Short battery life on New Macbook Pro 13' ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tazza, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. tazza macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    Hey guys,
    I received my new MBP 13' yesterday, and when I fully charged the laptop after opening it from the FedEx package, the estimated battery life at 100% was 4~5 hours. Then, I calibrated the macbook, following the instruction given on the Apple website. Right now, it's charging. However, the time keeps on changing, but right now, it's at 43%, but when I take off the battery charger, it says my battery life remains 2 hours 40 minutes.
    That means the battery life will be around 5 hours when the charge is done!
    I thought the advertised battery life was 7 hours..
    Is there something wrong with my MBP 13'?

    Please help!

    Thank you!
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Actually charge it fully, run it til it dies, then report back, with what you were doing while on battery power.
  3. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Yeah, fully charge it to 100% and keep it powered for over two hours.

    Then, measure (with your own clock) how long you were able to use your Mac. I assume Apple's 7 hour battery life is for light internet browsing, word processing with screen brightness set at half.
  4. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    This is key, even though the screen is LED backlit turning the screen extends your battery TONS, oh and turn off bluetooth and the backlit keyboard too for good measure.
  5. Jeanne-W macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    Orlando ~ close to the mouse
    I was thinking I had a battery problem as well, bought it on the 10th and did 2 calibrations according to apple instructions but each time on battery power after a full charge the time icon reported just over 4 hours battery time...I just turned the screen brightness down to halfway and voila my time "left" is now reporting 7:12 hrs... wow I had no idea that made such a huge difference.
    Now I somehow need to get used to the dimness of the screen while on battery.
  6. celtikmind macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2009
    So the only way to actually reach the promised seven hours is to turn any extras off, dim the screen and what? Leave it on idle for seven hours?

    They could've least made a battery that lasted a workday if it was going to be 'stuck' in there. Geez... :eek:
  7. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
    the battery is extremly impressive compared to the older ones. Battery estimates are always with bluetooth off, light work, etc. just how they advertise
  8. tazza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    ok, after few days of charging and recharging, my macbook pro is still at about 4 hours of battery life.
    what i do on my mac is:
    1. web browsing
    2. ichat
    3. itunes

    that's pretty much it.
    also, my brightness level is at the lowest, and i have bluetooth OFF.
  9. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009

    calibrate the battery by doing the following:

    charge till full, wait 2-3 hours before unplugging. Let die. Let rest (don't plug in) for 5 hours. Then plug it in and charge it all the way. For safety's sake I'd let it be full for a couple hours before unplugging.

    This is definitely something I learned a while back browsing the apple help website.

    If you plan on using it on battery power a lot like I do, repeat this process once a month to maintain accuracy and performance of battery levels.

    Also, I would check system profiler and see what it says under power. Make sure you don't have a battery with a ton of cycles already though I doubt you do. Also it should give a very vague one word description of the battery condition (in most cases, "good")

    good luck

    (BTW I'd say I get about 4 1/2 - 5 hours on mine doing what I do, which is usually half brightness and a lot of applications. Just simple stuff I'm sure it gets closer to 7)
  10. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    While you were web browsing, how many of those sites were heavy on Flash (e.g. youtube, etc.)? Flash eats batteries for lunch.
  11. Nocturnal22 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2009
    are you listening to itunes music??? cause speakers will eat battery also check your battery mAh in the about my mac section and report back.
  12. flipflop4 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2009
    I have a new Macbook Pro 13inch as well and can't seem to get much battery life out of it... when its fully charged it usually says around 3.5 hours. I have never got more than 3.5 hours, even when all I'm doing is chatting on MSN and surfing the web (not flash pages.)

    I have bluetooth off, the backlit keys are off, the screen brightness is set around half, I have calibrated the battery according to Apple's website several times, but it doesn't seem to improve at all.

    Maybe its faulty? :confused:

    I don't expect to get 7 hours out of it but I thought it would be more than 3.5 hours when I'm hardly doing anything...
  13. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    Most likely you have an errant process. Open Activity Monitor, select to show all processes, and see what's using the processor. Must background applications should use close to 0-1% of the CPU. Another possibility is that you installed some software that runs in the background (virus program or add-ons).

    Also, web browsing can actually be incredibly processor intensive thanks to the Adobe plug-in known as Flash. Turning Flash off will occasionally double my expected battery life.

    At full screen brightness (Airport and Bluetooth on) switching between Safari without Flash, Microsoft Word, Excel, iTunes (just open, not usually playing), Mail, and sometimes Photoshop or Illustrator, I get about five and a half to six hours. FYI I'm on a 13" MBP with an Intel SSD drive.

    You can also download Coconut Battery, and see what it says is your battery capacity. It should be between 95-100% on a new battery.

    If all else fails, make an appointment with an Apple Store genius.
  14. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Flash is definitely a killer but if you are like me you don't want to turn it off completely. So I use AdBlock which removes most ads, which the majority of them being flash and I can still use sites like YouTube if I want.

    Also you can try undervolting your computer with CoolBook, not sure how much you will really save on battery life though, I do it mainly so my laptop is cooler. If you are doing light work you won't see any real difference as the machine will be running at the lowest clock speed/voltage but if you are stressing the computer then it will make a difference.
  15. Pegasus665 macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Just to give a comparison to a non-Mac laptop. My Dell Vostro 1310 with 9-Cell bettery gets 5 hours. I was able to watch Dark Knight and another movie with a period of web-surfing with 75% brightness and wifi-on under Windows XP. As already mentioned, the 7 hour figure is probably with certain hardware off and light usage.
  16. gatesbuster macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2009
    Short battery life on new macbook pro 13"


    I am quite disappointed in the battery life of my new macbook pro 13. I calibrate the battery twice and I am still not getting more than 3 hours and 40 minutes, browsing or doing light work with screen at 60% and no bluetooth. The battery set up is at default. Where are the 7 hours advertised, the 6 hours or the 5 1/2 hours. I am getting basically the same time as my old black macbook 13. At least with the old one I was able to swap a spare battery when I traveled long flights. I don't have this option anymore. :(
  17. chquan85 macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2009
    sorry guys, just want to ask what's the life (mAh) of a brand new batter of MBP 13" cause my 2 month old MBP 13" has only 89% (4891mAh) left after just 33 cycles. Is that odd?
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    What is "light work" ? Lots of factors go into how long your battery lasts.

    Using some simple math your MBP's original capacity was about 5600 mAh. Are you sure that the 4891 mAh is your remaining capacity and not your remaining charge?
  19. t3heford macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    I got just over four hours yestertday. Listening to pandora with headphones, wifi, no bluetooth, 3/4 brightness, with these programs open: mail, ical, firefox, numbers, pages.
    I realize I wasn't "lightly browsing", but for nothing too strenuous, two hours less than the advertised time is crap.
  20. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    I had the same sort of stress - only getting a few hours battery from a new 13" uMBP.
    In my case it turned out to be Carbonite & iAntiVirus chewing 80+% cpu constantly - as shown in Activity Monitor. Once I dealt with them (uninstalled 1 & pause the other)

    I now get 8+ hours light use.
  21. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The 7 hours is calculated with bluetooth off, wi-fi on, refreshing a webpage every 20 seconds and playing songs on itunes, with the screen at about 1/3 brightness, on a brand new battery.

    So yes, you CAN reach 7 hours, but normal battery life is more in the 4-5 hour range.

    And btw, if you use ichat with the webcam on, that is a huge battery life drainer. Is your macbook pro set to better battery life when unplugged?
  22. jointsmoking macrumors regular

    May 21, 2009
    It's actually the best battery life I have ever seen in a laptop. geeeez:eek.

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