11.6 inch: Poor Battery Life.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cidf2008, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. cidf2008 macrumors member

    May 5, 2010
    Hello everyone,

    I've bought my 11.6 inch MacBook Air a few weeks ago and I am really unsatisfied with the battery life I get.

    The reviews I read before I made the the purchase claimed that the battery life in basic usage like web browsing or watching videos was even higher than apples claimed 5 hours.

    I've tested my MacBook Air's battery and it lasts about 3.3 hours during video playback with wifi and bluetooth turned off and no USB devices attached to it.

    I've got the 128gb 1.86ghz model with 4 gb of ram.

    If you own an 11.6 inch MacBook Air how much battery life do you get?

    Is this a case for the Apple Support?

    Thanks in advance
  2. acron1 macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2008
    Playing videos DOES decrease battery life quite a bit... are u using flash?
    On my 11" ultimate I do get just a bit over 5 hours web browsing (with some flash), MS Word, email, some iTunes and some Skype.
    BTW... the 11" doesn't come with the 1.86 ghz CPU, 1.6 ghz is max.
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Video playback is taxing the processor, graphics card, SSD and you've probably got the screen on full brightness. 3.3 hours is pretty good.

    Apple's battery test is: screen at 50% brightness, WiFi on, Bluetooth off, surfing basic websites and doing word processing. Then you get 5+ hours.
  4. cidf2008 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2010
    You're right that's what I wanted to say.

    I am playing an avi file with 3 bars left to full brightness so no Flash and no full brightness.

    Didn't Steve Jobs say on Stage that they had heavier tests now? what did they have before that.
  5. gonzaload1987 macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009
    Why don't you try to calibrate the battery? Several users claimed that the battery's life has improved considerably since that :)
  6. johannnn macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2009
    This is not poor battery life for the 11", at all.
  7. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    3.3 isn't bad, but it's not that good by today's standard, and not good by Apple's standard.

    If anything, this is a great justification for an Intel Core i3 for the MBA. Not only would you get a faster computer (but only slightly though), but one with much better battery time which is the key to the Core i3.
  8. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    MBA is very power efficient to get the battery life that it does. It completely depends on the type of video and what you're using to play it. If the graphics processor ends up being used to play the video, it will generally play very smoothly with very little CPU power used and therefore excellent battery life. If the program used to play the video uses the CPU to decode and play the video, battery life can ba abysmal. Over 3 hours is actually very good for watching video. That isn't light use.

    You can check CPU utilization in Activity Monitor. Often, videos played with Quicktime player will have low CPU usage. VLC does not support GPU acceleration on Macs and will have higher CPU demands. Flash in practice is often still worse even though they claim GPU acceleration. Silverlight, used by Netflix is worse still as it doesn't pretend to use GPU acceleration. Perian plugin plays through Quicktime but also has high CPU utilization.

    I've gotten 9 hours of battery life while browsing (no flash, no video), and simple editing with the display set on minimum (plenty for me at the time). I can make the battery drain in less than 2 hours if I tax the system.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Calibration does not have an effect on your battery's life. It only makes the reporting of your battery condition more accurate.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions: Apple Notebook Battery FAQ
  10. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    How do you do that?
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Read the link I just posted.
  12. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #1 calibrate battery. = full discharge (to sleep) then full charge.

    #2 set energy saver to defaults

    #3 install FlashPlayer and then ClickToFlash

    you will experience much better run in between charges - esp if you don't leave your Air 'on charge' after it's fully charged, but use the battery as intended.
    I'm currently getting 7+ hours between charges for run-of-the-mill stuff and can go 5 hours watching movies (either on the Air or tethered to Sony lcd tv)

    by all means call Apple support to reassure yourself
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There's more to calibrating than that. Read the link I posted for the correct procedure.
  14. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    You get 5 hours watching videos on an 11" MBA??? Or is it a 13" MBA. The 11" is only rated for 5 hours and watching videos is typically heavy use.
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    halledise has the 13"
  16. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    Any video play lowers battery life. It's the same as if you were using PhotoShop or iMovie. The programs you run determine how much battery is used.
  17. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    I really don't believe you...

    How do you have a 11.6 inch MBA with those specs?

    Current MBA 11.6 inch gets 1.6 GHZ at top. That processor is not possible on 11.6 inch at all. LIES!
  18. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    This is why I didn't go for 11.6 inch. As soon as I heard 5 hours at the keynote, FACE PALM!
    MBP and MBA get 7 hours easily. No thanks apple. I will wait for next update. It won't be too long before they update with 7 hours of battery life on 11 inch.
  19. teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    Chill out.....Seriously. The OP corrected his/her post further down the line.
  20. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    And when would you ever be more than five hours away from a plug (aside from an overseas flight)? I'm not saying it's ideal, but it's certainly plenty to get by on in most situations.
  21. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    sheesh, talk about picky :rolleyes:

    for the sake of political/technical correctness, perhaps I should've added>

    • then allow to sleep over night

    • when the morning comes, upon reconnecting power cable, wake the sucker up then turn it off, then allow to charge uninterrupted for at least 8 hours before restarting and once more using normally.

    (we have after all moved beyond PPC and Intels with old-school batteries, thus a simple discharge and recharge thru normal use as suggested by Apple should be sufficient)
  22. RichyB macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2010
    Just got my 13.3 yesterday morning, did a full charge and I'm struggling to get the battery to go down to let it sleep for 5 hours for battery calibration. Even now its showing 1:13 / 16% remaining however just then it went back to 1:20 lol.
  23. GGJstudios, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's not about being "picky". It's about being accurate and factual. Simply draining and recharging the battery is NOT calibrating.
    That isn't the correct procedure, either. Rather than make up your own steps and mislead people, just follow Apple's procedure for calibrating (which also applies to the current built-in batteries... not just "old-school" batteries), as listed in the link I posted. There are already too many people who misunderstand the procedure, without people posting wrong info.
    Your indicated time/percentage remaining is only an estimate, based on the current demands on your battery. As you open and close apps, play video, visit websites with flash, etc., your power demands fluctuate, so the estimate will fluctuate, as well. Put a DVD in the optical drive and let the movie play while you run other apps, play YouTube videos, etc. It will eventually drain. Read the link I posted for a tip on how to keep it from going to sleep prematurely.
  24. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
  25. potentpotable macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2010
    I typically get 5-6 hours during "student" usage - 50-75% brightness, MS word, browsing car blogs and stuff. It lasts me two lectures with a bit to spare, and I can go home and recharge.

    I don't bother watching videos on battery, it won't last. That said, 3.3 hours is pretty impressive by my standards. And I don't game on battery because I heard it's detrimental.

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