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I think laptop manufacturers base battery life on the computer being on (sleeping perhaps) with several short, sporadic stints of activity (checking email etc.) Kind of like how cell phone manufacturers state their battery life as well. I've been quite happy with my battery life on my Al 15" PB: 2+ hours. Long enough for a presentation and some mobility...but, lets be realistic it's pretty incredible that a powerful computer such as a G4 1.25 GHz PowerBook can even operate on a battery that small. I can run my machine all day (most of) with several short periods of activity (email etc.). To increase battery duration: see above posts, check your energy settings, turn off Bluetooth and Airport (they're not good for your soft tissue anyway) and don't expect too much from a battery the size of a deck of cards. Only until recently, has battery technology started to make some strides to catch-up with other technologies. You should see the size of the battery on my girlfriend's Sony laptop, it's freakin' huge (only two years old - 20 in computer years) and she's lucky to get an hour out of that puppy. The technology is coming, but for now there's a little catch-up required.
 

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For the record, my 12.1" G4 Powerbook battery is giving me 3.5 to 4 hours, depending on what I am doing. However if I choose to watch a DVD movie, or use iTunes while I work, the battery is toast in 2 hours or slightly more.
 

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Has anyone noticed that the batteries on the new powerbook g5's aren't lasting as long as apple say they will. with standard use my battery only lasts about 2 and 1 half hours compared to the standard 5hours that apple say sit does.
Any comments?
 

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I don't know about the Powerbook G5's, but the current line of Powerbook G4s and the iBook line both don't meet Apple's stated amount.

The stated amount by Apple is the best the battery can give under optimum conditions (read: Next to no power being used, and the computer is unusable.)

Some ways to improve your battery life, are to try not to use the Hard disks, and CD drives as much as possible, along with turning down the screen brightness as much as possible. I know with iBook I have here, with going crazy on saving battery life (turning everything as low as it could go, etc.) I was able to work for nearly 5 hours on the machine. That's an hour off of Apple's stated 6 hours, but under normal use with no battery saving settings turned on, I can get the iBook to last a good 3 to 4 hours.
 

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PowerBook G5s? Are you from the future?

Seriously, though, I've noticed the battery life on my new PowerBook G4 1.25GHz is less than the battery life on my old PowerBook G4 667MHz (30 minutes to an hour less, actually). I'm not sure exactly why this is the case, but the faster processor and BlueTooth can't help battery life, I'm sure.

I've heard reports that Mac OS X 10.3.1 increases the battery life on new PowerBooks by 30 minutes or so, but I've yet to try it out myself.
 
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