Monday , March 8 2021

This kills the battery life of the MacBook Pro M1



The MacBook Pro M1 is waging an eternal battle with browsers, unlike other laptop platforms.

tl; dr: Although my MacBook Pro M1 has a better battery life than the new Windows laptops I’m testing, it can’t overcome the lack of battery in Firefox and Chrome browsers.

Don’t think for a moment that the new MacBook Pro running on Apple’s M1 processor will rise above the browser’s battery. This is what I found.

Based on the Big Sur Activity Monitor, Firefox and Google Chrome are the two main culprits in battery drain.

And if I’m actively using a bunch of tabs (12+) in both browsers, my M1 MBP heats up. It usually stays very fresh.

The third largest energy pig is SpeakerAmp, a third-party equalizer that is a must for me as it provides a big boost to sound quality.

Safari, on the other hand, consumes relatively little power.

Big Sur also gives you a quick snapshot of what the battery is depleting by clicking on the battery icon (pictured below).

The moral of the story is that third-party programs (those that Apple does not control) are possible battery pigs.

The opposite is that Apple programs like Safari, Messages and Photos will not affect battery life.

This may be another reason to look at Safari again if you are using a MacBook.

As a footnote … while the 13-inch (16GB) MacBook Pro M1 offers better battery life than newer Windows laptops. It’s not as big a gap as I expected when I got the MBP two months ago.

Typically, the M1 MBP can last an entire day, beating the HP Specter x360 14 (13.5-inch OLED) by 1.5 hours, which uses the latest 11th-generation Intel processor.

Significant but not mind-boggling.

——

NOTES:

* This blog explains battery consumption on an earlier Intel-based MacBook Pro.

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