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Poor battery life for new Powerbook (7200 RPM)

Message #1 - Posted 2005/10/30 - Jorl Shefner

Just got one of the new 15" Powerbooks and it's fantastic, except that the battery life is a concern at the moment. I'd noticed that the estimated time remaining was around 1:30 when I first began using it, but I was hoping this was an error. Today I really tested it out and sure enough it shut down after 1 hour and 33 minutes. This was with the power settings configured for maximum battery life. I wasn't doing anything more intensive than surfing the web. I do have the 7200 RPM drive, so I hope this is not the cause of this.
This is my first Mac laptop since a very old iBook (which still outlasts this one). I don't have much experience with laptops though, and I usually have used my iBook on AC power, so I'm somewhat clueless about this.

I ran the CoconutBattery app and it showed that the battery capacity reached 96% of the optimal rated mAH capacity, so that much checks out. Should I be worried that I've got a defective battery, or is this something that may improve after the battery cycles a few times?

What kind of experience are other people seeing with the new PBs? Aren't these rated for 5 hours?

Thanks,

J.S.

Message #2 - Posted 2005/10/31 - Dick Sidbury

Jorl Shefner wrote:

What kind of experience are other people seeing with the new PBs? Aren't these rated for 5 hours?

Thanks,

J.S.

I got a new 17" with the 5400 drive. I'm getting about 4 or 5 hours on mine.

dick
-- the guestimate program has gotten as high as 7:22 but I left it on and came back in an hour and it had dropped to 3:54. Anyhow it seems to give more than 4 hours.

Message #3 - Posted 2005/10/31 - Sander Tekelenburg

Previously, Jorl Shefner wrote:

Just got one of the new 15" Powerbooks and it's fantastic, except that the battery life [...] Today I really tested it out and sure enough it shut down after 1 hour and 33 minutes. This was with the power settings configured for maximum battery life. [...]

I ran the CoconutBattery app and it showed that the battery capacity reached 96%

Mine (some 6 months old) still gets charged to something like 99.8%. It can run for about 3 hours of relatively light use (a bright screen and a lot of harddisk/CD drive access will eat more battery power).

FWIW, if my brand new machine would run only 1.5 hours and the battery would get at least 99.9% filled, I'd take it back to the shop. Apple advertises about 5 hours of battery power for these machines. Even allowing for the 7200rpm drive to reasonably lower that, I wouldn't consider 1.5 hours "reasonable".

Sander Tekelenburg, <http://www.euronet.nl/~tekelenb/>

Mac user: "Macs only have 40 viruses, tops!"
PC user: "SEE! Not even the virus writers support Macs!"

Message #4 - Posted 2005/10/31 - Alice Faber

Previously, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:

Previously, Jorl Shefner wrote:

Just got one of the new 15" Powerbooks and it's fantastic, except that the battery life [...] Today I really tested it out and sure enough it shut down after 1 hour and 33 minutes. This was with the power settings configured for maximum battery life. [...]

I ran the CoconutBattery app and it showed that the battery capacity reached 96%

Mine (some 6 months old) still gets charged to something like 99.8%. It can run for about 3 hours of relatively light use (a bright screen and a lot of harddisk/CD drive access will eat more battery power).

FWIW, if my brand new machine would run only 1.5 hours and the battery would get at least 99.9% filled, I'd take it back to the shop. Apple advertises about 5 hours of battery power for these machines. Even allowing for the 7200rpm drive to reasonably lower that, I wouldn't consider 1.5 hours "reasonable".

One thing to double-check is whether power-consuming things are turned on that you're not using. If you're not using a wireless connection, Airport should be turned off, to keep the Airport card from constantly searching for a connection. Likewise, if your laptop has bluetooth and you don't have any bluetooth devices, turn it off.

AF

Message #5 - Posted 2005/11/03 - James Meiss

Previously, Alice Faber wrote:

Previously, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:

Previously, Jorl Shefner wrote:

Just got one of the new 15" Powerbooks and it's fantastic, except that the battery life [...] ....

One thing to double-check is whether power-consuming things are turned on that you're not using. If you're not using a wireless connection, Airport should be turned off, to keep the Airport card from constantly searching for a connection. Likewise, if your laptop has bluetooth and you don't have any bluetooth devices, turn it off.

And, I believe most importantly, that the screen brightness is not maximum. Keeping the screen bright takes up a lot of juice.

Message #6 - Posted 2005/11/07 - zob

I've got similar problems; I also noticed that the estimated time remaining was much lower than expected, i.e. about two hours. Unfortunately it wasn't an erroneous initial estimate, I haven't been able to get more battery time. In fact the time kept dropping, and at the moment it is well below two hours.

Resetting the PMU
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=14449#faq11 and (re)calibrating the battery didn't help.

After less than a week, coconutBattery 1.3 states that the battery capacity is 69%, that is 3062 mAh rather than the nominal 4400. In comparison, my 18 months old PB, still has 85-90% of the original capacity left.

Upon contacting Apple, they offered to replace the battery, which I'm hoping to receive within a couple of days.

PB 15/1.67/1 GB/7200 RPM/10.4.3

ZB

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