Squeezing maximum battery life on Macbook Air 13, mid 2011

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jerichotung, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. jerichotung macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2015
    Hi, got a little dilemma here, perhaps you guys can help me and provide some advice.

    I will be flying a long distance flight soon. Its a 8 hour flight + 2 hours transit + another 8 hour flight.

    I am torn between taking my Asus laptop or my Macbook Air 13 mid 2011 i7 1.8Ghz.

    I've taken the Asus on the very same flight before, the Asus has a removable battery, and each battery lasts around 8 hours, so it will easily survive the flight. However the power brick, the power cord, and the extra battery all adds a lot of weight.

    Whereas the Macbook is, as you all know, far lighter, even the power brick is more compact. The battery is recently replaced, currently with a charge cycle of 5.

    So I was wondering:
    - Anyway I could squeeze 7 to 8 hours from the Macbook Air, I won't be using the Wifi, I might watch a few movies.
    - I'm not quite a Mac guy, any chance I can squeeze that kind of battery life in Windows?
    - If I have to stick to MacOS, thats alright, which version of MacOS has the longest battery life?
    - After the first leg of the flight I'll head to transit for the next connecting flight. There are lounges with power sockets, assuming the Macbook's power is almost depleted by then, how much further can it charge in 1.5 hours?

    A little bit out of topic: A friend has given me on of those cigarette lighter charger for Macbooks, I know its meant for cars, but do planes have them as well?

    Thanks for reading!
  2. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I am not a flyer but I am pretty sure that the plans have some type of charging available but it would not be a cig outlet.

    Got to be a frequent flyer who know here!:rolleyes:
  3. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    I have no experience with the 2011 Air but a watch out depending on where you are flying: In many airports they have become a bit paranoid on non-installed Lithium batteries and restrict what capacity they allowed on board. Just check this out before you have to hand it in at the security check!
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well it's a 2011

    If I remeber rightly they were rated 6-7 hours (OSX only windows just about halves battery life in those 2011's). So lower screen brightness turn off wifi and bluetooth stick to 720p or lower for movies, you might make it.

    I really feel that over 20 hours of flying though maybe some time spent sleeping or reading a book, chatting to the person next to you or god forbid watching a movie on the in flight entertainmant would mean it really doesn't matter...
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Stick to Mac OS. I don't have experience running Windows on a Mac but it's widely reported that it reduces battery life.

    If you're watching movies, quit all apps other than the one playing the movie, and lower the screen brightness.

    Make sure wifi and bluetooth are turned off if you're not using them.

    What movies will you be playing? Rips of DVDs, or...? You can try downloading VLC and see if it uses less power than Apple's DVD player. (I would guess probably.)

    If you can recharge the laptop for 1.5 hours, I think that should get you close to 80%.

    Many long haul flights now have regular electrical outlets for each seat for powering laptops etc. Make you sure you bring the appropriate plug adapters.

    I have not heard of flights with 12V ports but those adapters tend to be pretty small so I guess if you have enough space in your luggage you might as well bring the adapter.
  6. jerichotung thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2015
    Hi, thanks for all the responses

    Unfortunately I'll be flying cattle class (ahem...I meant economy), so power outlets in not an option. All I have is a USB port, and its only available for the first leg of the journey.

    An alternative option is to make use of the USB port and I'll just play videos with my Ipad Mini. I was wondering when attached to the USB port does the iPad Mini takes is power directly from the USB, thereby conserving battery life. (Sorry a bit off topic, I actually started a thread in the ipad mini section regarding this issue)

    I usually download 1080 BRRips, does the size of the video really affect the battery life? Should I go for 720 BRRips or even DVDRips instead?

    Does anyone know installing which version of Mac OS has the longest battery life? Is it really the latest is greatest?

    Thanks in advance for the responses.

    P.S. I can never sleep well on a plane...I wish they could serve the meals the moment the plane is on air, so I can pop a sleeping pill and sleep it off for the remainder of the flight (sigh :( )
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    The iPad Mini (as with any laptop) will take power primarily from the wall and then from the battery if it needs more. Apple says it has a ~10 hour battery life. The plane's USB port might be 1 amp, in which case it might take ~15 hours for a full charge, meaning that you will be running the iPad at a small power deficit. After an 8 hour flight that means you'll have 2 hours left + the ~5 you added via the USB port, meaning 7 hours = 70%.

    Yes, it takes less power to play smaller videos. I haven't seen any benchmarks of this so I can't tell you specifically how much less power, but you might as well download and play smaller files. Since you will be watching them on small screens, the difference in quality shouldn't really matter.

    I would say install the latest version of OS X. Don't worry about which version gives you the longest battery life. The OS doesn't take much power anyway.
  8. jerichotung thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2015
    Thanks again for the response.

    I just remembered I have the 85W adapter from my Macbook Pro. Would the 85W result in a quicker charge for my Macbook Air (which uses 45W), or is it just the same?

    Again appreciate your feedback, thanks.
  9. CausticSoda macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2014
    Abu Dhabi
    Forgive me for stating the obvious, but you own this MBA, so why are you asking other people how much it will charge in 1.5 hours. Why not test it yourself?
  10. jerichotung thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2015
    Well, I am flying in 48 hours, and I've got other last minute stuff that I have to do, so I don't really have the time to drain the battery twice and test which adapter charges faster.

    I got the Macbook Air a week ago, a second hand one, therefore I am not too familiar with it, and figured probably asking someone else would the easiest and most effective approach.
  11. 0983275 Suspended

    Mar 15, 2013
    You'll be able to squeeze 8 or more hours of battery under OS X, doable under Windows but you'd have to keep the brightness low, prevent the processor from turbo'ing (or limit the clock speed), this can be done by changing Maximum processor state to 99% (to prevent turbo boost) or lower (to limit clock speed), this option can be found under power options.
  12. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    Ger Maverick for your osx choice. It has app nap features without too much UI eye candy.

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