MBA 13" 12 hour battery life

Dave245

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2013
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Ok so i'm thinking about getting a MBA 13" later this year (if Apple don't release a retina display model) and the main reason i'm going for the Air, is because of the battery life. I just wondered if Apples quoted 12 hours of battery life is accurate? Do you get 12 hours out of yours?

Also what is your opinion on the portability of the 13" MBA? is it easy to carry around in a bag for university? what do you guys think?
 

SandboxGeneral

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YMMV regarding battery life, but from what I understand, what they quote is typical of what users get.

As for portability, you can't get much of a better laptop to carry around in a bag.
 

yosemit

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Jul 19, 2013
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Not very accurate. PC Magazine claims it is 15.5 hours (2013 model). :D
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420468,00.asp

That's probably the best testing result. Most battery tests on MBA 13 give a number between 12 and 15.

Ok so i'm thinking about getting a MBA 13" later this year (if Apple don't release a retina display model) and the main reason i'm going for the Air, is because of the battery life. I just wondered if Apples quoted 12 hours of battery life is accurate? Do you get 12 hours out of yours?
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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Ok so i'm thinking about getting a MBA 13" later this year (if Apple don't release a retina display model) and the main reason i'm going for the Air, is because of the battery life. I just wondered if Apples quoted 12 hours of battery life is accurate? Do you get 12 hours out of yours?

Also what is your opinion on the portability of the 13" MBA? is it easy to carry around in a bag for university? what do you guys think?
Yep... I own one (2013 model) and just web browsing and reading emails I easily get the advertised 12 hours. Very lightweight and portable.
 

Dave245

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2013
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Not very accurate. PC Magazine claims it is 15.5 hours (2013 model). :D
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420468,00.asp

That's probably the best testing result. Most battery tests on MBA 13 give a number between 12 and 15.
That's even better, 15 hours would be great.

Yep... I own one (2013 model) and just web browsing and reading emails I easily get the advertised 12 hours. Very lightweight and portable.
I would be surfing the web and mainly writing essays and things like that for university. I have my main iMac for more intense things like editing and gaming. Only other things are watching Netflix and iTunes content such as movies and TV shows.
 

Alphabetize

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2013
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The 2013 MacBook Air has crazy good battery life. I had my MBA unplugged for a full day at work (9 hours) on Adobe Illustrator. I get the advertised battery life when doing less intensive things like web browsing and typing.
 

Meister

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It heavily depends on the screen brightness and the type of apps you are running and how you are running them.
With heavy consistent use your battery life will drop drastically.
 

Dave245

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It heavily depends on the screen brightness and the type of apps you are running and how you are running them.
With heavy consistent use your battery life will drop drastically.
Mainly be used for web browsing, writing essays with Pages and or MS word, occasional Netflix and iTunes watching. It has been a decision between the MBA or the rMBP, but the battery life is clinching it for me along with the portability factor of the MBA.

EDIT: on my MBP 2011, i tend to have brightness at around 50-70% i use Netflix and iTunes to watch videos, i also surf the web, write essays and thats my usual usage.
 
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Meister

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Mainly be used for web browsing, writing essays with Pages and or MS word, occasional Netflix and iTunes watching. It has been a decision between the MBA or the rMBP, but the battery life is clinching it for me along with the portability factor of the MBA.
again the screen brightness makes a huge difference.

Netflix will suck the battery dry in no time. You could get 12h out if you just stick to writing.

I am very sceptical about some of the times people post on here because they do not mention the brightness setting or hiw they exactly use their macbooks.
 

Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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My 13" MBAir is new and I get 12 hours easy. I guess it depends on what you are doing but if just doing the average work and browsing you will not have a problem. If gaming it may be less than 12.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Jul 29, 2008
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Invariably, I manage to get a long time (I have never used it for twelve hours straight, but don't doubt that I could mange that) out of my 2013 MBA's battery, which is superb.

However, as other posters have already observed, a number of other factors can influence this - how many apps are open & running, screen brightness, and so on.
 

Saturn1217

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
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Getting exactly 12hrs takes a little effort (avoiding flash websites, lowering screen brightness etc.) but i can get around 9hrs without really trying and that usually works out to 15+ hrs of real world use when you take into account that you rarely need to use a laptop continuosly without letting it sleep.


Let's put it this way. I upgraded from a 6 month old 2012 MBA solely for the battery life and obviously ended up taking a hit in the wallet. It was 100% worth it.
 

nexus4life

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2014
185
1
My father recently got a 13" macbook air. If all you are doing is emailing, web browsing etc. then yes, you will likely get close to 12 hours. If you do anything else though, or multiple things simultaneously, it is much more like 9 or 10.

Better than my 11", but I only lose ~1.5 hours compared to 13", definitely not 3 hours advertised(apple, ~6 hours claimed by PCMag), but I will take that sacrifice for this incredible portability. Seriously, anywhere an iPad can fit, it's likely this can. And that's awesome.
 

