12" pb battery life

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jamie329

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2005
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i've been set on getting a 14" ibook for a while now. however i refuse to buy one now and get hardware thats almost a year old. i've starting thinking that maybe i should get a 12" powerbook instead. the main thing i'm worried about is battery life. i've heard the ibooks get significantly more life out of their batteries then powerbooks. can anyone here give me some realistic times for how much time they get from a full charge of a powerbook battery ?
 

Sam I Am

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2005
112
0
Ann Arbor, MI
jamie329 said:
i've been set on getting a 14" ibook for a while now. however i refuse to buy one now and get hardware thats almost a year old. i've starting thinking that maybe i should get a 12" powerbook instead. the main thing i'm worried about is battery life. i've heard the ibooks get significantly more life out of their batteries then powerbooks. can anyone here give me some realistic times for how much time they get from a full charge of a powerbook battery ?
I don't have a PowerBook, so I can't say how much you get on one PowerBook charge, but I do know that iBooks have better battery lives than PowerBooks.
 

Kirbdog

macrumors regular
I typically get about 3 to 3.5 hrs on a battery, but I don't use many of the power saving options that are available. If I use them I get get up to 4 hrs. I need 2 batteries to get through a school day if I can't sit near a plug in.
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,589
1,838
Kirbdog said:
I typically get about 3 to 3.5 hrs on a battery, but I don't use many of the power saving options that are available. If I use them I get get up to 4 hrs. I need 2 batteries to get through a school day if I can't sit near a plug in.
I assume you're referring to the 12" PB in your sig?
 

hcuar

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2004
1,065
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Dallas
I usually get 3.5 to 4.0 hours browsing the web... Less if I'm doing something processor intensive. (PB in sig)
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
Mine is only a couple of weeks old and I think a full charge lasts approx 4 hours. As other people have said it depends what you're doing. For me I'm mostly just running Safari, Mail, iTunes and occasionally Photoshop.

sort of goes without saying that ibook battery life is better than the powerbook... the powerbook is a more powerful machine!
 

munkle

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2004
2,580
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On a jet plane
I used to get 3/3 1/2 hours but now I get about 1! From what others have said it's a problem that's plagued as Rev B'ers, more so than any other other Rev.

From experience the iBook does seem able to milk more from the battery than the PB's, not surprising as the PB is bound to be more "demanding". Don't think the difference in battery life between iBooks and Powerbooks is that huge though.

Can I ask why you're keen on the 14"? It's just that I don't see the added benefit of hulking around a larger laptop when the screen resolution is the same as the 12".
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,532
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hcuar said:
I usually get 3.5 to 4.0 hours browsing the web... Less if I'm doing something processor intensive. (PB in sig)
Hm, I ripped a dvd to my HD and watched that (very low brightness display setting w/ BT and AE off) for the duration (around 2 hours) and my battery display said I had another hour or so left. How do you get such good battery life? Or does watching a movie count as "processor intensive?"
 

bodeh6

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
772
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devilot76 said:
Hm, I ripped a dvd to my HD and watched that (very low brightness display setting w/ BT and AE off) for the duration (around 2 hours) and my battery display said I had another hour or so left. How do you get such good battery life? Or does watching a movie count as "processor intensive?"
Video is taxing on the system so I am sure that is why you experience lower battery life. The Hard drive needs to keep going through the movie file to keep it going.
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
750
13
devilot76 said:
Hm, I ripped a dvd to my HD and watched that (very low brightness display setting w/ BT and AE off) for the duration (around 2 hours) and my battery display said I had another hour or so left. How do you get such good battery life? Or does watching a movie count as "processor intensive?"
DVD watching requires use of the processor for decoding and spins up the hard drive (if ripped. if not then the dvd drive spins up which is worse) much more than normal usage. Yes, I would call that intensive for a portable on battery power.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,532
2
Yay! Thanks, bodeh6 and tuartboy for clearing that up with me. I feel much more relieved now. Whew. My battery isn't completely shot! :cool:
 

jamie329

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2005
38
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Can I ask why you're keen on the 14"? It's just that I don't see the added benefit of hulking around a larger laptop when the screen resolution is the same as the 12".
I thought it would be possible to squeeze a little more space out of the 14" by making some things smaller (i.e the dock, font sizes, etc) Please tell me if this is unrealistic.

