“Apple advertises that the MacBook Air can get up to five hours of wireless productivity on its 37-watt-hour, non-removable battery. This is a hair less than what Apple typically estimates (guesstimates?) for its other notebooks (up to six hours), but it also includes “wireless productivity,” which is not considered on its other laptops (those estimates are based on WiFi being turned off). Because of Apple’s willingness to include the “wireless productivity” in its advertising, I was optimistic that the battery life might come something close to that, especially based on my usage,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.
“I’ll cut to the chase here: the MacBook Air’s battery life sucks. A lot. I found it to be a pretty big disappointment, holding it to my admittedly-high standards. I ran down the battery from full charge four times and came out with an average of two hours and 33 minutes,”Cheng reports.
“I can’t even imagine what I’ll do the next time I have to cover a keynote and have things like a USB EVDO modem sucking battery like no tomorrow. Maybe I’ll buy one of those external car batteries with a three-prong plug built-in and keep it in my bag for extra juice. So much for three pounds of MacBook Air delight,” Cheng reports.
MacDailyNews Note: Something may be wrong with Ars Technica’s MacBook Air, as their battery life experience does not match that of other respected reviewers. For example: The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg reported, “In my standard battery test, where I disable all power-saving features, set the screen brightness at maximum, turn on the Wi-Fi and play an endless loop of music, the MacBook Air’s battery lasted 3 hours, 24 minutes. That means you could likely get 4.5 hours in a normal work pattern, almost the five hours Apple claims.” USA Today’s Ed Baig reported, “Air’s battery life is decent. I got about three hours and 40 minutes as I surfed the Web, used Remote Disc and wrote.” Newsweek’s Steven Levy reported, “The battery life is quite acceptable–I didn’t have time for a definitive study but was getting only slightly less than the five hours per charge that Apple promises.” Please see related articles below for links and more reviews.
“I won’t be able to go back to a MacBook or MacBook Pro—despite the Air’s other downfalls. The light weight is, by far, the best part of the MacBook Air,” Cheng reports.
“The MacBook Air is the only super-thin notebook that (legally) runs Mac OS X, and we feel that Apple did a decent job at figuring out how its users would use such a computer. It’s not perfect by any means, and we hope to see Apple make improvements upon the Air with future iterations,” Cheng reports. “Despite all of the Air’s (sometimes glaring) flaws, I plan to keep it and use it as my notebook from here on out (maybe with a hard drive upgrade in the near future, and definitely with a battery upgrade when they become available).”
Full, comprehensive review – recommended – here.