MacBook Air Battery Issues Frustrate Users

It seems new MacBook Air owners, myself included, are experiencing strange behavior with the battery in the new MBA.

While the expected usage of 3 - 5 hours is holding true, the time to charge the battery can be as long a 9 hours in some cases. While the cause of this strangely long charge time is for the moment unknown, it is the apparent randomness in the time taken to charge the battery that seems to be causing the most confusion.

For example, running the MBA down to within a few % of 0 and plugging in the charger one can get an estimated time to charge from anywhere between 3.5 - 9 hours. There seems no apparent cause for these extra long times, but given that the next charge takes only about 1/2 the time of the last, one can only suspect that not all is well in the MBA world.

It has been theorized that the MBA is trickle charging the battery for the full 8-9 hours instead of fast charging the first 80% of the battery and trickle charging the remaining 20%. This later would give the more reasonable time of 4 hours that users sometimes see.

It has yet to be seen, with the MBA being so new, if this problem will settle down, if it is part of the design (Apple has yet to comment, and Applecare is aware of the issue and monitoring) or if the battery (or batch of) has inherent problems.

It is hoped that a battery firmware fix could solve this issue, but if it goes deeper than that, Apple may have created a major headache for its users as the MBA battery is non removable.

Link: Apple Support Forum | Another Thread

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I think the "upgradability" argument made by some is just plain silly. So here is how my last two gaming PC upgrades went:

Hi I am looking to upgrade my year old PC. Do you have any AGP video cards around? PCI express only, well ok, I guess I will take one. What, I need a new motherboard to install it in? Sign me up then! What do you mean my processor won't fit in the new motherboards? DDR2 memory? No, I just have SDRAM. Power supply? Yes, I have one. Oh, it doesn't have the right specs. At least Windows will support all of this new "upgraded" hardware right? Wipe and reload huh? How much will that cost me?

Upgradability is not all it is cracked up to be. If it was I would still have my Hewlett Packard 286 box running in my office.

I love my MBA, and could quite honestly care less about ever upgrading it.

MacBook Air - Ultra Portable Notebook

MacBook Pro and MacBook - Notebook

The Windows laptops you speak of - Notebooks

If you want to compare products then compare products from the same field.

Its a really easy concept, really easy. If you want a notebook buy a notebook, Apple or Windows. You get removable batteries, large harddrives, better graphics, larger screens. in fact everything you would expect in a notebook.

If say for example, I dont know, you want something SMALLER than an ORDINARY NOTEBOOK, then buy one of the following.

1. Apple MacBook Air

2. Sony TZ series - costs more

3. EeePC - An internet toy

4. A Windows UMPC - no one thought about usability when these things were designed. (Proud seller of an Ausu R2H)

5. Saw bits off your ordinary notebook

From the start, this whole MBA thing has reminded me of an extra-large PDA, capable of performing a variety of basal functions with a side of WiFi. Almost as if they stretched out an iPod Touch, added a keyboard, and reduced the touch screen to a touch pad.

Demand for a PDA on a laptop scale probably doesn't (and won't) exist. Right now, initial sales are thanks to good marketing and the Apple factor. They really seem to be rushing toward a future without a map.

If they want to stick with the Macbook Air concept, they might want to think about trying--god forbid--a technology Microsoft has supported, and go tablet style. As thin as this product is, why not have the monitor on a swivel so it can lay flat? With as involved Apple has become in touch tech, you just know the tablet market would pay attention to an entry from them.

Oh yeah. And more USB ports. :P

Leave it up to Apple to produce a notebook computer that is a piece of crap. To bad that you cannot remove the battery on the Mac Air and have to send the damn thing back for service. So those who are having problems will be without a computer for a while. hahahahahahahahaha Yea, Windows laptops have issues as well..but at least you can remove the batter and dont have to send the whole thing back.

To answer your comments above

1. The MBA is a great machine, not for everyone, but its fast, light, portable, decent spec and its best feature is it runs OSX.

