Max life from iBook battery

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by josepho, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. josepho macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hiya guys,

    I'm currently waiting for my 12" iBook from Apple Education Store UK. What I'm wondering is, when I'm out of the house, without the powerpack, how can I maximize the life I'm getting out of my battery. I imagine there'll be some sort of control over the backlight, and perhaps some other features which could be tweaked?

    I'm also wondering, are there negative effects to having the iBook plugged into the mains too often? If so, what's the best way you've found to extend the total life you get from a battery (in terms of how long you can get without significant in the time for which it holds its charge).

    Thanks!
     
  2. KershMan macrumors 6502

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    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #2
    There should be hot keys on your keyboard to control the screen brightness. Use them to turn it down to as low as can and still see the screen. Next, in the System Preferences, Go to Energy Saver and select battery. After the battery configuration is displayed, select options and set processor performance to reduced. This will reduce processor speed when on battery.

    If you use Airport and/or bluetooth and they are not needed when you run from battery, turn those off as well.

    Now, you can leave it plugged in all the time and it won't hurt it. But, what you do want to do is optimize your battery when you first get the iBook and anytime you think that your battery life is too short. To optimize it, you basically run it down to 1%. You will get a warning before that that your computer is dangerously on battery and will put itself in sleep for a few minutes. When it goes to sleep on its own, plug it in a let it charge fully.

    Now, you will quite often not have 100% of a charge. This is common and normal. The system itself will charge anywhere between 95-100%. It will not charge the battery until it falls below 95% to avoid a short charging cycle which lessens the life of the battery.
     
  3. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    That's exactly what I was wondering about - if leaving it on charge all the time would lessen the battery life. Thankfully not.

    Let me ask, for those with iBooks and PowerBooks - do you ever actually power down the machines, or do you just put them to sleep. I love the idea of just closing the lid, preserving battery life, then opening it up again and starting off right from where I left. Ace.

    Cheers!
     
  4. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Also, can you tell me, how much would having AE and/or Bluetooth enabled affect the battery life? Realistically I'm probably gonna be using one of them most of the time, for net access.

    Thanks
     
  5. aldo macrumors regular

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    #5
    I leave my iBook on 24/7 and I don't close the lid (because I have some servers and downloads that would stop if i did), but you can close the lid if you want...
     
  6. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Thing is, my iBook isn't just gonna be sitting around all day - it's gonna be coming with me, so it's gonna get shut...
     
  7. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

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    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #7
    well..most of the time my ibook runs on current..so I havent really tried to see how much AE,bluetooth affect the bettery life...but there is a setting in energy saver 'longest battery life'....plus you can define your own settings...so yeah...dont worry bout the battery...
    cheers
     
  8. KershMan macrumors 6502

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    VA, USA
    #8
    I have a 12" PowerBook that I get about 2.5 hours of battery life with bluetooth and Airport on.

    On closing the lid, I take the computer to the bedroom sometimes, run it, close it and put it to sleep, and then when I wake it up in the morning the battery may have drained 1-2% overnight. When these things sleep, they really power everything down.

    I never shutdown my computer except at the Airport. I take it to and from work daily in sleep mode with zero problems.

    Your iBook should have better battery life. My wife has an iBook G4 that gets about 3.5 hours of battery with Airport on (no bluetooth).
     
  9. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Main reasons I want to know is for university - I won't always have access to a powerpoint, but will still want to use AE to access the network. Also, during the summer, I'll be travelling to Salamanca, for a summer course in Spanish. I'll want to have the iBook handy for the airport(s), 'cause they're never too exciting, and for the plane, and the train (I'm going Glasgow-Madrid by plane, then Madrid-Salamanca by train). I don't know what kind of provisions they'll have in place for WLAN browsing, so I'm gonna pick up a Telefonica sim-card for my P900 and use GPRS when necessary...
     
  10. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

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    #10
    cool trip dude...for airports you can buy the pin-adaptors..because you can find powerpoints on every airport..but you wd need the pin adaptors...i dont know wat kind of pin u use in england..if they are same all over europe..u wont even need that..
    cheers
     
  11. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Yeah? You mean to say that in airports there are powerpoints for use with notebooks? I've never seen that before - though admittedly I've never looked. Do you generally find them in any particular area? What about on planes? I know that powerpoints are sometimes provided for business customers on longer flights, but is that all? It would be great if I could plug in and watch a DVD on the way over... Superb! In the UK we've got totally different plugs than the rest of Europe (3-pin). So, are the airport sockets just standard powerpoints?

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
  12. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    Feb 25, 2004
    #12
    I promise I'm not hijacking your thread mate - this may also be useful to you, and is related to your question.

    When you put a Powerbook to sleep (or iBook, but they don't get just as hot), is it OK to put it in a slip-case? The ones that fit like a glove. I don't *think* heating problems would be an issue, since, as mentioned, they really power everything down.

    If you can do that, it'd be brilliant - I can leave the Powerbook on, in its glove case in my bag, or whatever. Just want to be sure :)

    Thanks!

    peace.
     
  13. KershMan macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I put my in a backpack everyday like that. No issues 12+ months now. Prior to that, I had an iBook (white, dual USB) that I did the same thing with for close to 2 years. Never any overheating problems when sleeping.

    My backpack has a built in laptop compartment that would be similar to the case you use.
     
  14. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Don't worry about it mate... I was very interested to read that. I'd certainly hope it would be okay... since that's really what I'll be intending on doing - from home to uni, round about town, uni to home... Wherever, powering down just makes it all the more convenient, without the dastardly necessity of waiting for it to start up (what are the load times on OS X like anyway?).

