MBA + TBD owners: question for y'all...

onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
So, Apple recommends that the MBA's batteries get "exercised" a bit... meaning to unplug every now and then to let the batteries drain.

If you're a user who pairs the MBA with the Thunderbolt Display at home, and rarely take it off the plug to take it on the go, what do you do? Do you just sometimes unplug and let the batts drain a bit?

Or do you just leave it plugged for days, weeks, months? on end?

Also, follow up question: if say one day in the future, the batteries do die, can you just leave the Air plugged to the TBD and it'll still work, and just be powered by the TBD?

Thanks.
 

iAppl3Fan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
794
21
So, Apple recommends that the MBA's batteries get "exercised" a bit... meaning to unplug every now and then to let the batteries drain.

If you're a user who pairs the MBA with the Thunderbolt Display at home, and rarely take it off the plug to take it on the go, what do you do? Do you just sometimes unplug and let the batts drain a bit?

Or do you just leave it plugged for days, weeks, months? on end?

Also, follow up question: if say one day in the future, the batteries do die, can you just leave the Air plugged to the TBD and it'll still work, and just be powered by the TBD?

Thanks.
When I run it in clamshell mode, both the thunderbolt cable and the power cord has to be plug in to drive the display. I typically move around so keeping it docked for a long time and worrying about the battery is not an issue for me. If you're worried you can use the laptop as a portable at least once a month or so.
 

onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
When I run it in clamshell mode, both the thunderbolt cable and the power cord has to be plug in to drive the display. I typically move around so keeping it docked for a long time and worrying about the battery is not an issue for me. If you're worried you can use the laptop as a portable at least once a month or so.
Thanks for the response.

Another question: I noticed sometimes when I plug my Air in with the TBD (both power cable and TB cable), and then touch my mouse or keyboard, it doesn't actually wake the Air. In fact, nothing happens for a long long time, until I have to finally unplug everything and open the Air lid, and boot up from there. And even powering it on takes a few tries (meaning I have to press the Power button a few times before it'll actually do the Apple sound).

Anybody experience this? What gives? I thought it was supposed to just plug and play nice with the TBD almost immediately?
 

iAppl3Fan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
794
21
Thanks for the response.

Another question: I noticed sometimes when I plug my Air in with the TBD (both power cable and TB cable), and then touch my mouse or keyboard, it doesn't actually wake the Air. In fact, nothing happens for a long long time, until I have to finally unplug everything and open the Air lid, and boot up from there. And even powering it on takes a few tries (meaning I have to press the Power button a few times before it'll actually do the Apple sound).

Anybody experience this? What gives? I thought it was supposed to just plug and play nice with the TBD almost immediately?
I've had that problem before to. I notice one of my MBA didn't have that problem while the other one did. The only way I found that resolved the problem was to format and restore with internet recovery. I haven't have any problem since. (I've tried software updates and everything previously before formatting the problematic mba).
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,743
1,944
You definitely want to cycle your battery on a regular basis. I kept my 2006 MacBook plugged in almost all the time the first two years I had it. When I went to use the battery, it instantly went dead when I unplugged the power cable. Had to buy a new battery. Another four years later and my replacement MacBook battery is still chugging along. Usually the battery gets run from 100% to shutdown every week.
 

DollaTwentyFive

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2010
747
4
Parts Unknown
My MBA is hooked up to the TBD most of the time. But I usually have to take it with me 1-2 times each week. When I unplug it, I just use it unplugged until the battery is drained and then plug it in if necessary. So I would say I have 2-3 full recharge cycles per month. Probably more than is needed but that's just how it happens to work out for me.

As for the wakeup issue. I did notice that at first, but there was an OSX update recently and since then, I haven't had any issues. I can bump the mouse, tap the trackpad, or hit a key and it wakes up quickly.
 

onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
Thanks guys. I guess I'll unplug it once in a while when I'm on the go, or just over night when it's not in use to let it drain a bit.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,167
1,212
NYC
I don't bother with calibrations. I used to calibrate all the time like Apple said to do on the portables that didn't get used much. Then I found the batteries got worse every time I tried to calibrate.

Now I don't bother; my battery life is fine with all my computers.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
I don't bother with calibrations. I used to calibrate all the time like Apple said to do on the portables that didn't get used much. Then I found the batteries got worse every time I tried to calibrate.

Now I don't bother; my battery life is fine with all my computers.
The built-in batteries in the newer Mac unibody notebooks come pre-calibrated and do not require regular calibration like the removable batteries.

On earlier models that do require calibration, doing so doesn't affect the health of the battery. If your battery health is showing 92% but is really 88%, calibrating it will make it read 88%. It didn't lower the health; it only made the reading more accurate.

This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
 

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