How's the BATTERY LIFE on the new 1.5Ghz - 15" PB ??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Ryan1524, May 30, 2004.

  1. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    i've been waiting to get a PB for univ this fall, and the latest 15" PB seems to be my top choice. the screen seems to be good now (no spots, no uneven illuminations), and any bugs should be gone by now. at least i hope so.

    now just one question i need answered remaining. how's the battery life? the last al 15" seems to do quite badly at 2-2.5 hours max according to many users. i know the new battery is larger, but does the new specs offset it?

    if you own the new 15" PB, especially the Superdrive model with 128MB VRAM and 5400RPM HDD, please sound off and tell me how your battery does in your day to day apps.

    thx very much. :)

    as a side note, you think this PB will be a good choice for Electrical and Biomedical Engineering?

    afaik, the only problem i might encounter is with a 3D CAD program called Solid Edge that's only used in ONE class in the first year. it seems a shame to forego a PB just because of one measly course. i can always use the school labs for that. what do you think? i've been looking forward to switching for a while now.
  2. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    In a nice place..
    With the power savings of (automatic), and doing normal stuff (safari, maybe some word), and using WIFI, I get around 2 - 2.5 hours. If I lower the screen resolution, it goes a lot higher. However, I normally just let OSX deal with how bright my screen will be. As for the bigger battery, I think it was done that way to compensate for the faster processor, better graphics card.

  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Geez, I think the 12" PB is the best Apple laptop because of its far superior battery life and portability, but that's just me. Even with the screen brightness turned down 2/3 or 1/2 way down, using only Word and Safari, the battery of the 15" probably will last under 3 hours. My rev B 12" PB lasts for 3h30min under the same settings. The new rev C 12" PB in stores right now has an even better battery than my PB, and will get you 4.5 to 5 hours, easy. That's the advantage of the current Revision C 12" PB over the 15" PB
    If the 15" PB had as good a battery life even as my 12" rev B Powerbook, I'd say that the 15" is the best Apple laptop.

    I'm in Medical Physics, in case you wanted to know. I'm sure your Engineering program will require more use of specialized computer software than my program, but if you can survive without getting a PC to use it, then good. :) VirtualPC is always an option.
  4. csubear macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2003
    Virtual PC is your best option for alot of stuff. I am a senior in Electrical Engineering, and i have come across a few software packages that i could not find a mac version for and need to bust open my Virtual PC. On my new powerbook things run pretty well. For electrical your are aleast going to need a spice program, and maybe a VHDL software. I think there are some mac version of both, but they are not free. The version you will get from school will be so just use it with Virtual PC. You'll be fine.

    btw. a 12 powerbook plus a nice display for home is you best bet for college. the 15" is nice but you will find you self chosing between books or your computer. the 12" is ultra compact and has a very good battery life. 3+ hours with everything on.
  5. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA

    i'm sure there's more people with the new Rev B 15" PBs, come on guys. how's your battery holding up?
  6. mrviga macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2004
    I go to Kettering, an engineering school in Flint MI, and I had the same dilemma as you. As far as software goes, using Solid Edge in our labs is no problem. Other programs you might want to consider are Unigraphics and Ideas, as well as Catia if your school is affiliated with Diamler-Chrysler.
    None of them work on a Mac, so make sure you are OK with this. These programs are hella expensive anyways, and are usually not given out for free unless your college has tons of licenses.

    I purchased the 17" PB, with the 128Mb graphics and 5400 RPM drive and the battery life on this thing is great. About 3.5 hours if your using airport and light docs, like word/excel/powerpoint. I love this machine, and it is my first Mac. I will never buy a Windows box again. :)

    I suggest you get it, you won't be disappointed.
  7. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    the first year is common at McMaster, so i should have no problems with that yet. i guess i'll try and survive SolidEdge using the school labs. no point getting a PC for one class only.

    and the next years, if i do get into the option that i'm aiming for, Biomedical Engineering, i doubt such subject would ahve any affiliation with Daimler-Chrysler at all. and i heard the critical ones are Maple or MatLab, both of which are available for macs natively. (how well do they work anyway? slower than the PC side?)

    the one thing i'mr eally concerned about is battery life. one of the main attraction of MacTops are the long battery life...usually 2.5 hour would be good enough, but since the old Ti used to do 4+ and now Centrinos can go up tp 5 quite easily, 2.5 seems to be quite a disappointment.
  8. The Cheat macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    It's true - Macs have fallen behind in terms of battery life when you compare them to equally priced PC laptops. I know there are those mac zealots who will claim until their dying breath that PCs laptops have terrible battery life, but they are delusional. They are basing their judgement on those cheap monstrosity laptops that companies like Dell or eMachines make that are basically portable desktop PCs, that the uninformed consumers usually buy because they are far less expensive than the quality laptops made by companies like Toshiba.

    Frankly the G4 just isn't cut out to be a battery-friendly chip that the G3 was. The G5 isn't going to be that chip either, unless IBM and Apple can perform some kind of miracle and shrink its power consumption and therefore heat output by a huge margin. Despite all the progress made in faster chips, its too bad that we have gone backwards in battery performance relative to the good ol' G3's of yore.
  9. MontgomeryBurns macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2004

    My sister just got a 1.5ghz 15" powerbook that I have promptly JACKED until she moves to where I live. Haha.

