Battery only 2 hours on brand new MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by petrucci666, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. petrucci666 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I literally just got my base 13" MBA yesterday, set it to charge when I opened it up, let it stand for a couple of hours while the Time Machine backup loaded up and then when it was done and I disconnected it (the charger indicated a full charge by then) - it was only on 97% even though the light was green!

    I used it for half an hour before going to bed and it dropped from 97% to around 85% even though I just browsed.

    Shouldn't the battery last 7 hours?! It only shows me about 1:30 left.

    Has anyone else had the problem?

  2. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    I would not judge your battery life on a new machine in the first few days. In the very beginning a lot is going on behind the scene. Relax, you will get your 7 hours if you follow the helpful battery tips.
  3. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    The 7 Hour advertised battery time has rules: screen at half brightness, WiFi On, Bluetooth off, etc...

    Realistically, people get about a little more than half but it really depends on what you're doing. You can get 7 Hours when just using Microsoft Word to type something, or you could get 2 Hours streaming an HD movie from Netflix.
  4. petrucci666 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA

    Thanks for the reply, but like I said, I was browsing the web. I can't imagine that running the battery down. My 2 year old MBP lasted longer with doing much more than just browsing.

    I'll let it go for a few days so we'll see. Just for reference, I woke it up about 30 minutes ago, posted this thread, went to take a shower and it dropped 10% in the meantime. Work done on the machine - 1 forum thread opened, that's it.
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Op whilst your browsing the net you MBA will be indexing the drive etc etc plus it's still learning how long it's own battery will last. If you still have the same battery life In a few days time then worry but now? No it's normal.
  6. gigapocket1 macrumors 65816

    Mar 15, 2009
    If you restored your machine from a time machine, that could be causing the problem as well..

    it might have copied over your MacBooks settings, which can cause your macbook air to not function properly
  7. Gemütlichkeit macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
    Could spotlight be indexing? Could you be running the screen on max?
  8. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    It's Lion indexing that's taking a toll on the battery life. It should stabilize within a day or two (read: 24 hours) of total usage (read: total as in accumulated).

    Realistically, you can expect somewhere between 2:30 to 5 hours of usage to close to 7 depending on your usage. When they have figured out how to downgrade the new MacBook Air to Snow Leopard, or if the next Lion update cares at all, perhaps battery life will be improved.

    For now, it's a combination of Lion's bad indexing practice (should have been done while installing), and unoptimized graphics procedures that is causing bad battery life on the new MacBook Air.

    It all traces back to Lion, sadly.
  9. 3bs macrumors 603


    May 20, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Just give it a couple more days and hopefully that will triple or so. But it really depends on how you're using it
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Read the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link. This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
  11. hereyago macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    dim screen brightness to like less than 50%, dim keyboard brightness to last bar, turn off bluetooth.
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If it's between 95-99% charged, usually plugging it in won't charge it back to 100% (it will just draw enough power to operate). Let it go under 95% and it will start charging again.

    During the first day you are running a Mac, it is indexing your hard drive/SSD contents so that the Spotlight search function works (after it finishes, it just indexes changes). That takes up CPU power and uses up the battery. So does the first Time Machine backup (or anything after a significant amount of changes to your files).
  13. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Also, you said you were "just browsing the web." Do happen to have Flash installed and turned on? Flash, even just banner ads, tend to significantly impact the battery life.
  14. CyrusKafaiWu macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    I get 2-4 hours on my new 2011 11 inch macbook air. Usually 3 or 4. I do keep my lower than 50% but not much. Its set to autoadjust depending on the light.
  15. vtyler98 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2011
    I was getting around 4-5 hours with mine and was disappointed at that, after reading reviews of 5-7 hours with wifi on. So what I did is completely wiped the hard drive (make sure to back up everything before this though), reinstalled lion, then restored using my backup and now I'm getting a solid 7+ hours of battery life. Today I have used it around 5 hours total and yesterday 2 hours and I'm still sitting at 20% battery life with an estimated 1hr 22mins remaining on the battery. Also my processor is running much cooler hovering around 45-50C now instead of 55-60C and the fan isn't ramping up to high 4,000+ rpm's except when playing a game or doing something very processor intensive.
  16. CyrusKafaiWu macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    I have only had mine for 3 days now. I just used it for about 3 hours and it says I have 1 hour and 35 minutes. But all I did is browse the news, articles, msn, skype and facebook. Since, I am on vacation right now.
  17. vtyler98 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2011
    Time should increase with more cycles, mine started out around 3 hours the first time but since I've used it more and done what I described above, the time has increased dramatically to 7-8 hours for the same activities you mentioned. My brightness is around 40% with the backlight keyboard off except when I need it. Future updates of Lion should hopefully add additional battery life, I hope so because I might can get 8+ hours of normal use if so!
  18. supersalo macrumors 6502


    May 14, 2010
    Do you have a 11" or 13" (i5 or i7?)
  19. vtyler98 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2011
    Mine is 13" i5 model, 2011.
  20. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    I started with the indicator telling me I had around 2:30 on a full charge.

    Now around a week later (and running the battery up and down to around 30-40% a few times) it says around 6 hours on a full charge with Safari, Xcode and the iPhone simulator open. Also the percentage goes down a lot slower.

    More than likely it is between Spotlight indexing the hard drive (Not sure why it isn't pre-indexed since they are the same image, but maybe it is because they use two different SSD's that may store things differently). Mail also has to index and download all your messages if you are using that.

    For me, I just set the battery indicator to percentage rather than time, as the time meter fluctuates every 2 minutes based on your activity. The percentage lets me know how much juice the battery actually has.
  21. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    My battery was not as good as I wanted it to be in the first week or so....but now about 3 weeks in it is leveling off. I use wifi and bluetooth and browse and use mostly outlook and excel and am getting through most of an 8 hour day. I tested the battery a couple weeks ago and ran an HD movie download and loaded up a bunch of flash sites, to see if I could kill the battery from full in 2 hours and after the movie was over, I still had 2+ hours left. This is while displaying 2 hours remaining the entire time during the movie. I wouldn't trust what the timer says...
  22. supersalo macrumors 6502


    May 14, 2010
    Was this on an 11" or 13"?
  23. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Wait until you've cycled the battery from full to empty to full at least a couple times after installing/loading everything.

    When new, the battery indicator/charger is uncalibrated and the system is doing a lot of initializing/loading which can cut apparent battery life by a huge amount.
  24. PittAir macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2008
    Try an SMC reset. This actually worked for me. Whether it simply reset the battery gauge, or actually did something to the battery life is unclear, but I am now getting times in the 4 plus hour range with 85% left on an 11 inch i7.

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