Macbook Air 13" Battery Life

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by honggil, Aug 14, 2011.


How long does your Macbook Air 13" battery life?

  1. 6-7

  2. 5-6

  3. 4-5

  4. 3-4

  1. honggil macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hey guys, I just got my own Macbook Air 13" yesterday.
    Apple's website says 7 hours, but I think I'm getting 5 hours or so, with screen at half brightness, backlight at very low and just surfing with a few youtube clips here and there.
    I'm wondering what battery life MacRumors users are getting from their Airs. Care to share??? Please let us know how you're using your Air :p
    Edit: Of course, people use their Airs in different ways, but would like to get a general idea. The poll is in hours btw, lol.
  2. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    Light stuff like Safari and Mail I get about 4 to 5 hours. I keep the screen brighter than Apple recommends.

    If I play any games or encode a video that drops down to about 2 hours.
  3. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    It may have been helpful to specify if you're interested in 2011 model only (or not). The 2010 MBAs have generally better battery life than 2011 MBAs. As such, incorporation of these different data points will diminish the value of your poll.
  4. qwerf123 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Strangely, at two bars from full brightness, I can use iTunes and Safari and get 6-7 hours battery life easily.

    Not sure why other can't achieve this :confused:
  5. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Yes, does the poll specifically asks for the 2011 13" models or also for the 2010 13" models? Because I can get more than 7 hours on my 2010 model.
  6. honggil thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    I should have specified, but this poll pertains to 2011 13" Macbook Airs - my bad.
    Qwerf123, that's awesome! I can only manage to just get 5 hours. How'd you get your Air to do that you lucky guy haha
  7. rmcnelly macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Portsmouth, VA
    Mine started out lasting about 5 hours lightly surfing the web but after owning it a couple of weeks I'm now able to get 6-7 hours (no videos). It helps to lower the display brightness to 3 bars and turn off the keyboard backlight if you don't need it.
  8. honggil thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Interesting. Is the battery supposed to improve over time?
  9. rmcnelly macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Portsmouth, VA
    I don't know about that. It may be due to me running AdBlock, ClickToPlugin and turning the brightness way down from when I first got it. This is also with a good strong WiFi signal.

    I have noticed the estimated time remaining on the battery has significantly increased.
  10. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    I bought my 2011 13" Air a few days ago, so I have yet to "break" the battery in. When I did calibrate my battery though, I was using the computer at full brightness, browsing the web (no flash), writing in textedit, and had itunes running in the background. I managed to get 5.5 hours of battery life, so I'm really impressed. I'm pretty sure with my screen at half-brightness, I can reach the 7 hour mark.
  11. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
  12. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2011
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I get 6-7 hours out of mine from a full charge as long as i do nothing too demanding.
  13. jackyyeow macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    My friend's 13" i7 managed about 7~8 hours (not an option in the list unfortunately) with 5 bars brightness, safari with no flash, and light surfing. More or less the same with my 2010 13" ultimate, maybe just ever so slightly less battery life.

    Add some youtubes in it'll probably drop down to 6~7 hours mark but still impressive. My 2010 13" is about the same.
  14. trixnrice, Aug 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

    trixnrice macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2008
    sorry, let me clarify, the 13 inch model
    . all the reviews with battery comparison testing i've read (specifically andatech) show the 2011 airs "generally" having better battery life than the 2010 air's. when quantified, its not by much though.
  15. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    a) Remove Adobe Flash Player b) Install Chrome c) Calibrate battery d) Five hours is enough for anyone except trans-Atlantic travelers.
  16. EthanMiller, Aug 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

    EthanMiller macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Will say that having used my Air for a while since getting it, the battery life has improved a lot. I got a full seven hours yesterday and did five today, though I plugged it in while it still estimated 2:10 remaining.

    So, using the battery heavily seems to get it into gear, at least as far as I can tell (and reading around, that seems to be the case)

    The other thing I've noticed is that the prediction changes pretty often. If it's bugging you, turn down the brightness, turn off keyboard backlighting, and quit apps you aren't using - you'll see the estimate go up after a few minutes.
  17. stupidonkey34 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    I just picked up the 13' about a week ago. I have been a little concerned like the OP about battery length, as at full 100% the estimated time is only 4.5-5 hours with 50% brightness and only safari and mail running. Is this prediction by the system just not right? Is there anything else I can do? I need as much as I can get!
  18. jackyyeow macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    Never trust the estimate battery life/time. Do a timed test and record the battery life %.
  19. beeman07 macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2010
    I have a 2009 MacBook Air (rev. C) and the only time that I ever got close to Apple's top end battery life numbers was to turn off wifi, not play any media, keep the number of open applications to a minimum, and set the screen brightness very low. I imagine the new machines behave similarly.

    Wifi (especially if the signal is weak), screen brightness, and Flash will eat that battery up.
  20. jackyyeow macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    Nope, my 2010 13" ultimate can do like 12 hours if screen dim down to 6 bars wifi off and idle with few apps opened. With basic activities going on like iTunes mp3 and some document typing but wifi still off, I still expecting 9~10 hours.

    Once switching the wifi on but without flash installed, light browsing resulting in around 8 hours which is still beating the claimed battery life. That's still with 6 bars if brightness and without any special care.

    My friend's 2011 13" ultimate isn't doing any worse - 7~8 hours of light surfing under similar conditions of light browsing, and still seeing about 9 hours of offline activities.
  21. eeptman macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    13" i7 w/ 50% brightness
    Just non-Flash browsing, reading PDF and playing iTunes music, the battery lasts around 5 hr. :(
  22. jackyyeow macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    Just got it? Give it at least 2 days of usage and see if things improve. It's common to see low battery life during the first 2 days due to spotlight indexing and other initial kernel/OS tasks
  23. beeman07 macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2010
    That is impressive. If I hadn't already bought two new Macs this year, your statement would force me to seriously consider updating to the new MacBook Air.
  24. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I'm Amazed...

    ...that anyone can use an MBA at only 5-6 bars of display illumination.

    When I was checking one out I could lower by three bars max, and even then it seemed too dark to me.
  25. jackyyeow macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    Yes and it's pretty consistent, offline productivity is impressive indeed. You'll expect at least 9 hours if you keep BT and wifi off all the time and doing just productivity works.

    Mind you though, if you plan to do CPU intensive stuffs, the battery will immediate drop down to about 3 hours max like gaming or even just surf via 3G USB dongle (shows about 2+ hours with low 90% battery life on my 2010 MBA). For business guy on the move, this machine is incredible, probably due to the ULV when the CPU isn't being taxed. Standard voltage will still suck quite a bit of power during idle/light task.

    This has something to do with your habits though. I've been always working under low light (indoor) condition, and I don't have a habit to turn the brightness up, usually slightly below half on all the machines I've used.

    You can try to work on 50% brightness as a start, at first it might feel a little dim, but your eyes will sort of get used to it after a while. Don't push it though if it hurts your eyes or your eyes get tired easily.

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