11" i5 Battery life

Obscurelight

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Jul 22, 2011
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Most of the talk lately has been about the drain and heat on the 13" but I'm wondering about the battery life on the 11" models. Anyone can give any input? Thanks in advance.
 

PaulWog

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Jun 28, 2011
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Most of the talk lately has been about the drain and heat on the 13" but I'm wondering about the battery life on the 11" models. Anyone can give any input? Thanks in advance.
I'm seeing at about 30-40% light about a 4-5 hour battery life if you are just web browsing (no youtube), and word processing.

Realistically I'd say the battery life is about 3 hours if you are doing various tasks.

I would love to see some Macbook Air 11-inch 2011 users get together and give their feedback. I hate seeing "oh I got 5 hours easy", only to find out that the person was throwing a random estimate and they have no idea what they got because for half an hour of that here and there they left it on sleep mode.

Overall I'm dissatisfied with the battery life... you can't turn the brightness up or you're looking at horrible battery life... and you should avoid youtube videos if you can (especially HD ones).

Disappointed but not totally upset. It's still good battery life. Just not quite where they're advertising. "Up to 5 hours"... that's a bit of a stretch. I wish it was up to 5 hours easily on low light with internet usage... so the stretch was more like 5 hours and 30 minutes.
 

Obscurelight

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Jul 22, 2011
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Thanks a bunch Paul, yeah I do hope other MBA 11" 2011 users can chime in on their experience so far with battery life. 3 hours definitely seems a bit disappointing.
 

PaulWog

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Thanks a bunch Paul, yeah I do hope other MBA 11" 2011 users can chime in on their experience so far with battery life. 3 hours definitely seems a bit disappointing.
I hope the next model greatly improves on battery life :D I'll sell this one in an instant for whatever I can get in order to improve battery life. This one is great (don't get me wrong)... I expected graphics to be the weak link... however it seems more the battery life to be the weaker part of it all. If you're a 13-inch user, you really don't need to worry as much since you're looking at 1.5-2 hours more battery life, which means... well... good battery life.

That said, that's why I'm getting the external battery supply for those battery needs (about $300 when it's all said and done with everything needed). But it's bothersome sitting on the couch and using the battery, and finding that 20 minutes into use I'm down to 90% battery life. An hour in you're down to 70%. Then two hours and you're 40%. Three and you're 10%. And in some cases you're down to 3-4% instead of 10%. >_<;

But I'll do a more quantitative test to ensure that I'm not being biased here and messing up my analysis with a my not-so-optimistic approach. Battery life might be a tad bit better than I'm writing it out to be... but I don't know. I'm just writing on what I've experienced this far, without actually doing a full-on test from 100% to 1% shutdown.
 

iExpensive

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2010
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Pretty disappointing I was looking at getting a 11" to replace my 2010 13". The battery life on that thing is amazing!
 

Obscurelight

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PaulWog

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What I'd like to know is if the i5 11" has better battery live than the i7 11" and if so by how much?
I'm hearing two things:

- The i7 apparently runs hotter.
- Based on only one site's charts (so this could be skewed), in an i5 vs. i7 comparison on the 11-inch, there was a 30-minute battery life difference on the battery life comparison (low light, no flash, web browsing, the test was designed to maximize battery life as long as possible while still using the computer for little things). This test could be wrong, or it could be right.

Honestly, at this point, I'd say the i5 sounds like the better choice. It performs about the same, battery life reports are similar, and apparently a number of people are having issues with the heat of the i7. I'm sitting down with the Air on my lap typing this and it's running at 47-49 celcius (jumping between those numbers) on the processor. When I game it never gets higher than 88 celcius (which is still toasty but well under the max 100 celcius).

you are talking about the hypermac battery things right? aren't those quite heavy?
Yep. They have one for the Macbook Air which is supposed to add something like 10 hours of battery life on top of the rated battery life (it's deceiving since they say "20 hours battery life", but that includes the battery life of a 10 hour laptop in the estimate adding to the external battery). That one is only 0.8 pounds. The other larger one which I will likely get is bigger by about 40% in length, and it weighs 1.6 pounds.

