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So, 1.8/SSD owners, how's the battery life?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacTheSpoon, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    How's the battery life on your new SSD MBA? What kind of times are you getting, under what conditions (screen brightness, battery life mode, wi-fi on/off, bluetooth on/off, type of work being done)?
  2. macrumors 6502

    I don't have any hard numbers for you, I've just been having too much fun playing with my new toy to even think about running real "tests". I can tell you I played with it for a couple of hours last night, set at max brightness, max performance, etc. I was doing video iChat (the camera is absolutely amazing; light years ahead of old iSight), internet browsing, etc. It showed 4+ hours when I started, and about 2 1/2 hours when I was done more than two hours later. I left it on all night, and when I opened it again a little while go it was still at 2:38 remaining. Bottom line: battery life is very good. Not scientific, I know, but practically speaking.

    In tasks like word processing, spreadsheets, web & email, the SSD must make up for the slow processor because this machine accomplishes those tasks as fast as my MacPro 3Ghz Quad! It just seems instantaneous for so many things! Tapping the (huge) touchpad in lieu of clicking is a joy, and you feel like you can just zip around at unprecedented speed. The keyboard is the best I've ever used, period.

    I know there are alot of people throwing barbs at this computer, but I can tell you that if you have the money and you use your laptop the way I do, it is amazing. Apple absolutely nailed it!
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Wow, that sounds great!

    Sigh... I think I'm going to be $3000 poorer soon... :)
  4. macrumors 6502

    Salty Pirate

    3300 with tax!
  5. macrumors 6502a


    $3900 with tax and Time Capsule, which you'll want to access all those files you don't want to store on MBA! :eek: :D
  6. macrumors 68000

    I went to the apple store today where they had a 1.8 SSD.

    I turned off wireless, dimmed the screen, and the battery meter showed 7:08.

    This is more of a airplane or "max the battery as much as possible mode" but I was pretty happy to see this.

    I expect the best in reality with everything off and light usage to be less than that, but it still made me happy that it may be possible to get 5+ hours.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Well, I live in Oregon, so no sales tax here. :) But you're right, I will probably get some peripherals, too... poor wallet...
  8. macrumors newbie

    you can also try powermax.com they are in oregon and have no sales tax... they also have a trade in program, i have never used them but friends of mine like them.
  9. macrumors member

    real world battery life

    it looks like it will get about 3.5 hours. the minute you run a dvd (video ts folder)or a quicktime movie it drops by an hour. it wont get 5 or 7 ever. i havent calibrated my battery yet so we will see.

    i was of course hoping for more but expected less. my mb gets about 2.5 real world. my mbp gets about 2 so i figure 3 plus is a victory. i saw someone with a thinkpad on a train with the extended battery and he was getting 3+.

    i have power saver on. wifi on and screen light at 2. it definitely should be better.

    also sitting in bed. (my favorite laptop position) it gets hot. although not near as hot as the mbp
  10. Administrator emeritus


    That is pretty low, my MB gets about 4 hours real world, of course my real world seems to be different to yours. Wifi on, browsing, mail, iTunes, Word, Excel, screen about halfway dim. On full charge if it put it in the sort of airplane mode described above it shows about 6.30 hours. I recently use it for 3 hours in this mode and at the end it was reporting 3.30 hours left so I think that the original time was correct.
  11. macrumors member

    yeah for sure the playback of videos or video editing on the mbp kills it by an hour. just word would be about 3.5-4
  12. macrumors regular


    used on normal default settings last nite... First time to let battery run down

    Started browsing etc round 7:00, powered down round midnight...

    Said 16% left, went to turn on this am... Wouldnt start without ac...

    As a non-pc pc conv, how do I calibrate? Didn't see anything in prefs..

    Also- when powered down (not sleep) shouldn't use any juice, right?

    Never got too warm, fanned hardly, felt venting action
  13. macrumors member

    apple has detailed instructions on there site it is very important part of a mac thing to do.

    turn it on.

    unplug it

    set control panel energy saver to screen and computer off never.

    let it run down to the turn point where is shuts down

    keep it open and untouched for 5 hours or more

    plug it back in and fully charge it (you can use it but not unplug it during this period)

    you will see it come out of safe sleep mode. do this once a month. very important. also find out about zapping pram and holding down shift key when starting. these are two tricks that will save you a lot of headaches. go to apple support for when and why to do them
  14. macrumors 6502a

    I just calibrated the battery last night, and this morning I used it for 2:15. Mostly eclipse, some web browsing, and all the time using wifi (I had a ssh tunnel open to the database I was using for my work the whole time)

    At then end the battery was at 56%.

    I can live with that. :)
  15. macrumors regular

    thanks for help!

    thats really quick and nice of u! thanks! will read about it and start running it down now.

    (as i write this on my ole heatbomb Gateway... and boy does it throw off excessive energy from the rear...)
  16. macrumors 68000

    I just got my brand new MBA with SSD and at about 85% charge it said it had less than 2 hours left. I hope that is an out-of-the-box hick-up. I pray I don't have a bad build.

    Kinda have a bit of buyers remorse right now.


    1. Read the ars review on the SSD. "No difference" across the board sucks.

    2. Worried about battery life. I am sick of the imaginary numbers Apple uses. When Steve said 5 hours with browsing via wireless he was being specific so those are my expectation.

    But I still love this Mac, although it hasn't done much other than sit on my desk. But smaller and lighter is a good thing for me when I travel. I just hope the quality is good and the compromises needed to get this so small do not make it a brick.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Yeh because word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing and email are seriously CPU intensive tasks.
  18. macrumors 68000

    I've been getting over 4 hours. Granted, I'm not watching a movie or constantly playing music, but for email, web browsing, documents, and a little music, it's definitely been over 4 hours per cycle at the "Better Battery Life" setting.
  19. macrumors member

    i am not running anything right now except an express card wlan (usb) or an external usb hard drive and in neither case do i get more than 2.5 hours. and i'ts sitting on my lap and burning me. oh well my search for the perfect computer keeps going
  20. macrumors member

    yeah the real test is things like encoding or watching movies that use the cpu.
  21. macrumors member


    Same here. Always 3:50 doing e-mail, browsing. Sometimes as much as 4:45. Even with the SuperDrive connected and installing all those d@%ned Windows "updates" in Boot Camp, I'm still getting at least 4:00+ in Windows. Wireless on, Bluetooth off.

    HDD model, screen dimmed, Best Battery Life setting.
  22. macrumors newbie

    My wife has a 1.6/80 and I have a 1.8/SSD. With the same power settings and the same general usage (email, web, iTunes) hers has gotten about 3:20-3:30 and I've gotten about 3:45-4:00. It's not a huge difference, I'm sure the extra CPU speed sucks up some of those battery savings. I could probably get over 4 hours, but I do like to run the display bright.
  23. macrumors member

    Well external hard drives suck a lot of power. It's keeping a disk rotating at 7200rpm. That's not "running nothing".
  24. macrumors 65816

    Yes, because ripping movies and burning DVD's, which kill the battery lives of the computers with even the best endurance, while I'm sitting at home plugged into the wall, oh about one or twice a month, is really what I'm worried about when I think about battery life. Browsing the web and composing documents on the go? Who does that! It's all about editing the next Sweeney Todd together during lunch, all while using only 10% battery life! That's where it really counts. :D
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Unfortunately, I did the airplane test yesterday. With Wi-Fi off and the screen dimmed all the way to the setting before all-dark, I don't think it lasted more than 3.5 hours. I could be wrong of course because the battery meter showed everything from 5+ hours to 10 minutes in that timespan. :rolleyes:

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