MBA 13" battery life?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Alphaforcex, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Alphaforcex macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    How long does your battery actually last? It seems that I was only able to get 4 hrs from the battery no matter what I do. It's just normal web browsing, not even watching movies or anything. I was using Facetime with my friend the other day and the battery dies after 3 hours. My LCD brightness is set to 1/3. Anyone getting 7 hrs like Apple claims?
  2. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2005
    Yup. 7 hours, almost to the minute.
  3. pfjellman macrumors regular


    Mar 18, 2010
    I'm getting 4-6 hours with high brightness doing more CPU/GPU intense things, and easily 7-10 hours or more with half or lower brightness and consciously working to get the most out of my battery.

    Have you done a calibration? I had to do it twice within 5 days of getting my MBA 13", but after that I noticed a considerable improvement in my battery life.

    Also, are you facetime chatting for three hours straight??? of COURSE that will drain the battery. If you do some research, you'll see that skype video chats and iChat video chats are also a big drain on the battery. this is to be expected, and if you plan on being in a video conference for hours on end, you should definitely be plugged into A/C.
  4. lucashungaro macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    São Paulo, Brazil
  5. Alphaforcex thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Yeah, turns out a calibration is what I needed. I calibrated it last night and I'm getting 9 hrs now. Awesome. Thanks for the help!

    Let's see how long I can use FT without plugging in now :D
  6. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    yea apple's new claims of 7 hrs are totally attainable. Roommate is getting 7-8 hours doing web browsing on airport, 50% battery.I'm pretty impressed.
  7. GreenFrog macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I'm getting around 4-5 hours of battery life on mine with only wifi and max brightness. I'm not watching youtube videos or downloading anything, or using any cpu-intensive processes.

    Is this normal?

    What is the 7-hour benchmark based upon? I can get the 7-8 hours advertised when I use 50% or 75% brightness, but never with full brightness.

    I did calibrate my battery so that shouldn't be an issue.

    Does my battery life seem to be on par with apple's claims?
  8. zigver macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    I can get ~7 hours with half brightness. No flash or videos.
  9. GreenFrog macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Right now im at 50% brightness and only safari open at 92% battery life. My estimated battery life is 5 hours give or take a couple minutes.

    Does this seem right?
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Web browsers are weird. On my Air, if a browser is open and there's anything Flash going on in one of the tabs, the estimated battery life is rarely more than 4 hours.

    On another forum I'm on a lot, whenever I'm composing a reply, something about that causes the browser to use more CPU then when reading forum posts, and my estimated battery life will again show 3-4 hours. When I finish my post and go back to reading replies, the est. battery life creeps back up way higher.

    FWIW, here is how Apple did their battery test:

    So for them to achieve the 7 hours, their screens were at 50%, and Flash wasn't even installed.
  11. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008

    Just a little tip that I find helps me when I'm on battery power.

    You can put activity monitor permanently in your dock and if you right-click the icon it will give you the option to display cpu history on the icon. If you do this then you will be able to visually see at all times what your cpu usage is. Doing this helps me know when I'm on a website that's really draining resources. It has also let me know if for instance safari is having a problem and causing cpu usage to spike. I find it a really helpful way to avoid actions that will kill the battery.

    Here is an example of what it looks like: (I was watching a youtube video while taking the shot so you can see what you do NOT want the monitor to look like when you are trying to save battery life)

    Attached Files:

  12. deedas macrumors regular


    Dec 2, 2003
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I got about 6.5 hrs on 40% brightness and no flash. About 4.25hrs 30% brightness with flash (light video watching)
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I was deliberately trying to run the battery down today in order to calibrate and still managed about 4 hours. I was running iTunes videos, Outlook, Safari, and on occasion even Windows 7 in Parallels 6.
  14. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    I think so. Brightness makes a reasonable difference, sometimes >25% depending on your settings. Also, you don't need to be watching a video for web surfing to drain battery. One or two flash-based ads will use energy easily.
  15. efirmage macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Almost entirely dependent on flash and video use. Predictable, of course. If I'm generally surfing, writing, maybe a little streaming audio, I get about the 7 advertised. If I use flash heavily it about halves it. I use about 50-70 percent of battery life when I'm attending school all day, and using it frequently without charging it.

    Also, I'd recommend using adblocker. Better battery life and no ads!

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