Why Apple's battery life has gone down: Testing methods

I used to test laptops en masse at Laptop Magazine and I’m well aware of the various problems with the testing methods available. Your battery test — playing a DVD over and over to recreate the experience on a plane, for example — might be different from mine — watching furry porn in a constant loop while Twittering college students. That said, there has been some lip service paid to the severe dip in battery life in the latest Penryn Pros and I’m glad Apple has to cojones to change its testing method.

When we see battery life, we usually see best case life. This often means the laptop is doing nothing, sitting in a climate controlled room at lowest brightness. If that were the case, all of our laptops could get 10 hours with a little prodding. Apple, however, is now testing wireless productivity — which cuts lots of battery life — along with a number of other tests that improve accuracy but drive down scores. While this seems obvious, a number of OEMs don’t do this out of fear of deflating their numbers. Sometimes their claims of long life are true — IBM, now Lenovo, often had laptops with great life. In fact, I’ve seen laptops that lasted 8 hours or more on one charge. However, most of their claims are sadly false. Hopefully this will bring some truth back into the testing regimen.

More MacBook details: battery life claims, enviro push, more [AppleInsider]