The more I think about it though, the more I want the 12" pb. I'm going to be using it mainly for school next year (first year engineering). I also plan on doing some software development on it. I have an external display I can plug it into at home, however can anyone tell me if I'll have enough room to comfortably use xcode when using the laptop display ?
 

_bnkr612

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2004
619
0
devilot76 said:
(very low brightness display setting w/ BT and AE off)
I agree...

I keep my 12" PB brightness 4-5 bars before full brightness. Seems to be the best to get the most out of the battery.
 

munkle

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2004
2,580
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On a jet plane
jamie329 said:
I thought it would be possible to squeeze a little more space out of the 14" by making some things smaller (i.e the dock, font sizes, etc) Please tell me if this is unrealistic.
I guess so but ultimately it'll still be 1024x768 so you're not really going to benefit that much by just squishing things.

jamie329 said:
can anyone tell me if I'll have enough room to comfortably use xcode when using the laptop display ?
Exposé (and hot corners) is a wonderful thing :)
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
750
13
jamie329 said:
I thought it would be possible to squeeze a little more space out of the 14" by making some things smaller (i.e the dock, font sizes, etc) Please tell me if this is unrealistic.
It's unrealistic.

You can't make the pixels smaller which means that the clarity of the screen never changes. Smaller fonts and such will just get muddier the further down you get and it won't be worth it.

I say 12" ibook is cheap enough if you're a student and the PB is good if you really need a bit more for much more $. The screen is the same res in all the models you are looking at, so concentrate on hardware.
 

gamestriker

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2004
174
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(Assuming brightness is at no more than 4 bars and bluetooth turned off) 3.5 to 4 hours doing stuff like programming and web browsing; 4.5 hrs if I'm just typing a paper and have my airport off; 3 hrs if I'm doing processor intensive stuff (non-gaming); and 2-2.25 hrs for gaming intensive stuff. I think I may be able to squeeze out battery (I'd say maybe 30 minutes) if I set my processor to reduced and bring my brightness to 1-2 bars.

See my signature for my PowerBook specs.

I'm a programmer (first year computer science this fall :) ) and even though I use Eclipse primarily, I tend to use Xcode rather often as well, and I find no problem programming on Xcode with the 1024x768 screen, just maximize the windows and take advantage of Expose; or you can always just have all the Editor windows inside the Project Window and keep that maximized (this is what I do).

I'd be happy to send you/post up a screen shot of me using Xcode on my PowerBook 12" if you'd like. :)
 

jamie329

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2005
38
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I'd be happy to send you/post up a screen shot of me using Xcode on my PowerBook 12" if you'd like
That would be awesome if you could post a screenshot or two gamestriker.
 

cooknwitha

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2005
562
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London
My PB is a day old and I've been on it for about 2 and a half hours and it's at 46%. That's with Ethernet in for internet (still waiting for Airport Express to arrive!!) and with Wireless and Bluetooth turned off. Brightness at about 2 dots below highest and just browsing and chatting. Plus iTunes Radio playing in the background.

So far so good.
 

Capt Underpants

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2003
2,859
3
Austin, Texas
cooknwitha said:
My PB is a day old and I've been on it for about 2 and a half hours and it's at 46%. That's with Ethernet in for internet (still waiting for Airport Express to arrive!!) and with Wireless and Bluetooth turned off. Brightness at about 2 dots below highest and just browsing and chatting. Plus iTunes Radio playing in the background.

So far so good.
Awww... I remember those days. They're long gone now, though! I'm going to have to break down and buy a new battery. 2 hours isn't cutting it.
 

cooknwitha

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2005
562
0
London
With the benefit of hindsight, would you say there was a better way you could have treated your battery? How long has this one lasted you?
 

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