Not too heavy to be carrying in a backpack. And worth it in my opinion for trips and whatnot. It defeats the purpose of the weight of the laptop in some cases, but still... both the Air and the external battery have their purposes, and I think they would work well together in many scenarios.
 

Obscurelight

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Jul 22, 2011
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With better battery life and cooler running, the i5 definitely sounds like the more sensible choice for the average user at this point.
 

s.hasan546

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Feb 26, 2011
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I'm seeing at about 30-40% light about a 4-5 hour battery life if you are just web browsing (no youtube), and word processing.

Realistically I'd say the battery life is about 3 hours if you are doing various tasks.

I would love to see some Macbook Air 11-inch 2011 users get together and give their feedback. I hate seeing "oh I got 5 hours easy", only to find out that the person was throwing a random estimate and they have no idea what they got because for half an hour of that here and there they left it on sleep mode.

Overall I'm dissatisfied with the battery life... you can't turn the brightness up or you're looking at horrible battery life... and you should avoid youtube videos if you can (especially HD ones).

Disappointed but not totally upset. It's still good battery life. Just not quite where they're advertising. "Up to 5 hours"... that's a bit of a stretch. I wish it was up to 5 hours easily on low light with internet usage... so the stretch was more like 5 hours and 30 minutes.
totally agree with most of what you say here. I don't mind the worse battery life since I'm at a desk 80% of the day. And while commuting on the train (1 hour each way) the mba will last no matter what i do.

Anyways on my first day after a battery calibration i got 3 hours & 11 minutes. Using 10 tabs of safari, mail app., calendar app., and 1 flash video playing the whole time (60% brightness, wifi & bluetooth off, using a verizon 4g usb card. Honestly not too bad. my 2011 mbp only got about 4-5 hours. But than again i had more tabs open on the mbp.
 

Obscurelight

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Jul 22, 2011
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mm..... couldn't hold out any longer, went to the store to buy an i5 11" to test out at 11pm.... darn the 5th ave store for being open 24 hours. Ill run down the battery, fully charge it and I'll try to add in some info as to the battery life, heat and such.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
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Seattle, WA
Yep. They have one for the Macbook Air which is supposed to add something like 10 hours of battery life on top of the rated battery life (it's deceiving since they say "20 hours battery life", but that includes the battery life of a 10 hour laptop in the estimate adding to the external battery). That one is only 0.8 pounds. The other larger one which I will likely get is bigger by about 40% in length, and it weighs 1.6 pounds.

Not too heavy to be carrying in a backpack. And worth it in my opinion for trips and whatnot. It defeats the purpose of the weight of the laptop in some cases, but still... both the Air and the external battery have their purposes, and I think they would work well together in many scenarios.
I would suggest that you consider the HyperMac's battery life estimates to be even more optimistic than the ones offered by Apple regarding the MBA. I have both the 60 Wh and the 150 Wh models and I have never achieved the battery life close to their estimates. Having said that, the extra few hours of battery life they add can still be very handy. I don't regret the purchases.

Sorry for taking the thread a bit off topic.
 

Obscurelight

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Jul 22, 2011
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first rundown got about 4:15 with light use. Web browsing, messenger, Internet music streaming, Internet video streaming for about half an hour. Both the music and video was flash based. Was always completely quiet and no heat issues so far, becomes a little warm when watching videos but just toasty not a problem.
 

Abstract

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Dec 27, 2002
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This thread really interests me, because it's exactly what I'm wondering. Other than LaptopMag's review, I haven't seen a consistent, reputable review of the battery life of the 2011 MBAs. I'm sure they're around, but people are getting numbers ranging from 3.5 hours, up to almost 5 hours. It's crazy.


Personally, I know the battery life will be around the same as the last gen 2010 version of the 11" MBA.

All I really want is ~4 hours of battery life when under normal, usable conditions without "major" sacrifices. I'm talking about ~60% brightness (like how I use my 15" MBP), no Bluetooth, and occasional WiFi (I'd turn it on and off when I need it).

