13" MBP has HORRIBLE battery life.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sjm300, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. sjm300 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    I have a 3 week old MBP. completely stock since my fiancee uses it while I use my 15" i7.

    the battery life on this thing SUCKS. We get roughly 3-5 hrs out of it before it goes dead. with 30-50% brightness. seems like my 15" gets twice the battery length

    this is with WIFI on, only browsing the internet. bluetooth is off, no music, light flash ( she mostly looks at facebook, email, and wedding stuff )

    any ideas?
  2. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    you want bad battery?
    try my sis's hp pavillion that only lasts 5 mins
  3. djasterix macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2010
    Paradise City
    Unless you have some heavy process on the background sucking your power, it would be better if you take it to an Apple Store, that battery life is simply unaceptable...

    Go to Activity Monitor and check if something is keeping busy your processor.
  4. Modernape macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
  5. Ann P macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009
    Sounds like my 2009 13" MBP, which got about 4 hours on average with the same moderate use. My 2010 13" MBP gets 7-8 hours on a single charge. Have you tried calibration as the previous poster suggested?
  6. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
  7. antster94 macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2010
    London, UK
    You think you've got it bad?! The computer I am using now (Sony vaio AR41E) as my mac is broken has a <10 minute battery life lol.

    But calibrate the battery if you haven't done so, might make it better.
  8. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2010
    Calibration won't magically increase your battery life. It's main purpose is to improve the accuracy of your battery gauge readout. If you are only getting 5 hours with the settings turned down then there is a problem and you should take the computer to Apple. Since you said the computer goes dead after this time then calibration is not going to help.
  9. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    My guess is something is running in the background. Check Activity Monitor.
  10. trondah macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    Wrong, before calibration the battery doesn't know it's own capacity so it will shut off earlier. Calibrating definitely gives better battery life.
  11. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    1/2 Wrong. Your first sentence is correct, since all calibration does is report the percentage more accurately, and the battery goes by what the meter says, so it will shut off when the meter says 0%. Second sentence is wrong, as the calibration itself doesn't give better battery life; see first argument.
  12. Cool Runnings macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    If you just boot up your computer and pull the plug you should get an time near the 8-10 hour with Wifi on and screen set at ~50% and BT off, no USB connected.

    If not, try safe boot and try there with just the bare minimum for the system running. If not, contact apple....
  13. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    3 -5 hours is pretty good for most laptops, not great for a new MBP. However, If you are getting 5 hours on a MBP 15 with i7, that sounds about right, depending on what sites you are surfing and how you are surfing.

    If you have 12 tabs active, several different plugins active and maybe streaming somethings (Even if you don't know that you are streaming) or downloading your system never gets to implement in many power saving features. The drive may never sleep, all CPU cores might hang around 10 to 20%, etc. Do you know if the discrete GPU is becoming active?

    You might have a battery that is less than it should be, I find that most people are doing more than they think that they are doing in cases like this though.

    I have a 2010 MBP 13 and I might only get 5 -6 hours with heavy surfing, you ARE going to do much worse with a MBP 15 w/i7. 5 hours might be pretty good actually. 3 hours though would warrant a detailed investigation as to why though.
  14. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Yeah, with an i7 and the high res screen, I average around 7-8 hours on really, really light browsing (basically just forums with little else) with 50% brightness.

    Once I start actually doing anything intensive, that's where the battery gets killed.
  15. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
    My late 09' 13" mpb has good life, and I haven't calibrated the battery yet mainly b/c of the weird steps. I don't know if after you charge and use for 2 hours, and let it die, it says turn it off or let it sleep for 5 hours.... well if it dies it turns off/sleeps by itself so how do you turn off a computer that has already turned itself off, and do I let it sit for 5 hours??? Confusing
  16. iPagan macrumors regular

    May 31, 2010
    Funny how I was going to start a thread like this...

