Stretching out MacBook Battery Life

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Anorion, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Anorion macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2007
    Hi, everyone. I'm looking to replace my ancient Dell Inspiron 8600 with a MacBook in the coming weeks. I've done a lot of research into this, both here and other places on the interwebs, and I expect to be very happy with it, except for one minor thing - the listed battery life. I'm a college student, and tend to end up working for extended periods of time away from power sources. On my current Dell laptop with the 9-cell battery (it's not the original one, but the same as the original), I can eek out a little over nine hours (!) of use for writing, chatting online, and browsing the internet. I turn the screen brightness all the way down, disable the bluetooth device, turning the power down to the intel wireless adapter, and don't close or open programs unless I have to (so the disk doesn't spin), all to save as much power as I can. I'm usually working in dark places anyway, so the screen brightness being very low doesn't bother me much.

    Anyway, the battery life listed on Apple's site is listed at 6 hours, which is encouraging to me, but I was wondering what the absolute most amount of time anyone has managed to scrape out before the battery on one of these beauties gives up the ghost?
  2. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Shortly after I got my MacBook I would generally average 4+ hrs with wifi on, backlight at about half, and listening to music.

    If you keep the backlight low, the wireless off, and don't do anything too intensive, you will keep the life up.
  3. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    If battery life is really that imperative to you, you might want to buy secondary battery.

    There are rumours flying around of an ultraportable MacBook in the works, so you might want to hold off until that is released. Ultraportables tend to have much longer battery lives than their notebook counterparts.
  4. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Rigged for long life I get about 5 hours. A second battery would be the best bet if you need such long periods away from a power source.

    However, generally you will be able to find somewhere to get at least a partial charge at certain times in the day, the power adaptor is very neat and can be carried easily, and the sleep mode is excellent (close the lid and it sleeps - open it an it wakes), so you might well be able to get away with a single battery. A small bit of thought on power usage will go a long way.
  5. Anorion thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2007
    Yes, I've thought about waiting for an ultraportable. I've used a Thinkpad X-series before, but its keyboard was so small that I really couldn't type on it. Not that I think Apple would do something as aesthetically and structurally stupid, but the (terrible) thought has crossed my mind.

    Perhaps a second battery would be a good idea. At least Apple is not psychotic about their battery prices like some. *cough*Sony*cough* I'll just have to see how it works for the first few weeks, and order one if needed.
  6. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    My Battery life...

    is about 5.5 hours, but I am certain to shut down WiFi, if I'm doing a bunch of writing. Definitely don't open other apps. while your writing. I've worked with PowerPoint during class and ran MS Word on many occasions, and have not felt threatened by the battery getting below 30% at about 4 hours straight. Get another battery, utilize sleep as much as possible and carry your power adapter ALWAYS! There are enough Mac Owners on my campus, that ask to borrow my adapter, and I try to keep mine at full-charge upon arriving on campus.:cool:

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