Skip to main content

My journey to drain the M2 MacBook Pro’s battery

The top left corner of the Apple MacBook Pro 2022 keyboar deck on a lavendar background.
It took a while.

My review of the M2 MacBook Pro went up last Wednesday. But as soon as I got my hands on the device on the prior Thursday, it was clear that running down the battery — one of the most important things a laptop reviewer needs to do — was going to be a Whole Thing.

Reader, I tried. I would use the device all evening and leave it running all night, but it would still have plenty of charge left in the morning, and I’d have to plug it in for testing, abandon it to film, or give it to our video and photo teams for shooting before I could fully drain it down. I did not have a long enough interrupted span of time to continuously use the device. That’s how absurdly long this laptop lasts.

But, with the written review and the video review both live, and a solid evening and subsequent morning with no plans or obligations, last Thursday gave me my first real uninterrupted free time since the review unit had arrived. I decided, when I got home and finished dinner around 7:30PM, that it was time. I was going to kill this thing. I was going to drain this stupid battery down to zero if it was the last thing I did.

Quickly, some housekeeping. First, this is not the official battery life estimate with which I will ultimately be updating the review. That will be based on multiple trials, and hopefully many that are not as... weird as what I did here. (That said, our battery life test is always a ballpark estimate, and I’ve never pretended it’s anything else. Never treat one review as your only data point, etc. etc.)

The Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 seen from above on a lavender background. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
The MacBook Pro M2, just sitting there, taunting me that I won’t be able to kill its battery in a reasonable amount of time.

Second, while I did really want to kill this battery, I should emphasize that I always want my battery tests to reflect my personal workload — so while there are certainly intense things I could’ve done to kill the battery more quickly, I did take care here not to artificially run anything ridiculous and to stick with programs and tasks that I would actually do on a real day (albeit a more intense real day, in parts).

Anyway, I did run the thing down. And I kept a little diary of the process, which I’m sharing here. This, I hope, will give you some idea of the various things I did on the device as I drained it, and some insight into how fast it might drain if you’re running a workload similar to mine. That said, it is my personal and private diary, so please don’t tell anyone about it.

8:00PM: I am in for the night. I’ve got around a dozen tabs open. I’ve got the screen at medium brightness, with True Tone off. I’ve got Spotify running the “Chill Pop” playlist. The battery is at 100 percent. Unplug. Let’s roll.

8:20PM: Still at 100 percent. I double check to make sure the battery meter is working. It’s getting dark out, so I turn on night light. Don’t judge me, I care about my eyes, you monsters.

8:25PM: The internet is boring. I pull up a short story I’m working on, which is a Google Doc that’s around 20 pages. God, I love how fast this thing loads Google Docs. I’ve still got around a dozen other tabs open.

8:30PM: My friends, we are still at 100 percent. Considering having a character die in my short story, because if this laptop won’t die, somebody’s gotta. I decide against it.

9:00PM: We are at 98 percent. The fear that this thing could last 50 hours is giving me legitimate stress. Like, my Garmin Venu is telling me to chillax.

A screenshot of the battery meter on the MacBook Pro showing 100%.
Challenge accepted.

9:30PM: 95 percent. “I don’t think this thing is ever going to die lol,” I iMessage a friend. “Lol wow,” my friend replies. 9:30PM is our intellectual time to shine.

9:45PM: 91 percent. The “Chill Pop” playlist has run its course. I move on to “Today’s Hits”. Stay by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber begins playing. Ah, yes. Today’s’ hits.

10:15PM: Hitting a wall with my story, but I leave the Google Doc open in case inspiration strikes. I start running PugetBench for Premiere Pro just to feel something. It’s oddly therapeutic to give the benchmark full control of my computer and try to figure out what ridiculous things it’s doing. Is anything in life really in our hands? Are we not all obscure GPU effects being thrown at random Premiere footage, in a way?

10:30PM: This is around when the Gigabyte Aero 16 would be dying. The MacBook, though, is still very much alive. Anyway, I feel like I’m clearly not taxing this thing hard enough, so I look around for things that might need to be updated. Some of my Adobe apps are out of date, so I set those downloads off. I’ve been wanting to familiarize myself with After Effects, so I play around with that for a bit.

11:59PM: 78 percent. Well, I still don’t understand how to do anything in After Effects, but at least I tried. I’ve also gotten through “Today’s Hits”. Creative Suite is done updating, so I open all the apps I have at once just to see if it will slow the computer down. It doesn’t, of course. I mess around in Lightroom with some photos that I might (but probably will not ever) upload to Instagram, as one does.

A screenshot of a Today’s Top Hits Spotify playlist.
A true musical journey.

12:15PM: I do some Swift Playgrounds 4 because I can’t get over how cute the little animations are. I do a Rosetta Stone lesson with Swift Playgrounds 4 running in the background. Look, therapist, you can’t say I’m not working on myself. The screen is starting to feel way too bright, but don’t worry: I will kill my eyes for the sake of the blogs.

12:26AM: 73 percent. I’ve run out of things to do. I am watching old K-pop videos on YouTube. “What if we went to Lollapalooza?” I iMessage a friend. “We are not going to Lollapalooza,” the friend responds.

