New 7hr battery lasts around 3.5 hrs - does this warrant a warranty return?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ncdasa, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. ncdasa macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    #1
    I am wondering what people with the new Unibody MacBooks (that carry the built in 7hr battery) are getting in real life usage?

    I just got the mid-range 15in UMBP and am for the most part very happy with it. The only thing is the battery, which is advertised as lasting up to 7hrs, isnt very strong. I mean I never expected 7hrs to begin with so I am not surprised that I dont get that. But I would have thought that at least I may get somewhere around 5hrs of light use and 4hrs with more heavy use. Something like that would have satisfied me.

    Instead though I find that I get 3.5 to 4 hrs with fairly light use (textedit, a quicktime file/audio only, safari/moderate web browsing, VLC/occasional use). I mean my previous (black plastic) Macbook gave me around 4 hrs with even heavier use (add Final Cut to the list above). So I am a bit disappointed. And once I install Final Cut on here who knows how long it will last? 2hrs? 2.5hrs? :eek:

    pfffft, to that. If they are advertising 7hrs and the previous non-7hr batteries perform just as good, if not better, then I have a problem with that.


    Anyway, despite all my crying and complaining, could some sympathetic people who have some real life results with the new "7hr" batteries post them here for comparison. You can also let me know how easy you think this will be to get covered by warranty, and if anyone has already replaced one under warranty because of poor performance.

    Also if you think I am just over reacting and that I should just expect less hours and be satisfied with 3.5hrs on a brand new computer that is supposed to offer 7, I am also willing to hear that.
     
  2. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

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    Apr 10, 2008
    #2
    I have the MBP 15" just before the new batteries.. so I have the removable battery and I get around 4.5 hours (using the 9400m video card) with light use similar to the use you are describing.....So I dont think you are over reacting at all. Wait to see what others tell you with the new batteries but you should at least be getting 4.5 to 5 hours if they advertise 7.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    It is advertised as lasting "up to" 7 hours, not 7 hours minimum. You are overreacting and aren't using it under the same conditions Apple used to make the 7 hour claim.
     
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #4
    And I believe if you ask or if you go to their site you can see the conditions to which they run the machine to get 7 hours or thereabout. It sucks but that is life. I would hope for around 4.5 - 5 hours though tbh with wifi on, BT off, and 70% brightness with e-mail, chat, itunes, and safari open.
     
  5. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Toronto, Ontario
    #5
    Going to have to agree with Miles and Jessica. The things you're running can easily justify your battery times. If I did all that with my late-2008 MacBook Pro, I'm looking at 2-3 hours, 3.5 hours if I'm lucky. To basically achieve anywhere near the advertised battery times, you would have to be doing the bare minimum but lets face it, that's not going to happen with most of us.
     
  6. jtmx29 macrumors regular

    jtmx29

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    Connecticut
    #6
    From what I understand 7 hours is a bit ridiculous for any laptop. IF I get three hours out of a full fledged laptop I'll be happy. A netbook is the only thing that might get 7 hours with a six cell battery.
     
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #7
    Does "moderate web browsing" include anything with Flash? There goes your battery down the drain. So does using VLC depending on what you do, except that it has an excuse.

    Open "Activity Monitor" to check your CPU usage and hard drive usage and check if there is anything using it significantly.
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    Hartford, CT
    #8
    You know, giving us details would help.

    How bright is the screen?

    Wifi/ bluetooth on or off?


    I get 5 and half routinely and in extremely light useage have even gotten 8 hours:)
     
  9. XboxMySocks macrumors 68020

    XboxMySocks

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    Oct 25, 2009
    #9
    I've gotten about 8 hours on my late 09 MBp, but that's just playing audio with the screen off.
     
  10. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816

    GeekGirl*

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    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #10
    Nope that a max figure... it does if you turn the brightness down to 1 click and run nothing.
     
  11. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #11
    You don't need a warranty return, you simply need a new battery, which they will replace for you at apple stores.

    I have the new 13 inch unibody macbook, and I am definitely getting more than 6 hours with wifi on, screen is pretty bright, and the advertised battery life is 7 hours. Are you running discrete or integrated graphics? Anyways I think you should make an appointment with the genius people. They're likely going to replace the battery without much fuss.
     
  12. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    Oct 27, 2007
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    I get between 5 and 6 hours of battery life on my late '09 MBP with wifi on, BT off, brightness over 90%, using Mail, iTunes (playing music through my headphones), iPhoto open (being used sporadically), and heavily browsing with Safari.
     
  13. ncdasa thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    #13
    thanks for the responses everyone. I recently tried to pay a little more attention to my usage and my battery life and i am posting the results below.

    (now these are not perfect or super meticulous notes, but I believe they are accurate and careful enough to depict the general battery strength)

    These were the settings all the way through: screen little less than 50 % bright, wifi on, bt off, keyboard lit to 3, the apps open were mail, safari, dictionary, preview, textedit, and quick time - ALL apps were completely idle except safari which was used to read a black and white comic online

    4:49pm - 100% immediately left resting (rested for 4hrs)

    8:48pm - 92% started MBP up again and read online / no audio or video from any online source or otherwise (used like this for 1.5 hrs)

    10:16pm - 60% stopped reading and left to rest (rested for 1hr 40min)

    11:55pm - 55% started reading again, and also talked on skype for about 15min (used for 2 hrs)

    1:50am - 7% (got the low battery warning and plugged in)



    13% lost by 5 hrs and 40 mins sleep
    80% lost by 3.5 hrs use

    I purposely did something which I would hope falls well within the proximity of Apples idea of light/ordinary use. It was basically very simple web browsing (i.e small pages) with mild computer settings (i.e screen and keyboard). So if they are advertising 7 hrs for editing text and web browsing, I think I have a legitimate reason to be annoyed.