2. Name a computer product that hasnt had firmware / driver updates as some point

3. Gaming - Most people still seem to think what they heard about Apple back before 2000. Aspyr port all the most popular games, EA now make games directly for OSX and id software are also onboard. Sure you cant get everything, but we now have the option to boot into windows.

4. Hardware, Apple dont do budget (apart from mini), but look at an Apple machine compared to a Dell / Sony with same spec and the price is usually similar. The computers are also extremely well built and designed.

5. Upgradability - Notebooks aside, which from most manufacturers are not upgradable, my iMac has a new graphics card in, you can buy graphics cards for the Pro range, all other bits you can buy mac versions. Otherwise its buy a new computer much like with any PC. Lets face it you cant just go banging in parts to a PC motherboard, everything has to match, upgrading 1 part usually means creating a bottleneck somewhere. Basically the upgradability of a pc means that you spend $$$ on all new parts but keep the case the same. If you buy a cheep Dell you usually dont even get a slot for a graphics card and the motherboards are strange shapes to to upgrading.

6. I can play Crisis on my 8 core 2.8GHz MacPro with 4GB ram just fine, already put in another 750GB hd, with 2 bays to spare.

7. If you have not used OSX why comment, makes you look ignorant. Windows has its fans, OSX has its fans. Both get the job done, well apart from Vista, which I do use and have to support for some people in the building.

8. Some people actually said hate, strong word, cant be much going on in your life, or you have emotional problems. To hate a product / company, one you especially dont use, id go see a psychiatrist.


Why can't Dell and Sony make laptops without exploding batteries?

You need to look far and wide before you ever get to an Apple notebook/subnotebook.

(LTD said @ #22.1)
Why can't Dell and Sony make laptops without exploding batteries?

You need to look far and wide before you ever get to an Apple notebook/subnotebook.

they can and do..and you can even replace them yourself when they fail...

This just proves that it is NOT a good idea to be an early adapter in the Apple world. Almost every product they come out with has problems in its initial batch. Just wait until they fix the glitches to buy it.

Generally every product released has problems, some you hear about, some you don't. You wait for the techno hungry "gotta have the best" to buy the new stuff and reveal the problems. Wait for the 2nd - 3rd Gen items to hit the shelves.

In 6 months there will be something else out even better than that. They already have it developed and sitting on the shelves in the warehouse. They don't release it all at once though. Let this item sit in the stores for a while.. let people spend money.. come out with something just a tad better and watch them buy it all over again.....

(Volatile said @ #18.1)
Generally every product released has problems, some you hear about, some you don't. You wait for the techno hungry "gotta have the best" to buy the new stuff and reveal the problems. Wait for the 2nd - 3rd Gen items to hit the shelves.

In 6 months there will be something else out even better than that. They already have it developed and sitting on the shelves in the warehouse. They don't release it all at once though. Let this item sit in the stores for a while.. let people spend money.. come out with something just a tad better and watch them buy it all over again.....

that may be true, however apple is the only one that claims 'it just works', it's become pretty obvious over the last year or so that mac stuff doesnt always just work

I guess its just me but with my laptops they're always plugged in and rarely ever running off battery power... (Laptop on the desk, less space/energy).

Only charge your MAB during all night as you do with the cellphone \o\...8 hours is really too much to charge the battery but expected usage of 3 - 5 hours worth this time. Well, I think so...

Name='Couch Potato' date='Feb 10 2008, 06:53' post='589198672']
I actually like the idea there are only a few Mac users compared to Windows users. I do notice that since the iPod's popularity that Apple gets more "known" to the unknowing public and that people will look at an equivalent for Windows, being Mac OS or Linux. The only cutback with Apple is its price indeed but they got cheaper as time grew. If you look back a couple years you'll see that an Apple desktop and/or laptop was way more expensive as they are now, yet we still can't call them "cheap".

Though I do believe that Apple hardware will get cheaper as time continues evolving. It's an inevitable fact. They will get more money for research and development, production and so on allowing them to make the hardware cheaper. However, with that being said, I think you're right about Apple hardware remaining to be more expensive than Dell, Sony, HP, ... which all run Windows standard. That market still is bigger and, in my opinion, will always remain to be bigger.

