Battery Blues


What’s going on with my battery these days?

I have a 2008 aluminum unibody Macbook, now almost three years old, and my battery life just doesn’t seem to be as robust as it used to be.

I’m a regular — though not intense — road-user of my Macbook. I often spend my mornings out at coffee shops in order to write after dropping off Vivian and before picking up Nora. It lasts long enough to serve there before I come home to plug it in, but on recent occasions where I’ve had to use this laptop unplugged for longer, I’ve noticed that I rarely get more than two-and-a-half hours out of a full charge. This was especially problematic when I was down in Burlington, working with my real-estate broker client on a long afternoon meeting, and realizing that I had forgotten to bring my power cord.

But here’s the thing: the battery’s fresh. I know it’s fresh: I just replaced it. When my previous Macbook battery started to lose charge after around 350 cycles, Apple was kind enough to replace the battery under warranty. According to the freeware utility Coconut Battery, my replacement battery is healthy. And yet I seem to be burning through my charges at a faster rate.

Of course, when I first got this aluminum Macbook, Apple was three years younger. I was still using OsX Leopard. I’ve since upgraded to Lion. The CPU isn’t running particularly hot, but it is running. Is it the upgrade in the operating system that is causing the additional power drain?

Your theories are welcome.

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