    I have a five-day-old April 2010 13" MBP, and it gives me about 6 hours or so of light web surfing!? :eek:

    The brightness is like 98 to 100%, however. Anything less isn't comfortable to me. :)

    I will try the tip of calibrating the battery to see if that will improve its life. I have a question about Step 4 of that how-to, though:

    When it says, when you see low battery warning, save your work, close your applications, let the computer go into sleep, what percentage of battery does that mean? 20%? 10%?


    Also: why is my name bold-faced? Any way to change it?
  17. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
    yeh I don't understand steps 4 and 5... seems like a drawn out process as even when you get low life warning you can still go another hour or so in use, so if you just let it sit doing nothing it will be even longer.
  18. tuna macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    6 hours with brightness at 100% sounds about right, actually. Battery life estimates from laptop makers are like EPA mileage estimates: they are not what you'll actually get, but they're valuable for comparison. So a normal laptop that advertises 3 hours battery life might only net you 2 hours, and the MacBook's "10 hour" battery should net you ~7, probably 6 with 100% brightness.
  19. snailmale macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    hmm by the way, is it normal for a mbp's battery life to be dropping gradually over the first few days?
    when i first got my laptop, coconut battery told me i had max capacity 5720mah (99%) batt. original was 5770mah.
    after calibrating, it changed to 5707mah. (98%)
    and half a day later, im at 5650 mah(97%)

    this is with 2 battery cycles and a 3 day old 13" mbp (altho coconut battery says its 7 weeks old). i know its just a few percent, but if things keep gg this way its gonna be pretty worrying. first time mac user here, by the way.
  20. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    It damages the battery to unnecessarily give it 100% charge after it reaches a certain threshold. It is a very useful, normal, and brilliant feature apple put in their computers. the extra few percent of battery life won't give you much time at all, and it really does extend the life of your battery in the long run.
  21. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    And to the OP: My screen brightness is up all the way with wifi on in very frequent use and it almost always lasts me all day. Get that battery replaced.
  22. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Ugg- my wife does this on her MacBook- drives me nuts- and she wonders why she gets the spinning beach ball all the time.

    I agree- calibrate, then test with just a DVD or something with nothing else running or open- and see what happens. Then see Apple if it isn't good.

    I can beat everyone so far- I have a iBook and PowerBook at my school that don't last 1 second when unplugged- they just shut down and have to be restarted!:eek:
  23. snailmale macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    haha no i mean the max capacity, not the current capacity. i do know that when plugged in, the current capacity will fluctuate from about 95-100% so as not to overcharge the battery and i'm not worried about it, i do agree it's a good feature. the worrying part is that it's my max capacity thats dropping over these few days.
  24. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    Not true, I have a 3 year old gateway that not only needs to be plugged in but also can't be moved or it will shutdown. :)

    I don't mean to sound sexist, but women tend to cripple their computers. For example, I just brought my sisters sony 1.8 ghz pentium processor 1 gb of ram notebook back to life and next thing I know she is complaining that it freezes when she has 3 windows open, each with many tabs to different facebook flash games and stuff like that. Oh, and after I explicitly told her to not touch my mbp, I see her using it as a damn palm rest while she is wearing a metal bracelet. She was freaking using it to rest her arms on while she was using her computer. Yep, it left a mark (though most wouldn't notice it), and if you read many of my previous posts you will realize I am VERY fanatical about my things staying in perfect condition. My girlfriend's 1 year old macbook looks like it went through a wood chipper and is barley usable. My mom and my sister constantly leave a bunch of clutter programs and office (DOWN WITH OFFICE FOR MAC) open on our imac because they can't be bothered by taking the extra steps to quit a program. This is especially annoying because we all share the imac (with 1 gb of ram), it just makes it unusable sometimes.

    Once again I don't mean to sound sexist and I am sure that there are many women who can take care of their things, but does any body else notice this?
  25. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    Exactly, it makes it so the max capacity you can charge less than 100%. I am sorry if I'm not understanding your question :confused:

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