New MacBook Pro Illustrates Apple’s Custom Battery Designs Are Serious Advantages

New MacBook Pro Illustrates Apple’s Custom Battery Designs Are Serious Advantages

The new MacBook Pro highlights Apple's battery design know how

While the new MacBook Pro’s retina display, light weight, and thin format factor were all show stoppers, the notebook’s battery is also a major feature and feat of engineering. Apple claims that despite powering all those pixels, the new MacBook Pro with Retina display has a battery will last for seven hours on a single charge and offer a full month of standby power. Unsurprisingly, much of the its internal space is devoted to the mammoth battery required for that feat.

The new MacBook Pro with Retina display isn’t the first Apple device to sport a massive built-in battery. The new iPad also sports one and the MacBook Air line has had most of its internal space devoted to its battery  for years. Each new mega-battery from Apple represents an advance of battery technology that few other companies could deliver.

It’s no secret that battery life on Apple’s portable devices and systems is a strategic advantage when competing with many PC notebooks or most smartphones and tablets. Apple is able to achieve some of these feats because it controls the complete design, engineering, and product systems in its supply chain. It doesn’t rely on standard components and that gives Apple a chance to innovate in a variety of ways – battery capacity being one of the most critical.

While there’s a segment of the tech industry that eschews Apple’s built-in battery design, that approach does give Apple an immense range of flexibility in terms of battery design and implementation. The results are devices that have excellent graphics performance at high resolutions (a.k.a retina displays) and other power-hungry features like LTE in the new iPad, but that still have excellent battery life.

As mobile computing and mobile devices become ever-more integrated pieces of our daily lives, Apple’s ability to deliver unique battery designs and technologies will continue to be a strategic innovation – and one that many other tech companies won’t be able to rival.

  • Hordur Agustsson

    Yes and it really is great not to be able to even bump your memory to 16GB or 32GB when that becomes available.

    Sometimes Apple really piss me off.
    Otherwise an amazing piece of engineering, but they really are missing a huge point regarding the “environmental” issues of the new hardware.
    MBP Retina with 16GB RAM should suffice for a few years, but I would never consider buying the 8GB version for 2-3 years of use.
  • Connor Mulcahey

    Typo in the last sentence of the first paragraph: “the its”

  • world_exposer

    Yes and it really is great not to be able to even bump your memory to 16GB or 32GB when that becomes available.

    Sometimes Apple really piss me off.
    Otherwise an amazing piece of engineering, but they really are missing a huge point regarding the “environmental” issues of the new hardware.
    MBP Retina with 16GB RAM should suffice for a few years, but I would never consider buying the 8GB version for 2-3 years of use.

    I have 8GB in my 2010 MBP and don’t even go near the limit, why would i need 16?

  • Steffen Jobbs

    I’ve been using a 2009 MacBook Pro on a daily basis with only 2GB.  Works fine with Snow Leopard for me.  I don’t think all consumers have the same issues with memory requirements.

  • Clawhammer

    A bit over-stretched on the battery life part for Apple Macbooks. I’m a user of MB Pros, and I would certainly say battery life is the weakest part of Macbooks. Unlike iPads, Apple does not hold a top position for battery endurance. All the time they were showing off the new features, I was hoping they could make the Macbook thick as before but install bigger batteries. I know 7 hours is a lot for such a configuration, but specs lose out in terms of battery life to people who want a portable business ready machine. Plus, knowing Apple’s previous claims on Macbook battery, I think the real usage will be about 5 hours. I am having to switch to ThinkPads for this; with custom configurations ThinkPads can easily go for 12 hours real battery life. 

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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