New MacBook Pro battery life is “to die for”, with 15-inch model hitting 8 hours

Sun, Jun 14, 2009


During last weeks WWDC keynote, Phil Schiller announced that Apple was making significant changes to its fleet of notebooks, chief among them the inclusion of a non-removable battery across its MacBook Pro line.  As has been explained by Apple before, removing the mechanics involved to make a battery removable frees up space to allow for a bigger battery, resulting in much longer battery life.

Moreover, Apple has made other changes in the interest of improving battery life in its notebooks. AnandTech writes:

Apple did some clever work on its own here. Standard lithium ion batteries are made up of cylindrical cells, similar to AA batteries. The problem with these batteries is that they waste a lot of space within a notebook (try cramming a lot of cylinders into a box, you end up with wasted space). This wasted space translates into larger batteries than are necessary, which makes for larger notebooks.

In order to continue to drive laptop thinness down, Apple started experimenting with using custom lithium polymer batteries instead of the industry standard lithium ion parts. Lithium polymer cells aren’t made of cylindrical cells (they’re rectangular), so there’s no wasted space. Not only does this make the batteries more compact, but it also gives you greater capacity since you’re using all available chassis volume for the battery.

As a result, Apple touts up to 7 hours of battery life on its new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro’s.  Apple’s battery life proclamations, however, are not exactly always on point.  Fortunately, the good folks over at Anandtech put Apple’s new laptops through the ringer, and luckily for us consumers, they came away extremely impressed.  And that might be an understatement.

Standing out amongst other models is the new 15 inch MacBook Pro which sports what the reviewer calls “The best battery life I’ve ever seen.”  Wow, talk about a ringing endorsement.  Specifically, the reviewer found that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro lasted for over 8 hours while engaging in typical wireless web browsing.  He writes,

Eight, freakin, hours. I couldn’t believe it. In my lightest test, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro lasted eight hours and eight minutes. That’s with the screen at half brightness (completely usable) and no funny optimizations.

You can read the full report from AnandTech over here.  It’s definitely a must read if you’re into battery technology.  And really, who isn’t?



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