Can YOU get 5 hours out of your PowerBook battery?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hey. I've had my 12" PowerBook G4 for about 12 days, and it just occured to me today...

I can only get about 3 hours out of it, even when I'm just running Word and don't have a CD in the drive. The black cardboard box the thing came in says "up to 5 hours."

3 hours isn't even close!



Right when I first got it, I did power it all the way up and then ran it all the way down until it put itself to sleep, like the manual suggests. When I did so, I ran it down by playing an audio CD in it. Maybe that was a mistake?





What do you think? Do YOU get 5 hours out of your battery?





BTW, it didn't occur to me to worry about this before, because I am used to my old Wall Street G3, which hasn't had a useable battery for 2 years. With my new G4, I was so happy to not be tethered to a wall, it's only NOW occuring to me to say "Hey wait a minute! What about the 5 hours?"



Too bad it's been more than 10 days. I don't think I could exchange the battery now, if it's defective.



Thanks guys!
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Well, with airport turned off, and brightness at around 20-30%, and the default energy saver thingies selected, I'd certainly get 4+ hours (I have before). Keep in mind that the more you use your battery, the less charge it holds.



    I've never used my battery past say 20%.



    I have an 867mhz 15" TiBook (which roXxors, BTW).
  • Reply 2 of 41
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    I got five hours out of my 12" iBook once - I had maximum energy saving settings on, and it was running only iTunes for three of those hours (with the backlight off). The other two hours, I had the backlight at half, and I was surfing w/ airport.



    I think that's pretty good, though certainly not five hours of normal use. I can get four hours of normal use if I'm careful, more like 3-3.5 if I have the screen fairly bright.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Even if you edge the screen brightness just two or three knotches down, you're battery will last way longer. The price to pay for those excellent screens.



    At a low setting, my powerbook's a marathon runner.



    BTW, laptop users, open Sys Prefs, and make sure General Prefs is set to use Medium font smoothing... much better. It has decent sub-pixel font rendering, for those in the know.
  • Reply 4 of 41
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I get about 4 hours out of my Ti 1Ghz, as long as I'm not doing anything crazy. brightness set pretty high, actually.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    About 4 hours from the PB12.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    stoostoo Posts: 1,490member
    I can get 4+ hours browsing the web with medium to low brightness.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    While in a darkened room with the brigness set on the lowest click, I've had my PowerBook (667 DVI) claim 6 hours.



    Four to four and a half is probably a good average, so long as I'm not abusing it.
  • Reply 8 of 41
    kraig911kraig911 Posts: 912member
    I always have my airport on which drains the heck out of my battery, i do notice though that when I power cycle it sometimes, the next full charge I get out of it last considerably longer.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    I got approx 10hrs off my 12" iBook battery once. It was with OS X.1 and I didn't notice that the iBook wasn't plugged-in at the time. I wasn't doing anything on it so the HD was spun down and the backlight had automatically turned-off but wasn't asleep (I can't remember if I had AirPort enabled or not), but, when I noticed I forgot to plug it in 7 hours later, I still had 32% remaining on my battery; I was amazed.



    Unfortunately, when I upgraded to 10.2, my battery life wasn't nearly as good. Whereas I got 5.5-6hrs on average, I now probably only get about 4.5-5hrs.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Apple should stop exaggerating. They complain about the Mhz Myth so this is hypocritical.
  • Reply 11 of 41
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    I've squeezed 6 out of my iBook 700.



    Usually it's about 4+
  • Reply 12 of 41
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i get over 5 hours on my powerbook...



    my, ahem, PISMO powerbook... with batteries in both bays. i almost get 7 with the screen down, internet off, max conservation, yadda, yadda, yadda.



    by the way, i heard that you are SUPPOSED to run the battery down once in a while. otherwise, the battery's max charge will slowly decrease over time. or did i hear that wrong, and you're NOT supposed to... me am confused.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    I get 2 1/2 to 3 hours out of my battery and it's almost 4 years old.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    Hmmm. Looks like I need to adjust my power and brightness settings. Why didn't I think of that? Duh.



    I have also been told that it is a good idea to run your battery way down sometimes and then power it all the way back up. Otherwise the battery 'forgets' how much power capacity it has. Dunno if that's true. That probably applies more to Nickel Cadmium?



    Out of habit though, once I plug it in to charge, I almost never unplug it until it has gotten full.



    Thanks everyone for your responses!
  • Reply 15 of 41
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Yes it is SuperGrover and to be clear: you do get way more battery with screen down to lowest and lower CPU speed. Don't forget to turn off Airport and BlueTooth if you don't need them. Also in the "Location Manager" if you disable Ethernet and Modem apparently it turns those off to save even more battery.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    stoostoo Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:

    That probably applies more to Nickel Cadmium?



    NiCads have a really bad memory effect: they need to be recharged from empty or the battery "forgets" the unused charge. Nickel metal Hydride and Lithium Ion batteries don't have a memory effect but their performance will still drop over time.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    keshkesh Posts: 621member
    Screen brightness is certainly the biggest factor. Cutting the brightness in half and putting my Energy Saver settings to 'Longest Battery Life' gets me roughly 4-4.5 hours of use, with Airport on and in use. Leave it bright, with 'Highest Performance' set, and I get about 3 hours, tops.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    chromoschromos Posts: 189member
    All these numbers really mean nothing to me unless I also see the hardware, the OS version, and the conditions of use.



    On a 1GHz TiBook, for instance, 10.2.4 and below, I would see ~3.75 to 4 hrs with Airport on, processor low, monitor at 2/3 brightness. Minimum to moderate usage (surfing, email, coding).



    Starting with 10.2.5, shave ~45 min off that.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    robsterrobster Posts: 256member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by chromos

    All these numbers really mean nothing to me unless I also see the hardware, the OS version, and the conditions of use.



    On a 1GHz TiBook, for instance, 10.2.4 and below, I would see ~3.75 to 4 hrs with Airport on, processor low, monitor at 2/3 brightness. Minimum to moderate usage (surfing, email, coding).



    Starting with 10.2.5, shave ~45 min off that.




    ok,

    12" pb 867mhz, 640mb RAM, SuperDrive 60gb hd...

    Running 10.2.6

    With ALL network ports off, brightness on full, doing nothing but editing text (bbedit) i get a max of 3h20m...pretty poor i feel...
  • Reply 20 of 41
    sithsith Posts: 25member
    12" pb - taking notes in class with screen at one bar, airport off, bluetooth off, sound off, no ethernet, I've gotten over 5 hours. Since i figure this is about as little power usage as one can reasonably expect, I think Apple's claims are in line with reality.
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