Apple’s new M1 chip brings massive battery life improvements to its new 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. The improvements in Air go from 12 hours to 18 hours, while in the Pro model, the battery life has doubled from 10 hours to an incredible 20 hours. Here are more details on how Apple got to these numbers and what battery life you can expect from various types of usage.
M1 chip battery life improvements for Macs
Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are powered by Apple’s new M1 chip, which features 8 high-performance and 8 high-efficiency cores. They work together to ensure that the right cores are assigned to the right type of task, which results in the maximum battery life. Lightweight tasks like note editing are handled by the high-efficiency cores, while video editing will invoke the high-performance cores. Compared to its Intel predecessors, this architecture yields massive improvements when it comes to battery life.
M1 MacBook Air battery life
For the M1 MacBook Air, the battery life improvements are as following:
|M1 MacBook Air||Intel MacBook Air|
|Wireless web browsing||15 hours||11 hours|
|Video||18 hours of Apple TV movie playback||12 hours of Apple TV movie playback|
M1 MacBook Pro battery life
In the new M1 MacBook Pro, battery life improvements make it the longest lasting MacBook that Apple has every made.
|M1 MacBook Pro||Intel MacBook Pro|
|Wireless web browsing||17 hours||10 hours|
|Video||20 hours of Apple TV movie playback||10 hours of Apple TV movie playback|
Apple tested the battery benchmarks for its M1 Macs using the following settings:
- Wireless web browsing battery performance is measured by browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 75%.
- Apple TV movie playback is tested by playing HD 1080p content with 75% display brightness.
This means that if you are simply doing offline document editing work, you could potentially squeeze more battery life from the new M1 Macs. You will not be reaching for a charger during a long flight.
An important thing to note is that MacBook Air does not feature active cooling, i.e. it does not have a fan for cooling. This could potentially reduce its battery life under heavy workloads due to thermal throttling. Whereas the MacBook Pro has a fan for active cooling, so while it could get loud under heavy workload, it will not heat up as much when you open too many websites in Google Chrome.
Which M1 Mac will you get? Let us know in the comments below!
- New M1 Macs support Wi-Fi 6, USB 4, and 6K video output
- M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air still ship with a 720p webcam in 2020
- PSA: M1 Macs do not work with eGPUs
- Apple still sells Intel-based MacBook Pro and Mac mini alongside the new M1 Macs