OK, just got off the phone with Apple support. I was told that the 7 hour battery life is for the i5 processors only (as the small print explains) and that if you get the i7, that it WILL be less than 7 hours. So after discusssing it with them, I have a return order for my i7 MBA and have a i5 on order and will be here in the next few day. For what I will be using the MBA for (surfing the web, storing and viewing photos from my DSLR while on vacation, some minor document creation), I will not notice the difference in speed and will be happier with the longer battery life.
Apple care was very helpful and understanding in helping me get in the machine that would make me happy. While I love everything about the MBA, having to lose the 7 hour battery life was a deal breaker for me and now I should be all set once the new one arrives and I get my data and software migrated over.
@jmac18: you got great battery life and were even doing more than the typical "light browsing" by using YouTube videos and > 50% screen brightness. That is what I am hoping I get with the new machine.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 22, 2011 7:52 PM (in response to msprygada)
I have a feeling the battery issues are more closely related to Lion rather than i7 vs. i5. It's true, the i7 processor will not have has high of a battery life as the i5, but it won't be something as drastic as a 2 hour difference. 30 minutes at max.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 22, 2011 10:37 PM (in response to msprygada)
Ive been using my i7 for two weeks and have both been on the phone with Apple and been to their Genius bar.
There is nothing more they will do other than run diagnostics or ask you to 'calibrate the battery', which to me is just sidestepping the issue. I'm getting a real world 4 hours of usage with this machine using the browser lightly, which is seriously dissappointing.
What if I want to use Garageband or Pages? Itunes? Is it going to drop down to 2 hours for this portable? Not good Apple!!!
Currently Being ModeratedAug 27, 2011 9:12 AM (in response to Onitsuka Tiger)
Option + click on the battery icon in the Menu bar to check on battery health. If the battery is normal, it's possible you are using more applications, or performing a CPU intensive task which could be draining the battery quickly.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 19, 2011 1:00 AM (in response to boobooboobooboo)
agree i'm in another country but very unsatisfied with my i7 mba so far in terms of battery life. 4.5 hrs with light browsing?
why bother making it so fast and small if you can't leave it off the charger for any lenght of time.
this is very unless apple's quality form the last 2 years.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 19, 2011 6:22 PM (in response to charlesfromnew haven)
I don't think it is useless per say.....the battery lasts as long as most any normal windows machine. My problem is we have a 2010 MBA and that machine can run 7 hours. So when they introduced the new 2011 MBA and the battery run time did not change, I thought cool, faster machine, same battery life. But it is just not the case. Even if they would have said 6 hours, that would have not make it look like they were trying to slip a fast one on us.
Even though I am getting 4 to 5 hours with the 2011 MBA, I am still happy, but dissappointed that Apple is resorting to this kind of stuff.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 20, 2012 10:43 AM (in response to Onitsuka Tiger)
I have the same problem with my new macbook air and I have with my 2008 macbook pro; apple batteries suck. Oh and my iphone and ipods. I'm convinced apple designs their batteries not to be used in the "real world". I cannot depend on any of my apple devices to be operational at a distance greater than 20 feet from an outlet.
I guess I was a sucker to purchase a new macbook air with the bait of 7 hours of battery life... silly me.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 21, 2012 1:46 PM (in response to msprygada)
ACTUALLY, the computer is supposed to take a nap during the test - otherwise it's not fair.
So after 3 hours, put it to sleep for 3 hours while continuing to count.
Everything else is FLASH PLAYER's fault.
Oh yeah, also don't forget to turn the monitor off. Otherwise it's not fair to try to call apple on their promised battery life.