Several folks have asked for my thoughts on the heat issues and battery life of the MacBook. Here they are…
Yes, this puppy gets hot. The left side gets hot enough that I wouldn’t want it on my lap directly (I use several lap desks), and the heat is most intense when I’m running the processor up while plugged in.
The MacBook runs much cooler when running on battery, I assume because the processor steps down to conserve power. It is hotter than my PowerBook G4 when plugged in, but perhaps a little cooler when unplugged.
The heat isn’t really a problem for me – though it’s certainly something they could improve.
Battery life is good. I get a real 4.5 hours of usage, without bringing the screen brightness down too far.
Also nice, I can put it to sleep at night with 1:40 of battery left and when I wake it up the next morning it still hass 1:40 of battery left.
I think that pretty well covers it, feel free to ask questions in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.
How do you find the keyboard with extended use ? The spacing looks excessive but my casual use at the store seems to find it fine.
Do you notice the gloss on the screen all that much ? Again I’ve found it to be a very light gloss in comparison to my 700m.
Are you worried about the life span of your laptop considering the heat? If the outside is hot imagine what the inside must feel like…I’m pretty sure in time that will take a toll on the hardware inside.
Good writeup. I am thinking about getting one later on this summer, only thing is the keyboard im not sure of, and the heat issue kind of bothers me because I use my current ibook on my lap all the time..
Thank you for the follow-up on that topic. I am wondering if future versions of the Mac will do more to deal with the heat issue. And I am also concerned about the life of the hardware and to what degree the heat might be an influence.
Of course I have yet to see a laptop that didn’t run a little hot.
So you got a MacBook instead of a MacBook Pro? Any reason why? I was about to go to the Apple store this afternoon and pick up a pro but I am not really sure if it’s what I need.
[…] Answering your MacBook questions… […]
The heat scared me away, too. I love the machine, but I’ll be waiting for a revision. Comments from people who open them up are that the tiny heatsink does not make a good connection with the CPU, and that it’s too small for a “shared” heatsink. Interesting thing I heard was that Mac new about this issue, and decided to gob lots of thermal grease in there (wrongly) in a last-minute pre-production attempt to “better the connection” between the CPU and heat pipe. But adding far too much thermal grease only made it worse.
just wondering alex what your settings are regarding network sharing…
Everything is off except Apache, and I have none of the problems listed in that thread.
After 8 years not owning a Mac, I got the Macbook last Saturday, and I really do love it. But the heat issue seems universal, and even on my hungry Toshiba windows laptop I feel cooler than with the Macbook 🙁
I am trying to convince myself to keep it, but I think the heat is way too much, esspecially for a consumer product… I will probably take it back to the Apple Store and wait for the next best thing…
I read somewhere that the base gets hot because its the mac’s way of dispersing the heat OUT of the macbook rather than keeping inside. I bought a black macbook 1 week ago and use it my bedroom on my lap, it does get hot, but not too hot to put on my lap. It does makes sense that its apples way of keeping the heat outside than inside the macbook, or at least i hope.
i got a black macbook from FutureShop last weekend and returned it last night. at first i thought the overheating battery is a factory defect and those guys at futureshop gave me an open item while they added 1 GB memory i requested. and up until now i was thinking of getting the cheaper white macbook straight from the apple store. i guess it wont make much of a difference. should i go get a compac instead? hmm…
If you were going to spend the money to get a Mac, and are scared away by the heat, don’t go for Compaq, go Viao…it’s basically the closest thing to the PCs answer to the Mac. I like my compaq (in fact I’m using it to type this) but it gets pretty damn hot. and if I leave it sitting on for a while, not on my lap, when I pick it back up, it is actually painful to touch, particularly where the WiFi card and ram are.
I am intrigued that you are getting 4.5 hours from your machine. I have a brand new one and I am probably getting less than 2.5 hours using max battery life settings (but with bluetooth and Airport on. I can try turning bluetooth off but I doubt it will bring about a serious change. Is the time you have clocked based on using Airport? I would appreciate whatever tips you can pass.
As regards the heat — I don’t find it an issue. It’s running warm but not hot.
I have the WiFi on except when on airplanes. In my experience, the biggest 2 factors in battery life (besides the processor) are screen brightness and hard drive activity. I keep the screen at 40-60% brightness most of the time.
I had the same issue with the battery only lasting about 2.5 hours out of the box. I reinstalled OS X because my bluetooth was being buggy and all of a sudden I got 4 hours or more from the battery. That’s with BT and Airport on and the display at about 40% brightness. I guess from the factory they were set up for performance while unplugged. (Yes I changed these settings in the panel and still only got 2.5 hours before) It was pretty funny that things seemed to run faster with the machine unplugged. Now things are more what I would expect. Bottom line, if you only get 2.5 hours on the battery, break out the install disks.
my mac doesnt have a huge heat problem even while plugged in i just got it and im lovin it
Does the 85W Power adapter run a bit cooler than the 65W one when running under strain. I run World of Warcraft on my Macbook and that Power adapter needs to be kept cool!
When it run on ubuntu, only get 3 hours battery life.