M1 chip brings huge battery life improvements to MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

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 AirIntel MacBook Air
Wireless web browsing15 hours11 hours
Video18 hours of Apple TV movie playback12 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 ProIntel MacBook Pro
Wireless web browsing17 hours10 hours
Video20 hours of Apple TV movie playback10 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!

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