The laptop battery life game or why do they lie?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xlii, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    You too Apple? It's at the end of the article but CNET got only 4 hours and 14 minutes of battery life on a 17" MBPro instead of 7 or 8 hours. But all these laptop makers play the same game. From newsweek.
  2. AGSHender macrumors regular


    Apr 15, 2007
    It really depends on how the laptop is being used. Anandtech got the advertised 8 hours on the 13" model with their testing, so you have to look at how the battery life's being tested. *shrug*
  3. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    Well, if I can be sure that, of the claimed 7 hours, I can fully have 5 working hours (say, screen on with good luminosity, typing in Pages and have the wireless connected, browsing and some light drawing, sync/charge iphone), then I'm sold.
  4. Kumakun macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2009
  5. macbook yes macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2009
    I get almost 5 hours with my CE. My roommate has the new "pro" and gets about the same. All we are doing is taking notes and occasionally using firefox between classes.
  6. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    The 13" and 15" actually only advertise 7 hours, so Anandtech is getting better-than-expected performance. The moral of this story is: whiners, stop whining. Of course battery life depends on how you use your machine, just like fuel economy depends on how you drive.
  7. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I'm all for standardization of benchmarks. XBench and Cinebench and all are great because they do give you a a truly benchmark number; machine X and machine Y are running the same tasks and are comparable. Really, though, I think that the wireless productivity are a good measure of battery life overall, but the tests need to be more transparent.

    What sites are visited. What browser is being used? How much text is being processed and in what program? What other programs/processes are being run? In a file download, what file? How big is it? Where is the server located and what's the bandwidth? Etc.

    For tests that include videos, what is being played? How big is the file? How is it encoded, both video and audio? Sound levels?

    A lot of the private review sites get this right. Anandtech is probably the best of them, and as a result, I think people trust them the most. Heck, if you've read more than a couple of their reviews, you can practically quote their standard method of testing battery life. :D If Apple and the rest of the industry were as thorough in publishing their methods as Anand is, this would be a non-issue.
  8. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
    It all depends on how you're using it.

    If I'm writing a paper for school. I have Pages, Firefox, and Preview running. With a bit of browsing (for research, sites are typically lightweight) and AdBlock Plus extention in Firefox blocking Flash ads, no bluetooth, muted sound, and 1/3 brightness. I've gotten 5.5 hours before it goes to sleep.

    And my battery is rated for "Up to 5 hours", so maybe I should sue Apple as well.
  9. psyichic macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    I have totally gotten my advertised battery life out of my 2.8 Ghz 15 incher. Of course I came from a laptop that when I used my own custom low power settings the entire thing could only make like 1.25 hours. These new batteries, as far as im concerned, not only meet but exceed their advertised battery life.
  10. bli625 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2009
    I've gotten 5.5 hours from my pre-WWDC 2.66Ghz uMBP before. I was doing word processing in Pages and listening to music through headphones via iTunes. Brightness was on the third bar.
  11. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    People, give the counselor a break. It's not like he started this damned thread.

    And the battery in my lowly macbook gives me 12 days and 11 hours. So there.
  12. drewster macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Beats chasing ambulances!

    Looks like the lawyer comments where removed...
  13. donny77 macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    It is COMPLETELY unreasonable to assume you can CHARGE an iPhone and get advertised runtime. Any charge your iPhone gets comes off your expected run time.
  14. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    It is beyond me how anyone can use their glassy mbp at 1/3 brightness and not see reflections.

    Anandtech's battery life tests are also bogus b/c idling is a useless test of a battery and I have used far too many laptops to see 8 hours of battery life in a normal human being's use case. I have used 85 watt hour batteries (9 cells) that do not last 8 hours when I'm actually using a laptop. The good news is that I would rarely use a laptop for 8 hours straight anyway.

    I have had many macbook pros and in general, halve what apple says. 7 hours = 3.5 hours, and that's very comparable. Apple is no worse or no better than other laptop makers in battery life. OS x is not some magic battery life saving OS. It's all about the components and the size of the battery you have.

    The new 15" mbp unibody gets 4 hours just surfing the net on full brightness, 9400m, without watching any videos. This is simply the truth and is either good or bad depending on the user. The 15" early 2008 mbp (classic) gets around 3 hours doing the same test. (I have both), but this has the 8600gt video card. The truth is that the 73 watt hour battery in the newest mbp and the 60 watt hour battery in the classic mbp are the difference. If you put the 9600gt vs 8600gt to the test, then the primary difference is the battery watt hours, which is 13 watt hours difference. It's a difference, but whether an extra 45 minutes to 1 hour is a big deal or not is for you to decide.
  15. lavinci macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2009
    You could always leave it at half brightness, no backlit keys, and light browsing and see what you get.

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