Tech News on G4

New MacBook Pro Boasts 8-Hour Battery

Jan 14, 2009

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gaziní - G4 Canada

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Some people and batteries just don’t get along, so when Apple unveiled the environmentally friendly aluminum unibody 17” MacBook Pro, they did something special – they added a high-capacity eco friendly extended life battery without sacrificing the width or weight.

New MacBook Pro Boasts 8-Hour Battery

“We’ve developed new battery technology that is better for the user and better for the environment,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s advanced chemistry and innovative technology deliver up to eight hours of use on a full charge cycle and up to 1,000 recharges.”

The 8-hour claim is based on a 17”  2.66 GHZ MacBook Pro, with the “Better Battery Life” setting in the preferences. Results may vary depending on use, video card selection (there are 2) or with the optional new 2.93Ghz processor.

Giant Leap for Batteries

With their new custom-made 95-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, Apple has set the bar fairly high, not only maximizing use on one charge, but by also extending the battery’s useful life by the use of Adaptive Charging.  This reduces the wear and tear on the battery each time it’s charged. According to Apple, typical charging systems work on a simple principle - keep recharging a battery at a maximum voltage until its full and then stop.  This repetitive process ultimately wears out a battery prematurely. 

Adaptive Charging

New MacBook Pro Boasts 8-Hour BatteryApple’s new adaptive technology uses a chip that essentially communicates with each of the 4 cells in the battery that report back to the system. Using this monitoring process, the system in turn adjusts the current accordingly to optimize recharging; giving the individual cells the only boost it needs, when it needs it avoiding unnecessary recharging.

To see a video about the battery is made, visit the 17” battery section on Apple’s website.

By lasting longer, the batteries won’t end up as quickly into the landfill.  It also means that consumers get a better bang for their buck. Instead of having to replace your batteries every 2-3 years or every 200-500 charges – sometimes sooner, the newer batteries are expected to last up to 5 years. While this may be true, Apple will not warrant your battery beyond the actual warranty period.

Not User Replaceable

In the event you do need to replace your battery, please note that is not user serviceable and must be replaced by an Apple Service provider. No indication at this point what the replacement cost will be. This is one concession that had to be made to maximize space efficiency, taking a page from the thin MacBook Air. 

However, by doing away with the battery door and all the components associated with a removable cell, including wasted space, the sealed unit allows for a 40% larger battery in an overall smaller space and a more efficient design resulting and an overall thickness of only 0.98” making it the thinnest 17” notebook currently available.

The new MacBook Pro 17” starts at $2,999 and is expected to ship within 3-4 weeks. For detailed specs on the visit Apple’s website.


Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net


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