With a little bit of care, you can maximise the battery life (how long the battery will run before you’ll need to recharge it) and lifespan of your notebook’s battery. Most importantly, use your Apple notebook in its comfort zone for temperature (See “Notebook Temperate Zone”). Don’t leave it locked in a hot car boot during the summer.
Your New Notebook
Your new Apple notebook features advanced battery chemistry that greatly extends the battery’s lifespan. The built-in battery of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is designed to deliver up to 1,000 full charge and discharge cycles before it reaches 80 per cent of its original capacity. In addition, Adaptive Charging reduces the wear and tear on the battery, giving it a lifespan of up to five years. Be sure to fully charge your notebook when you plug it in for the first time, and then run Software Update to ensure you have the latest software. Apple periodically releases updates that may improve battery performance.
For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your notebook plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her notebook on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing. If, on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month. Need a reminder? Add an event to your desktop’s iCal. When your battery no longer holds sufficient charge to meet your needs, you may choose to replace it. If your notebook came with a built-in battery, you should only have the battery replaced by an Apple Authorised Service Provider.
If you don’t plan on using your notebook for more than six months, Apple recommends that you store the battery with a 50 per cent charge. If you store a battery when it’s fully discharged, it could fall into a deep discharge state, which renders it incapable of holding any charge. Conversely, if you store it fully charged for an extended period of time, the battery may experience some loss of battery capacity, meaning it will have a shorter life. Be sure to store your notebook and battery at the proper temperature. (See Notebook Temperate Zone.)
You can choose to use your Apple notebook in a way that maximises its battery life.
- Energy: The Energy Saver control panel offers several settings that determine power levels for your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Your notebook knows when it’s plugged in, and runs accordingly. When it’s on battery power, it will dim the screen and use other components sparingly. If you change this setting to maximise performance, your battery will drain more quickly.
- Brightness: Dim the screen to the lowest comfortable level to achieve maximum battery life. For instance, when you’re watching a DVD on an aeroplane and all the lights are off, you may not need full screen brightness.
- AirPort Wireless: AirPort consumes power, even if you are not using its features to connect to a network. You can turn it off in its control panel to save power.
- Bluetooth Wireless: Likewise, you can turn off Bluetooth to maximise your battery life, as it also consumes power when not in use.
- Applications and peripherals: Disconnect peripherals and quit applications you’re not using. Eject CDs and DVDs if you’re not currently accessing them.