Apple’s 2009 MacBook Pro: Battery Life to Die For

There’s no other way to say this. If you care about battery life and portability at all, buy the new MacBook Pro. Go to the Apple store and buy one. While I only tested the 15” model, I’m guessing the 13” model should leave a similar lasting impression.

Ever since I first looked at the power consumption specs of Nehalem I thought it didn’t make any sense to buy a new, expensive notebook before Arrandale’s launch in Q4 2009/Q1 2010. While performance will definitely increase considerably with Arrandale, Apple just threw a huge wrench in my recommendation. The new MacBook Pro is near perfect today. If you need a new laptop now, thanks to its incredible battery life, I have no qualms recommending the new MBP.


Today I am more than comfortable saying that this is the best Apple notebook I’ve ever laid my hands on. The build quality is excellent, the base specs are solid and of course, the battery life. There’s no doubt that it could be better; toss in an SSD or drop the price even further, but as it stands the new MBP is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a Mac laptop.

Obviously, you can attain the same battery life with a cheaper notebook and one or two spare batteries. But there’s something to be said for increasing battery life by at least 50% without increasing the bulk or weight of the system.

I’m not sure there’s much else I can add other than Good Job, Apple.

via AnandTech: Apple’s 2009 MacBook Pro: Battery Life to Die For.

That’s a hell of an endorsement, especially coming from AnandTech.

Favourite quote comes from the fourth page (where the beef of the article is):

That’s a 51% improvement in battery life. It’s close enough to the max theoretical 46% improvement for me to think that the significant gains in wireless web browsing are due to improvements in idle power optimizations. It’s possible that all of the components in the new MacBook Pro have been optimized for lower voltages at idle.

The battery tests are repeatable however. I saw anywhere from a 50 – 100% improvement in battery life over the old MacBook Pro. Given the increase in battery capacity alone, you should see no less than a 46% increase in battery life. Exactly what is accounting for the expanded life above and beyond that, I’m not sure.

Either way, Apple’s 7 hour claim is well within reason. For light workloads, even on WiFi, you can easily expect 6.5 – 8 hours out of the new 15-inch MBP. As I write this article on that very system I’m told that I have nearly 8.5 hours left on my charge. If you do a lot of writing on your notebook, the new MBP is exactly what you’ll want; it will easily last you on a cross-country flight if you need to get work done.

Spectacular work, Apple. Thumbs up from this blogger 🙂

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