Some users have reported much-shorter-than-advertised battery life from brand new MacBook Pros, including the mid-2010 MacBook Pros and just-released MacBook. Although real-world battery life often falls far short of manufacturer claims, several users are reporting battery life that is half or less of that indicated by some tests under similar usage conditions. These users are experience battery life of 3-4 hours under normal usage conditions.
We previously covered this issue in a separate post, noting that poor battery life can be caused by constant engagement of the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics card, even during usage of seemingly less-intense graphics applications. This problem can generally be resolved by using the utility gfxCardStatus to force a switch in the engaged graphics card.
More potential fixes
- Calibrate. Note that new batteries may need to be calibrated before they will hold a full charge. Apple has instructions for doing so.
- Reinstall Mac OS X. Anecdotal evidence suggests that using an external hard drive used on another Mac, or a cloned Mac OS X drive on new MacBooks can result in improper power management and a corresponding reduction in battery life. Reinstall Mac OS X from the disc included with the new MacBook, choosing Archive and Install and “Preserve Users and Network Settings.“