MacBook Air Battery Life Tested

Appleis claim for the five hour battery life of the MacBook Air was tested and found wanting, according to AnandTech on Thursday. With wireless browsing and MP3 playback, the life was 4.27 hours, but under video playback combined with heavy Web browsing and downloading, the battery expired after 2.43 hours.

"When Steve Jobs announced that the MacBook Air would have a 5 hour battery life, I laughed," Anand Lal Shimpi wrote. "Short of Apple sticking a hydrogen fuel cell in the Air there was simply no way you were going to get 5 hours out of this thing under any sort of heavy usage. What shocked me even more is how few questioned the 5 hour figure. Have we all forgotten about optimistic battery life ratings?"

Mr. Shimpi created three different scenarios. Each scenario was representative of the kinds of things that customers might try to do with their MacBook Air.

The first test was light reading on the Internet with Wi-Fi and music playing. The second was strictly a DVD playback from an image on the hard disk. The third combined a multi-tasking workload of constant downlading 10 GB of files, browsing in the same fashion as the first test, and watching an XviD formatted episode of the TV show Firefly.

Data source: AnandTech

While Appleis methodology for testing hasnit been divulged, and may have used some techniques not discussed by the author, itis also notable that the tests Mr. Shimpi devised donit seem particularly different than what a customer, accustomed to other notebook computers, might attempt. The tests were described by the author as "light to moderate usage on a MacBook or a MacBook Pro."

So far, Apple has not responded to the article.