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.