Based on the Laptop Mag review, I think the new MBA is capable of this! :)
 
Last edited:

Obscurelight

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Jul 22, 2011
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Within the 4 hours the Wi-Fi was always on (I never turn wi-fi off). Bluetooth is off. I tend to stick with 20% backlit keyboard and 40% brightness.
 

hereyago

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2011
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i get around 3 hours.

i need good amount of brightness on my screen so that's prob why.

its kind of ****** compared to the netbook that i upgraded from.
 

entatlrg

macrumors 68040
Mar 2, 2009
3,376
3
Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
first rundown got about 4:15 with light use. Web browsing, messenger, Internet music streaming, Internet video streaming for about half an hour. Both the music and video was flash based. Was always completely quiet and no heat issues so far, becomes a little warm when watching videos but just toasty not a problem.
Thanks for that. You are lucky to have a 24 hour Apple Store in your neighborhood!

I think i5 in 11" is the best way to go. I've searched and read everywhere seems to be little better battery life and less heat on the i5.
 

toi

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2011
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0
i believe anandtech installed a safari plug in to disable flash content automatically loading on the browser .

i am using that method so far and it is looking good.
but watching a video totally runs down the battery fast.
 

Obscurelight

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Jul 22, 2011
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i believe anandtech installed a safari plug in to disable flash content automatically loading on the browser .

i am using that method so far and it is looking good.
but watching a video totally runs down the battery fast.
I am using both adblock and Click2flash plugins. Also as for massive memory leak I haven't seen any so far when I checked. Stays between 150MB-400MB for me. My second rundown I did not time but funnily enough, it's taking so much longer to charge this time around. It's been plugged in for 2 and a half hours and still not full yet. I noticed with coconut battery opened, My battery was at 105% battery capacity after my earlier full recharge.
 

infobhan

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2005
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Cambridge, MA
GottaBeMobile had a nice test of the new 11" Air's battery life. The author was easily able to achieve a 5-hour battery life. Obviously, it depends what you're using the computer for and how bright you need your screen to be.
 

PaulWog

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Jun 28, 2011
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GottaBeMobile had a nice test of the new 11" Air's battery life. The author was easily able to achieve a 5-hour battery life. Obviously, it depends what you're using the computer for and how bright you need your screen to be.
Honestly I don't like his review at all. I read it a day or two back.

I feel as though he's rather biased and his review seems to be overly optimistic. It doesn't seem to represent the real battery life of the Air.

I can reach just under 5 hours sure... with 30-40% brightness and very very very few things used... but he seems to be indicating that 5 hours is "easy", and says it's rather "conservative". 5 hours isn't a stretch so much as it is just the best battery life you can get out of the machine when it's new and being used specifically in a way to conserve battery life.
 

infobhan

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2005
43
0
Cambridge, MA
Honestly I don't like his review at all. I read it a day or two back.

I feel as though he's rather biased and his review seems to be overly optimistic. It doesn't seem to represent the real battery life of the Air.

I can reach just under 5 hours sure... with 30-40% brightness and very very very few things used... but he seems to be indicating that 5 hours is "easy", and says it's rather "conservative". 5 hours isn't a stretch so much as it is just the best battery life you can get out of the machine when it's new and being used specifically in a way to conserve battery life.
I think it really boils down to what you are using the computer for and under what situations you'll need the long battery life. The 11's battery life is plenty for my uses - occasional 1-2 hour meetings between recharges. My prior machine is a MBP that gets 2 hours on a good day, but was totally adequate. If you travel a lot, being able to make it through a flight is a good metric.

One potentially solution if you occasionally need more battery life is a Hyperjuice battery. The smallest one is under a pound and adds quite a bit of time. Not a great solution for daily use, but for occasional travel it looks handy.
 

Obscurelight

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 22, 2011
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5 hours easily is really farfetched by the sounds of it. He must've been staring at the wallpaper to get that. I'm a pretty light user and I have to push a little for that 4 hours+
 

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