    Cheers!
     
  15. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Kershman - thanks! Your compartment sounds like my case, in that it encloses the laptop pretty tightly. Thanks for that reassurance man.

    Josepho - I've *heard* that a Powerbook will wake from sleep in one second; I can't vouch for that, but people have thrown that figure around. I don't actually have mine yet - I'm buying it on Tuesday, but I have the case sitting here :)

    I'll definately be bringing it to school with me then. The 12in is small enough to carry around, and the fact I can put it to sleep and wake it whenever I need it, quickly, is great. It'll definately conserve battery life also.

    Cheers!

    andy
     
  16. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I ordered mine from the Apple store on Sunday, so hopefully it won't be TOO long before I have it. I've got my RAM (512MB from Crucial), now just need to get my bag (probably Crumpler Roll-o-notes), 802.11g router and card (for my existing PC, now to be relegated to my sister's room) and I'll be all set.

    I can't wait to head into uni, into the library and, instead of waiting 20 minutes in the computer queue (which exists from about 11am til 3pm-ish) I'll just go sit my butt down in the laptop area, open it up, wake it almost instantly and get surfing thanks to the university's WLAN. Superb!

    And that's just the beginning. :D
     
  17. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #17
    my ibook (that i just purchased, see sig for specs) is amazing. apple quotes 6hrs in battery life, and I feel that I come as close as i'll ever get. With brightness @ 100%, AE on (BT off), and the hard drive constantly spinning (playing music in iTunes) i easily get 4.5 hrs from the battery. As you can see, the iBook kicks all other apple laptop's butt in terms of battery life. Good choice, you're one of the smart ones. ;)
     
  18. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Much appreciated. I must admit, though, that I was _seriously_ considering the 12" Powerbook, but in the end I thought "An extra £300, sure, I could stretch, but is it worth it for what I'm gonna do?", and in the end I decided that no it wasn't. Thankfully I haven't had any regrets yet, and hopefully won't have. The battery isn't something that would've been a deal-maker/breaker, but it's certainly something which WILL come in v. handy.

    If I get 4-5 hours with the kind of usage you're describing then I'll be 'muy feliz'!

    Gracias amigos!
     
  19. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a

    JOD8FY

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    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    United States
    #19
    You could always go into system preferences and click on the energy button (it looks like a lightbulb). Then play around with the performance settings. Shoose the longest battery life setting. This will make the computer run a little slower, but you'll get a longer life. On my 12" PB, I got 3.5 hours when I installed iLife "04, surfed the web and used Word intermittently without closing the lid. Closing the lid will help prolong that life. Also, turn down your screec brightness by using the constrolls at the top of your keyboard. Hope this will help you out. :)

    JOD8FY

    P.S. - some of these names like energy button and performance settings may be slightly off - I'm doing this from memory, I'm using my Windows desktop now... :(
    Let me know if you have questions.
     
  20. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Josepho

    I'm the other way around - I seriously considered the iBook 12in. And to be honest, I still am, despite having a Powerbook case alraedy bought ;)

    The only reason I can afford the powerbook 12in is because I'm buying in New York, rather than Belfast. In the UK, the Powerbook is £1300 as you know, which is outta my price range. The exchange rate means, having bought all my dollars, I get the Powerbook for ~£860. A great saving. Having said that, 1600 dollars is a total stretch for me, and I can't buy any accessories - though I'm kinda hoping for some discount because I'm paying cash.

    The iBook 12in is very, very tempting - I could buy a Bluetooth adaptor, 256mb RAM, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, wireless card and an Airport Base Station for just slightly more than the cost of a stock Powerbook - that puts me in such a dilemma!

    That said, realistically I couldn't bring all that back from NYC - they'd see I bought it over there, and tax me to hell for it. So the Powerbook it is. It's a hot machine though, and I can't wait for it :)

    You excited about your iBook coming? The feeling of waiting for a new comp is the best ever :)

    andy
     
  21. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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  22. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    You said it. Excited as hell.
     
  23. KershMan macrumors 6502

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    Feb 10, 2003
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    VA, USA
    #23
    I would say that they do wake incredibly fast. I say it wakes in 1-3 seconds. The longest portion is for the Airport reception to come back on. But when you open the lid, the disdplay and apps snap right back.

    We have a number of Dell notebooks at work running a combination of Windows 2000 and XP. They do not even come close to this level. Even when they just sleep it takes a bit for the screen to come back on. Then, when they are in deep sleep it just bites to have to push the power button and wait for the system to "resume".
     
  24. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

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    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #24
    yah..ofcorse you have powepoints in airports...you can use it with anything although i have only seen ppl using laptops with it :D..no special area..they are in the waiting lounges..in the sidewalls...on apple website..there is a travel adaptor kit..for 35$, so that you can use it for all sockets in the world.....you can get it cheaper in bestbuy or any electronic store you have there...basically just find out what type of pins they use in the country you are going..and then goto an electronic store..get a 3 pin-whatevr_you_have_found_out converter...
    also..there is a plane adaptor...for sockets in the plane...but i hv only travelled economy.. :rolleyes: ..so never seen them...
    cheers for your new machine...

    and dude...they wake up in a snap...cant even measure the time...
     
  25. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    Feb 25, 2004
    #25
    Kershman - thanks for the info on the Powerbook waking from sleep. Appreciate that. Pretty darn fast, imho :)

    Josepho - enjoy your new iBook mate :)

    andy
     

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