Mac business users frequently work outside the office.
That’s why they buy MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs. Portability is required to meet the challenges of modern careers. However, preserving battery life is often a critical task when working remotely.
Certainly, Apple’s taken notice. Its developers included
several power-saving features within Mavericks, the new OS X release. Time
Coalescing is one such feature. The technology enables Macs, including the
popular laptop models, to group low-level operations, thereby creating idle
periods for the CPU. Why is that important? Because the CPU can then enter lower
power states more often. Apple claims the method can reduce CPU activity as
much as 72% with little adverse effect noticeable to the user. Best of
all, the feature is enabled automatically, which means Mavericks users don’t have to do anything to
benefit from it.
App Nap is another Mavericks refinement aimed at reducing
power so that Mac business users obtain longer battery life. The system reduces
resources dedicated to apps that are placed in the background and not
performing other actions. Because email, Safari, and other apps constantly draw
resources, Apple claims the new technology can reduce energy use by 23%.
Thus, Mavericks is already designed to maximize energy use.
But particularly demanding road warriors can also leverage additional choices
to further extend a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air’s battery charge. Here are six more ways to maximize Mavericks battery life.
1. Consider an SSD
Solid-state disk drives, while more expensive, offer faster
performance. They also consume less energy. MacBook Airs ship with flash
storage drives. Many 13” MacBook Pros,
however, ship with 1 TB 5400 rpm drives, although solid-state drives are
available as an upgrade.
Skeptics should consider the numerous Internet reports that
confirm an SSD’s performance benefits. Lifehacker notes
an SSD drive boosted a 13” MacBook Pro’s performance by approximately 20% and almost halved startup. Laptop Magazine, meanwhile, measured SSD power consumption and found
“significantly more battery life.”
2. Disable Bluetooth
If you’re working on the road using a MacBook Air or MacBook
Pro, disable Bluetooth. Chances are you don’t need wireless connectivity to a
mouse, keyboard, or printer left back at the office anyway. Disable Bluetooth
simply by clicking the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and selecting Turn
3. Disable wireless networking
A Mac’s wireless radio also consumes considerable energy.
When an Internet connection and email access are
unnecessary, disable the laptop’s Wi-Fi radio to further extend battery life.
Disable Wi-Fi by clicking Apple’s wireless icon in the menu bar and selecting
Turn Wi-Fi Off.
4. Lower display brightness
Mobile users seeking to squeeze every last drop of
electricity from their Mac can lower the display brightness, too. Tapping the
F1 key incrementally lowers the display brightness and further extends a battery
5. Avoid using an optical drive
Some tips seem obvious, but occasionally they’re necessary to
point out truths. Listening to a CD or watching a DVD places quite a demand on
a laptop’s electrical resources. The optical drive motor alone consumes quite a
bit of energy, so avoid those practices when you need to extend a system’s
battery life, if possible.
6. Leverage Energy Saver
Apple also includes Energy Saver options within System
Preferences. Road warriors can specify explicit battery-saving preferences
within Energy Saver. Adjusting how quickly the computer and display sleep,
using the provided slider bars, can significantly extend the laptop’s battery
charge, particularly if there are many activity lulls. Other Energy Saver
options include choosing to put hard disks to sleep, when possible, and dimming
the display when running on the battery.
Do you have any other suggestions for maximizing the battery life in Mavericks OS X? Share your tips and tricks in the discussion thread below.