MacBook Air Battery Gauge

Working on the new 2013 MacBook Air, I noticed that the battery gauge in the menu bar had slid into red. Typically that means a scramble to find the power adapter, but then I clicked the button:


17% battery still left—with an estimated 3 hours 23 minutes of battery charge. (That’s with screen brightness set at about 50%, an adjustment I made without thinking about it when the battery level first dipped into red.)


Apple will need to adjust its algorithm for calculating the red zone for laptops running Intel’s Haswell processors. And I wonder how that will change under the upcoming OS X Mavericks, which incorporates numerous other battery-saving technologies. (See Marco Tabini’s article “Four ways OS X Mavericks will save your MacBook’s battery” at

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  1. I’ve got a retina MBP, and have found the same thing: red doesn’t mean “plug in now” but rather “you should plug in sometime in the next couple of hours”. I’m finding that I’m running my rMBP all the way down until I get the “plug me in NOW” warning much more frequently than I have on previous MBPs/MBs.


  2. […] MacBook Air battery observation the other night was in service of writing my latest Seattle Times column: New MacBook Air’s […]


  3. […] Carlson wrote a post about the battery gauge of his spiffy new MacBook Air.  The newest generation of MacBooks have amazing battery life.  There’s a strange downside […]


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