    I have been running that laptop with its bluetooth and airport on pretty constantly since I got it in the mail, and I have found its battery life to be around 3 hours with these things turned on and a fully bright screen. I haven't run the computer with its airport off too much, so its hard to say exactly how long it could be, but with just the basic system running and bluetooth and airport turned off it would be safe to say the battery life would be much better than that.

    All in all this is a badass computer. Its by far the nicest one in my house. I'm going to give my sister my g3 imac and tell her its a powerbook when she gets here.
  10. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    there is no real benchmark how much battery life a notebook has.

    logically, if you use the notebook with proc-intensive programs, you will have less battery-life.

    i do not have a pc notebook so i can't tell you if macbooks are better than pc notebooks.
  11. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    3 hours with BT and AE on?? and 100% brightness?? may i ask what you're doing with the machine? or is it simply idling? i've only heard of this kind of situation once or twice from another forum. if this is a common occurence, then i guess the battery isn't so bad after all.
  12. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    Apple Store's 15.2" replacement batteries

    Interesting. I must confess I didn't really think about battery too much when I ordered my 15". I used to have a rev B 12" that probably got 3:30 on average use. My impression was that the new 15" was looking at 3:00 on average use, though it appears from what everyone has said that that's maybe optimistic. No biggie for me, I don't have to take it out of reach of a power point too regularly or for too long, so should be fine.

    But I did consider buying a secondary battery just in case and noticed something interesting: whilst the new 15" battery is rated at 50 watt-hours, you can't buy a separate 15" battery at that rating - rather they are the same as the old 15" batteries, at 46 watt-hours. So the replacement 15" batteries are rated even less than the 12" batteries (which are now 50 watt-hours). That's a little disappointing.

    Anyway, doesn't change my mind - I bought the 15" for it's power, screen size and (relative) portability - and because I've owned both other rev's of the 12" and wanted a change. Having to be tethered to a power point half an hour or so sooner won't affect my enjoyment too much :)

    Given that this thread seems specifically directed at finding out ACTUAL instances of the battery life of rev B 15"s, and barely anyone seems to have done this yet, I will post mine as soon as I receive it. Would love to hear what other rev B 15" owners have found too.
  13. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    my battery life lasts only 1.5-2 hours with full brightness blue tooth and ae

    bt then my machines over a year old and not the revision your looking at

    macs have average battery life. nothing to b proud of but still good
  14. Ozi macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia.
    my battery life is, by and large, crap. These computers would be hopeless for use on an aeroplane, or when doing any sort of work whilst portable. Maybe if you had 5 fully charged batteries, you might be able to work the whole 15 hours during a flight to the US of A, but they are not very good at all when it comes to battery life.

    Doing safari, with music going, I can get maybe 2.5 hours. With F@H going, or while watching a DVD it is far less than that, maybe only 1.5 at best. So battery life has been a bit dissapointing. However, everything else is going fine with it so I shant whinge too much.

    I strongly recommend the iBook over the pBook to anyone who needs to work for more than an hour or two away from a power supply.
  15. tamara6 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    I have a 1.33 15" PB with the standard 60 GB HD and an extra 512 MB RAM.

    When I first unplug my 'book, the battery meter suggests I have a little more than 3 hours. The other day I was curious about how accurate that is, so I used a little timer that I have to actually track how much awake time I had while on battery. That day I mostly surfed the web using safari and camino via AE, and did a very small amount of programming with xcode and bbedit. I typically had all 4 programs open the whole time. My screen is 4 notches below maximum brightness. My BT was turned off. And I was careful to stop the timer and close the lid when I was done working, so the screensaver never came on, and the computer did not do a lot of idling.

    I was able to get 130 minutes of use before I plugged it in again, and the battery was registering 20% left - meaning that I'd used 80% of the battery for 130 minutes.

    Extrapolating, that would seem to indicate I could get 2 hours and 40 minutes if I ran my computer until it died.
  16. LaMerVipere macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    I wonder why iBooks get such better battery life even though they are G4 processors? :confused:
  17. MontgomeryBurns macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2004
    Last night I ripped a dvd, recompressed the data and burned it onto a blank dvd (for backup purposes), all under battery power. The entire process took about two hours, maybe a little more.
  18. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    how much battery did you ahve after that? maybe you checked the meter, or if you remember how long you kept on using it after that.

    i assume ripping, compressing and burning can be considered 'heavy' work?
  19. MontgomeryBurns macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2004
    After all was said and done the meter showed something like 1/5 or 1/4 power. Not too sure though, as I plugged it in after I was done so I didn't see how long it would have taken to die.

    But if the powerbook battery meter is as random as my ipod battery meter, who knows how much juice I had left.

    And I guess its fairly heavy work. I don't use my computers for video or audio production, just web media, graphics and photos. It took like an hour to rip the dvd so I hope its processor intensive and not just lollygagging.

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