12:47AM: I’ve wandered back to the short story. I’m very tired, so it’s getting a bit weird. I start downloading some more Adobe software, because you might as well go big. I have no idea what Bridge is, but I’m sure I can find a use for it.

2:13AM: 63 percent. Calling it a night. I leave a YouTube video (“Fireplace 10 Hours Full HD”, one of my favorites, the vibes are immaculate) running as well as the “Chill Hits” Spotify playlist. Please die, I think at the device, as I fall asleep with it beside my head. It’s in God’s hands now.

8:15AM: I wake up because construction is going on outside, which is the New York City 4-D experience. The MacBook Pro is still going strong at 36 percent. I start PugetBench to give it something to do and go back to sleep (I have the morning off).

10:26AM: I wake up again, this time because I’m stressed that I made a mistake in a draft I filed yesterday. This is just a thing I worry about. I pull up the draft and read through it. No mistake. Crisis averted. Back to bed. Laptop at 21 percent, various things still running.

11:40AM: I wake up for the final time, and it’s the first thing my bleary eyes see: The red battery. That glorious, glorious red. Red, the blood of laptop reviewers who have almost, almost completed their battery run. The laptop is at 9 percent. We are so close, everyone. So close.

11:42AM: Time to kill this thing dead. I open Slack. I keep Spotify blasting. I open three different email tabs, a bunch of blog posts, a video, iMessage, Sticky Notes, Lightroom. I start downloading a game on Steam. I work on my review of another computer, clicking around a whole bunch of other reviews that are covered in ads. It’s going to die any minute now, I think, with an eye on the red battery meter.

12:30PM: Well, the final stretch takes a lot longer than I thought it would. But after 16 hours, 30 minutes, and 39 seconds, the M2 MacBook Pro is done for. It died in the middle of playing Tomorrow X Together’s Can’t You See Me music video, right as they’re setting a building on fire. There should be a metaphor in there somewhere, but I’m too tired to find it.

Don’t worry — I’ll run it down a few more times to get you a more rigorous result.

Source: The Verge

Popular posts from this blog

Apple Releases First Public Beta of tvOS 17

Apple today seeded the first beta of the upcoming tvOS 17 update to its public beta testing group, allowing the general public to download and test the update ahead of its September launch. Public beta testers can download the tvOS 17 beta by opening up the Settings app on Apple TV , choosing the Software Updates section under System, and then toggling on the Get Public Beta Updates option. Signing up on Apple's public beta website is also required. tvOS 17 adds FaceTime to the ‌Apple TV‌, with an iPhone or iPad serving as the camera. The ‌FaceTime‌ interface shows up on the bigger display of the TV, and Center Stage keeps you front and center as you move around the room. There's even a Split View option so you can use ‌FaceTime‌ while watching TV or playing a game on the other part of the screen. There's a revamped Control Center that makes it quicker to get to key settings and information without needing to go into the Settings app, plus it supports useful sho

Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.4.1 With Security Fixes

Apple today released macOS Ventura 13.4, a minor update for the ‌macOS Ventura‌ operating system that was released last October. ‌macOS Ventura‌ 13.4.1 comes more than a month after the launch of macOS Ventura 13.4 . The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Ventura‌‌‌‌‌ 13.4.1 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Settings. According to Apple's release notes, the update provides important security fixes and is recommended for all users. Apple has also released macOS 11.7.8 and macOS 12.6.7 security updates for those who are unable to run Ventura. Related Roundup: macOS Ventura Related Forum: macOS Ventura This article, " Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.4.1 With Security Fixes " first appeared on Discuss this article in our forums Source: TechRadar

Apple Says 128GB iPhone 15 Pro Limited to 1080p ProRes Video Recording Unless External Storage Connected

ProRes video recording remains limited to 1080p quality at 30 frames per second on the 128GB model of the iPhone 15 Pro, unless the device is recording directly to a connected external storage drive , according to Apple. On the 256GB and higher iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, ProRes video recording is supported in up to 4K quality at 60 frames per second to both internal storage and external storage. Apple does not mention this information on the iPhone 15 Pro's tech specs page on its website, but the limitation is listed when comparing the iPhone 15 Pro to another iPhone model in the Apple Store app, as seen in the screenshot below. The same limitation applied to iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro models with 128GB of storage, but those devices cannot record ProRes video to external storage, so at least iPhone 15 Pro users have that option this time around. The limitation does not apply to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, as that model starts with 256GB of storage. ProRes video fi

Relay FM Launches Fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and in recognition of this important cause, well-known podcast network Relay FM has launched its annual fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , located in Memphis, Tennessee. Since 2019, the Relay FM community has raised over $2.2 million for the hospital. St. Jude's mission statement: The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay. Relay FM has multiple Apple-related podcasts, such as Connected , hosted by Stephen Hackett, Myke Hurley, and Federico Viticci. Hackett's son received treatment at St. Jude as an infant, so this initiative is near and dear to him . Donations can be made on the Relay FM for St. Jude website , with rewards such as Relay