    Anyway, I guess I should add in that yesterday I went with my brother to the Apple store because he had an appointment at the genius bar and I took the chance at the end to ask the guy about my battery. He immediatly responded that 7 hrs can only be had under "certain conditions" etc etc. And I told him that I wasn't really expecting 7 anyway but that 3.5 just seemed to short. He then said "well we can check it now" and then he pulled out a usb stick and restarted the comp. He held down the option key and chose the sticks drive instead of the local drive and a bar came up which successively turned green in about 1 to 2 seconds. He then said "nope, batteries fine", and then took the stick out. Now I cant imagine how any kind of electronic test (of this nature at least) could be efficiently and effectively performed in 1 second but anyway... Since I hadnt read any reviews or reports of other peoples actual battery life I wasnt that determined to make an issue about it then. But there is no doubt about it, this battery would never last anywhere close to seven hours, and probably not even 5 or 4.5, with any kind of functional use going on, no matter how moderate. I am defiantly going to have to go back and ask for some resolution about this. I just hope that little usb gadget isnt supposed to determine some company policy as far as replacements go. If so i guess I will have to sit in there for 3.5 hours doing rinky-dink moderate things and show them why I am disturbed.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Please keep posting whatever seems relevant to you regarding this issue.
     
  14. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Feb 24, 2009
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    Toronto, Ontario
    #14
    Download iStat to monitor the CPU. If you're idling, it should last longer than what you're experiencing. Your applications might be idling but your CPU is being taxed and that could sometimes be due to incompatible applications with Snow Leopard. We've all experienced it. I know with Safari, I can leave it idle but the CPU usage would be 90% until I closed it. Stuff like that could be happening to your computer.
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #15
    "Idle" still means that it's taking up CPU. You should close them completely if you aren't using them.

    Skype takes up a lot of power, especially video but even the audio is power-hungry.

    Again, they are not advertising 7 hours. They are advertising up to 7 hours. I've gotten up to 9 hours on mine, so as far as I'm concerned there's no problem.

    It doesn't take long for software to diagnose the condition of a battery. The actual test probably took far less than one second.

    I disagree.

    Prepare to be disappointed. There's nothing you've said that would indicate you actually have a problem other than minor misunderstanding of how electronics and batteries work.
     
  16. ncdasa thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    #16
    Thanks for the advice. I actually do have istat installed and do keep an occasional eye on the CPU, but for the most part it is always uneventful (i.e things arent getting stuck or eating up any significant amount of CPU, either individually or collectively). I see the memory gets filled easily when opening many safari tabs with youtube videos and stuff like that but I only see the CPU shoot up when I am opening an app or something, and that is only for a second or two. So I am still puzzled and dissatisfied.




    Sure, fair enough, but one of the reasons i left them open during my test was to keep it somewhat realistic. I mean should I actually be using the computer to do something (other than read a comic online) I would hope I could have textedit, mail, and the dictionary open.

    I can accept this, but considering that 15 minutes of skype only accounts for approx. 6% of the time I was actually using the battery, how much power could it actually use in that time? If 6.25% of skype usage can make a significant dent, causing hours of disparity in the batteries performance, then it just goes to underscore that this battery sucks. Skype is not that powerful. I mean rendering video in Final Cut isnt even that powerful.

    And again, I am not expecting 7 hours, nor am I even concerned about getting up to seven hours. But in all fairness, I think the test that I did with mild web browsing warrants more than 3.5 hours, considering that they are advertising "up to" 7 hours for a comparable standard of usage. And just to clarify, I am not saying that all these batteries are bad. I am saying that mine isnt performing the way it is supposed to and the way that other peoples is. If I got up to 9 hours like you (or even half of that) then believe me I wouldnt be here and as far as I would be concerned there would be no problem (with mine) either.

    Again, fair enough. I admittedly know nothing about this.

    I am prepared, and not because I think my claim will be rejected on the basis of it being illegitimate. It is more so that I dont expect my chances of finding someone who simply works for apple, as opposed to someone who is incorrigibly indoctrinated by apple to be very good.
     
  17. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    I'm not going to get involved in this debate:D

    Another app that you should download is CoconutBattery.

    I use it to monitor the health of my battery over time.

     
  18. ncdasa thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    #18
    Ok, thanks Surley. I just installed coconut and this is my readout :

    [​IMG]


    Unfortunately, I dont know all too much what any of this means, so if anyone feels inspired to explain any of it, I would be greatful. I can say that I bought this computer refurbished on Dec. 23rd and have hardly unplugged it. I have heard that the body is always replaced when refurbished, but cant remember anything about the battery. At any rate my point is that, presumably some of the load cycles are from the previous owner/user because I am sure I havent charged it 20 times. I have rarely unplugged it so far and mostly did so only to test it.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    Oct 27, 2007
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    From what I see, the Genius is right.

    Your battery looks great.

    Here is mine, just for comparison's sake:
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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  21. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #21
    Agreed.

    I love Click2Flash.
     
  22. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #22
    From what I've heard, to get 7 hours, Apple basically turns the machine on, logs in, and times how long it takes to die. (Not literally, but they definitely aren't doing much.) That's just how Apple works.
     
  23. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #23
    Not to defend that practice, but to be fair, all companies do that. Not just Apple.
     
  24. brendu macrumors 68020

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #24
    I am also curious... Using my 6 month old umbp13" i've been getting under 4 hours just browsing this site and engadget... not using flash, no audio... im not really upset because it still lasts plenty long enough for most of my needs, but I am curious, anyone who has gotten a new battery, what were you experiencing and how did you go about getting a new one from apple? What is their procedure for determining if you "need" a new one?
     
  25. G4DP macrumors 65816

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #25
    The wife has got over 7 hours from hers on many occasions.
     

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