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I don’t need to sit here waxing obvious about the importance of battery life in mobile computing. I’ve actually boiled it down to a pair of simple equations: Long battery life = hella good; short battery life = hella bad. Feel free to use that math when studying battery specs for any gadget—it’s pretty universal.
MacBook Pros have always sacrificed decent battery life for large, bright screens, wireless connectivity, and hella fast processors and hard drives. The typical MacBook Professional has to carry around an extra battery, for that inevitable moment when his crashes and burns in the middle of a hella important business meeting.
So good news: In its review of the new Penryn-based Pro, PC Mag noticed a 15% increase in overall battery life—not bad for historically-hella-miniscule battery boosts.
The batteries themselves didn’t change, nor did the Leopard operating system. Apple didn’t invent some great new power-management utility. The improved battery life is a direct result of the Penryn CPU’s deeper sleep states and its more energy-efficient processor core. The new MacBook Pro produced 3 hours 56 minutes on MobileMark 2007 tests, which is a significant jump from the 3 hours 10 minutes of the previous-generation MacBook Pro.
It’s not a giant bump, and most road warriors would still prefer to have an extra battery Just In Case—but it does demonstrate that Intel’s hella fast road-runner approach to processor improvement is paying off, making the future seem pretty promising.