2012 13" MacBook Air Battery Life

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dmk1974, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #1
    Hi all, just wanted to see if those of you with the new 13" MBA are getting similar battery life as me. Seems to be about the same as the 2011 model too. I am testing out the base model (MD231LL/A). Pretty much just web browsing with e-mail and word/excel running and constant activity (not sitting idle). Not much video tested.

    Screen Brightness: 8 dots (50%)
    Keyboard Backlight: 2 dots

    6/14 AM: 58 min/19% = 5.09 hrs
    6/14 PM: 76 min/22% = 5.76 hrs
    6/15 AM: 56 min/19% = 4.91 hrs

    Total Battery Estimate = 5.28 hrs

    Not quite the 7 hrs as advertised, but seems to probably be reaslistic for most.

    What do you all get? I'll continue to update as I test further. Thanks.
     
  2. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #2
    That's not good. Not good at all. I am getting about 5 hours on my MBA at 50% screen brightness (in the middle of a test right now). I suppose that the 13" has a larger display and will eat up the battery more quickly in principle, but I thought they compensated for that with a larger battery. The whole point of considering a 13" (for me) was to get the extra battery life.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    There are many factors that impact your battery life. See the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link for details, including tips on how to maximize your battery life.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
     
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #4
    Thanks. I don't have questions about the battery, though. I am measuring actual battery life in use. I have been getting about 5 on the MBA so far, but I had the variable dimming going on, and I was doing all sorts of tasks. Today I have set the brightness and I am only running certain apps, so I should be able to get a more accurate estimate of the battery life I can expect to see for my usage. Of course, your mileage may vary, but based on the description in the first post, the 13" is not doing any better than the 11".
     
  5. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #5
    Thanks, I'm interested how yours compares to mine with more test points.

    Here's the link to Anandtech's 2011 MBA battery testing. Numbers vary slightly, but what catches my eye is that the 11" is probably going to be about another 40 minutes less than whatever the 13" actually gets so evey though that one is rated at 5 hrs, it will probably be just barely over 4 hrs.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macbook-air-11-13inch-review/13
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Yes, that's what the section I mentioned refers to... battery life. If you go through the items on that list you can find things that you may not be aware are contributing to battery drain, such as system processes, Spotlight indexing, etc.
     
  7. arctic macrumors 6502a

    arctic

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #7
    dmk1974 and palpatine. Thank you for the findings and keep 'em coming. Seems like the ULV optimization for light tasks and browsing in Ivy Bridge is how I expected it to be. One of the prices to pay for ULV.
     
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #8
    I know. I am aware of all this stuff and have been watching istat like a hawk. It is good to remind new users about it, though :)

    I am just trying to give people an idea of what will happen on an "average" day under "average" conditions for me. Some people will do better, some will do worse. There is nothing terribly rigorous or scientific about my testing.

    I think I am going to make 5 hours today. I am at 48% right now and I am exactly 2.5 hours into it. So, we'll see.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the 13" edges me out (it ought to), but I will be surprised if the margin is so small. Frankly, if I had known the battery life wouldn't even be close to 7, and the MBA would be this close to 5, then I would not have considered buying the 13". I am sure I will receive some negatives from 13 inchers for saying that! Still, it's what I feel. I love the 13" and seriously considered it, but only (in my case) for the battery life.
     
  9. Puonti macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #9
    Out of curiosity, what would you have considered instead of the 13" if you had known its battery life to be so far off the advertised 7 hour mark? I mean, the 11" model gets even less (3,5 - 4 if I recall correctly) *

    * Depending on use of course.
     
  10. palpatine, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #10
    Well, I am getting about 5 on the MBA, so I am pleased. This is what I wanted (I would like more battery life, of course, but it works as advertised). The only thing that made my choice difficult was thinking that I had a choice, and might be able to get two more hours of battery life.

    I wouldn't have considered the 13 at all, and would have purchased the 11 without a doubt if I had known about the battery life. That is the only difference. Thinking that the battery life would be better this year, I stood around staring at the computers and spent an inordinate amount of time comparing them on the Apple site.

    On a side note, I have been thinking about moving to ultrabooks this year for various reasons, but with the prices, specs, and build quality I have seen so far, not to mention the still un-released W8, I decided Apple will definitely get my business for another year. I am amazed at how the competition has failed to step up, and I am embarrassed to admit that I have not given Apple enough credit for designing a machine that has not only survived several years in this form, but is still superior to competitors. That would be impressive in any industry, and I think we have come to take this kind of solid innovation for granted from Apple.

    [EDIT:] I just finished my tests. I got 4:47 out of the 11" MBA (I posted the details about my usage in the 11" MBA thread).
     
  11. netddos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #11
    True battery life for 2012 MBA 13"

    What's the true battery life reported for 2012 MBA 13"???

    Does it really last 7 hrs given light/moderate usage? (mainly web surfing and writing reports, wifi on, brightness at ~70%)

    I would upgrade my 2011 MBA 13" if it really lasts 7 hrs as stated.

    Can anybody confirm?
     
  12. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    #12
    There is no "true" battery life. Everyone's battery is going to vary by usage.
     
  13. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Terminus
    #13
    I haven't seen anything convincing that shows the 13" gets only marginally better battery life than the 11".

    http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/apple-macbook-air-13-inch-2012.aspx

    They got 8:10 on websurfing on WiFi with the 13".
     
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #14
  15. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Terminus
    #15
    So what's your conclusion? Are you going to say the OP or laptopmag is "right"? Laptopmag has over an hour above what Apple says and OP has two hours lower. Usage varies so widely that saying the OP is definitively right or wrong seems premature and an attempt to justify a purchase (which you shouldn't need to do, the 11" is very cool).
     
  16. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #16
    You asked where I got the numbers, and I responded that you should look at the OP. A few hours ago, that is all we knew. We were just generating our own numbers based on our own informal tests. I am still waiting to hear what tech sites have to say about the 11".

    I did not base my purchase on what the OP said. I bought my computer long before this thread started. However, his post definitely would have informed my decision if he had posted earlier, because it would have been the only data available, and I do tend to trust users more for this kind of thing.

    It would not have changed the results (purchasing the 11"), but would have at least gave me a little more confidence in my choice. I don't know if it was "justification" or not, but I like to know as much as possible at the time of a purchase.

    I am glad to say reviews are coming up, and I look forward to seeing more of them. I am hoping the 13" really does get that much battery life. That's good for everyone.
     

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