MrMacUser

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2014
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I've found a huge difference in battery life when using Chrome vs Safari for web browsing, on the order of 1-2 additional hours using Safari. I was confused why I could never quite reach the advertised 12 hours of usage on my new MBA until I discovered this. With the same number of tabs open on both browsers, Activity Monitor shows Chrome using ~4x as much energy as Safari, quite the battery hog!
 

scaredpoet

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Apr 6, 2007
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Using an SD card will also cause your battery life to take a hit. Powering them takes a bit of energy. Same will be true if you attach anything like bus powered USB hard drives and such.

That said, without an SD card/USB drive and not-too-heavy use, I easily get 12-15 hours.
 

TMRaven

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Nov 5, 2009
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Hi. I just purchased a 13 inch model this morning. I've been using it throughout the day alongside with my iMac, transferring files and getting it set-up for myself, testing out some hd streaming from twitch, testing photoshop and multitasking etc.

8 hours later the battery is at 45%-- 6:20 remaining.



The battery life is no joke.
 

Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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If the rumours and reports are to be believed, about a retina MBA i might just wait until October and get a retina one. Hopefully it will still have the great battery life.
 

nexus4life

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2014
185
1
If the rumours and reports are to be believed, about a retina MBA i might just wait until October and get a retina one. Hopefully it will still have the great battery life.
Per your original post, you were going to wait until later this year anyways. People have been talking about this retina MacBook Air that just "HAS to be coming out this year" ever since 2012 with the rMBP. If it happens, great - I will be happy just like you and many other people. But to deprive yourself of a phenomenal computing experience based on 1 thing: the mere POSSIBILITY of a better display this year, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I think we will know, as usual, around October or November if there is anything, and if not - safe to say we are waiting until end of April at least.
 

Dave245

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Per your original post, you were going to wait until later this year anyways. People have been talking about this retina MacBook Air that just "HAS to be coming out this year" ever since 2012 with the rMBP. If it happens, great - I will be happy just like you and many other people. But to deprive yourself of a phenomenal computing experience based on 1 thing: the mere POSSIBILITY of a better display this year, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I think we will know, as usual, around October or November if there is anything, and if not - safe to say we are waiting until end of April at least.
Yea i was planning on waiting until later this year anyway, mainly because i don't go back to university until September. And as a student in the UK i get a discount on Mac's so i was thinking of either getting a maxed out (1.7Ghz, 8GB Ram, 512GB SSD) or waiting until October for the possible release of a rMBA.
 

Ronnoco

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Oct 16, 2007
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I rarely use my 2013 13" MacBook Air for more than 4 to 6 hours continuously, but on heavy continuous usage days I easily get the 12 hours advertised by Apple. I generally have the display brightness set at about 50% (which for me is plenty bright). The battery life on this 2013 model is nothing short of amazing. I go all day without charging and rarely take my charging brick with me when working away from home for a day.
 

SandboxGeneral

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Sep 8, 2010
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Using an SD card will also cause your battery life to take a hit. Powering them takes a bit of energy. Same will be true if you attach anything like bus powered USB hard drives and such.

That said, without an SD card/USB drive and not-too-heavy use, I easily get 12-15 hours.
How much power could an SD card use to where it would make a noticeable impact on battery consumption?
 

scaredpoet

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Apr 6, 2007
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How much power could an SD card use to where it would make a noticeable impact on battery consumption?
I'm sure it's not a lot, but still enough to drop my battery life from 13 hours to between 8 and 9. If I plug in a USB hard drive, it drops to about 5-6 hours.

Bear in mind that the MBA on its own has a power draw of barely 3 watts on light usage. The long battery life isn't so much because the battery is gigantic, but because the power draw from the MBA is tiny. Even a small increase from a memory card or a much larger increase from a bus powered USB hard drive, is going to ramp up the power usage, and suck energy from the battery faster.

Still, even 5 hours is more than I got from my old 2010 MacBook Pro on its best day.
 

SandboxGeneral

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I'm sure it's not a lot, but still enough to drop my battery life from 13 hours to between 8 and 9. If I plug in a USB hard drive, it drops to about 5-6 hours.

Bear in mind that the MBA on its own has a power draw of barely 3 watts on light usage. The long battery life isn't so much because the battery is gigantic, but because the power draw from the MBA is tiny. Even a small increase from a memory card or a much larger increase from a bus powered USB hard drive, is going to ramp up the power usage, and suck energy from the battery faster.

Still, even 5 hours is more than I got from my old 2010 MacBook Pro on its best day.
We're talking about one of these things right? I find it really hard to believe that this tiny, little memory card could impact the battery life of a laptop by several hours.
 

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scaredpoet

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Apr 6, 2007
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We're talking about one of these things right? I find it really hard to believe that this tiny, little memory card could impact the battery life of a laptop by several hours.
Yes we are, and it's been my experience that yes, it does.

Again, it's a tiny memory card, but when you look at the MBA and its power draw, that's tiny too. Two tinies equal less-huge battery life in this case.