tibook battery for about an hour or two a night,i dont like to leave it plugged in just to charge it.but i often wonder how much people use there battery as opposed to plugging there ibooks or pb into an outlet.i'm getting my girlfried to use her ibook battery more instead of just leaving it plugged in.this is a good therad i hope more people respond.
  5. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    When I take my PB to school, it usually lasts the day (mind you, my days are only about 4-5 hrs). It gets put to sleep pretty often between classes etc. When I'm at home multitasking (as in lying on the couch, watching TV and browsing MR) I can usually get a good 3-3.5 hours, which is enough time on the couch.
  6. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    I would say on average i use about an hour a day of the battery. but thats mostly because i have gotten in the habit of finding and knowing where the outlets are at school/work. i like plugging in because i always crank up the screen brightness. when im on the battery i leave the screen brightness at only 1 to preserve the battery life. with my old 12" PB (which i sold) i could easily get 5 to 5 and a half hours out of the battery this way. with my 15" PB i get about 4 hours out of a charge. i dont fully drain the battery very often. i have a program called coconut battery that keeps track of my battery. it says i have 36 battery-loadcycles since. which isnt bad for 4 months of use. im guessing 36 battery-load cycles means less than 50% battery life or so. because i know ive only fully depleted the battery a handfull of times. so i would say 2 - 3 hours is decent. but i really enjoy having the full 4 hours (or i liked even more the 5 on my 12" PB) for those days when all the outlets are taken (everyone studying for exams or finishing projects) or for those few days when i forget to bring my charger and need as much time out of my PB as i can!
  7. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I basically squeeze out all of the battery life in my iBook here... since I'm always at school or on the go I always have it on sleep so I can wake it up on a moment's notice.
  8. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    I use mine on battery quite often. I've watched 2 dvd movies:eek: on one charge during a trip. I use it evryday in school, and my wife plays online games on mine at the couch. Always running the 'book down to 15-20% battery. I can squeeze out around 4.5h on a charge doing normal stuff such as typing in word. I get around 3.75-4 when doing multitasking. When new I once got just over 5hours on a charge.
    So battery is important to me, I like the life I get out of my ibook... although it does seem that it is starting to lose a bit of life span. I have lost ~34mAh (maybe 15-20 minutes of use) since I bought the 'book back in september so only that much in 6 months; resistance to battery life loss is pretty good.
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    An average day at uni only really goes through two hours of battery but sometimes it can be as much as four and a half hours. Since there aren't really any plugs in lecture theatres, I'm glad I have an enduring iBook. :)
  10. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    I use the full four hours. Well, at least four hours is what the battery gives. I'd feel better about it if I were using an eight hour rated battery. I don't think draining the battery nearly every day is doing it any good.
  11. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    i use all 5-6 hours of my 12" ibook a regular basis
  12. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Part of this question is answering how much time you have when the power outlet is available. If you only have a 2 hour battery and you work on the train for 1.5 hours then get to a power point and you are only there for an hour then it is unlikely that you will walk away from the power outlet with a full charge.

    I find that even though I rarely need more than 2 hours disconnected from power, it is not uncommon for me to only have short bursts of access to a power point. Also, the long battery life has been useful when flying.

    In terms of whether you are better off running on battery or from an outlet, batteries wear out due to the number of charge cycles. A battery that is regularly drained down to 5% will hold less charge 4 months later than a battery that is not regularly drained but rather is connected to power as soon as the power is available and thus on average is only drained to 40% (or some other number that is greater than 5% of battery capacity) or so.
  13. ieani thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2006
    the states for now
    So it looks like the MBPro battery life really isnt that bad after all.

    The MBpro lasts a little over 2 hours with a DVD but if you ripped that DVD before watching it. Im sure you could get a 2.5 hour movie in on a long flight. Which is probably the only time Id ever really have to squeeze as much life out of it as possible.

    I a coming full circle now back to my original plan now of getting the powerbook replacement.

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