Nonetheless, Apple is doing a good job with their hardware.
Link

I've changed my mind, the word of the day is Crapple.

References from urban dictionary - sure its juvenile, but hell, that's Apple to begin with
"Another name for Apple, who makes the worst computers ever made except for word-processing (which my old 66 MHZ can do) and graphic design. Tries to lure newbies in by making flashy colors, but then craps on their heads.
Bob: Hey, want to play Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy?

Jake: No, my mom bought me a crApple. It doesn't support any games!

Bob: That's teh sux0rz!"

3). Affectionate term for Apple.
John said, "I'd play that game with you, but I'm stuck on this Crapple."

Sure, you can boot into Windows or Linux (but Apple provides **** poor drivers) and than you can't really upgrade the system can you (mobo, GPU, PCI cards and most devices)?

(bluarash said @ #12.2)
I've changed my mind, the word of the day is Crapple.

References from urban dictionary - sure its juvenile, but hell, that's Apple to begin with
"Another name for Apple, who makes the worst computers ever made except for word-processing (which my old 66 MHZ can do) and graphic design. Tries to lure newbies in by making flashy colors, but then craps on their heads.
Bob: Hey, want to play Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy?

Do your homework... http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/game...ediacademy.html

(bluarash said @ #12.4)
Come on, you know what I meant. Maybe I should have substituted Crysis for the definition that was left.

I can easily say over 98% of PCs can't fully support Crysis. That's not valid either.

(McG said @ #12.5)
I can easily say over 98% of PCs can't fully support Crysis. That's not valid either.

Got 3 servers, 5 laptops and 9 PCs here, not a single one can run crysis, so 0% for me

(n_K said @ #12.7)

Got 3 servers, 5 laptops and 9 PCs here, not a single one can run crysis, so 0% for me :)

please post a copy of your electric bill or it didn't happen! :-p

(SirEvan said @ #12.8)
please post a copy of your electric bill or it didn't happen! :-p

lol, well obvesly not all of them are on or used, got 2 IBM x330 server (dual 933MHz for both) and 1 Dell Poweredge 6350 Quad P3 Xeon and the rest of the pcs and laptops... well all except 3 are below 1.5GHz, with the most powerful being mine, P4 2.53Ghz, 1.5GB RAM, broken ATI radeon 9600 PRO :P so yeh, 0% as stated

The MBA is a great computer, ive not been as impressed with the size / speed / weight / power / design since the 12" G4 Powerbook.

All new products have issues, why should the MBA be any different. I would think a firmware update could fix the problem. The issue here isnt the overall capacity of the battery, which is quite good, it is the randomness of the length of charging. Something that is probably software based.

Apart from that strange bug (which may be firmware based) the machine is most excellent. Its solid, powerful for its size, quite and cooler than the MacBook Pros.

All told, I wouldnt want a different laptop. Firewire would have been nice though :-)

like someone said when i posted about this problems before, "a fireware update will fix that problem" :wacko:, I sure hope so because u just payed a whole lot of $$$$$ for it.

~X

When Microsoft releases a laptop be sure to let us know and THEN compare them to Apple.

'Til then your comment makes no sense.

(C_Guy said @ #5.1)
When Microsoft releases a laptop be sure to let us know and THEN compare them to Apple.

'Til then your comment makes no sense.


Microsoft has a hardware division.

(JamesWeb said @ #3.2)
I hate the MacBook Air as much as the next guy but an 800x480 screen in this day and age? Come on...

Agreed. I feel bad for the poor 15.4" Apple users who can't experience the beauty of a 1920x1200 screen at that size.

(MioTheGreat said @ #3.3)

Agreed. I feel bad for the poor 15.4" Apple users who can't experience the beauty of a 1920x1200 screen at that size.

Oi.

So what have you learnt from this and the numerous other products with the same crap battery (hipod, hiphone, previous macbook pro that killed a fly while i was watching) hell even maddox had a go at apple, seriously its a big POS

I agree, it takes a good 8hrs or so to charge the battery...I have read from other owners who claim after having charged the battery 10+ time it settles down to a more reasonable 3-4hrs.