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Magic Trackpad battery usage

29916 Views 37 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2014 2:26 AM by tryitonabreadboard RSS
  • Milliepuppy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 13, 2011 1:44 PM (in response to Reuben Feffer)
    no .. the batteries you have are fine .... basically there is something screwy with how the battery level is being reported .... i have apple rechargeables and they very quickly nose dive to 10% and then stay there for the best of of the next 6 weeks with everything working fine ... finally the level starts to come down and then they stop working around the 2% mark.

    ... hope this helps.
    MBP 15" Late '09, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2 (195 points)
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    Jan 14, 2011 3:39 AM (in response to Milliepuppy)
    Oh right. That helps. So I guess I should just keep using my Magic Trackpad until it no longer functions, regardless of what the battery level says.

    Today it says 10% which doesn't sound too good, but it's actually working fine.

    I'll send Apple some feedback. Hopefully they'll fix this soon via a Software Update.
    iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010), 3.2GHz, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPhone 3GS (16GB), Apple TV (2nd generation)
  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2 (195 points)
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    Jan 14, 2011 4:03 AM (in response to Milliepuppy)
    I just found this information on iLounge.com:

    "The metering is broken. I’ve done a very careful analysis of this, and here’s the behavior I’ve noticed. It takes only a few days - 3 to 4 - before my freshly charged batteries go from full to 15% or so. Then it takes SIX WEEKS for them to go dead. This happens quite consistently: 10% after Week 1 (and the warnings start), then 5 or 6 more weeks until the pad dies.

    The meter is just broken, period. Ignore it and you’ll get almost two months of continuous usage out of the pad from a freshly-charged set of batteries."
    iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010), 3.2GHz, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPhone 3GS (16GB), Apple TV (2nd generation)
  • musicwind95 Level 4 Level 4 (1,280 points)
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    Mar 8, 2011 5:35 PM (in response to chillvisio)
    Same issue here—after a month and a half of usage (got my around Jan 20), the Energizers that came with the Trackpad are completely depleted to the point where the device shut off (I just changed the batteries, five minutes ago). I am a moderately heavy user…but it still seems like a very steep drop rate. I've used BetterTouchTool for the first half of the batteries' life, but for the latter 50% the drop rate was just as much without BTT. Just my 2¢
    iMac 8,1 stock 2.66 GHz (4GB RAM)—OS 10.6.6 • iPod Touch 1,1—OS 3.1.3, D-link DIR-625 • Magic Trackpad • iLife 11 • iWork 09 • XCode 3.2.5 (64-bit)
  • Insane Robot Dog Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 30, 2011 8:46 AM (in response to chillvisio)
    I've had the same Magic Trackpad for a few months now but recently upgraded to the Early 2011 MacBook Pro. I believe only one of my 3 Magic Trackpads is effected but the one eats a pair of batteries a day no matter how heavy the usage. The one trackpad never tracks new batteries as having full charge and only uses them until it thinks their around 50% spent. Now, I'm not sure if this is an issue with heavier usage on the New MBP Early 2011, a hardware defect, somehow a corrupted firmware or what. After reviewing the thread I think I am exhibiting a very extreme case of what some others are experiencing. I guess it's time to go searching for the receipt to find out though.
    15" MacBook Pro Early 2011, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 2.3 GHz Sandybridge Core i7, 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM (Crucial), HiRes Matte Display
  • msterling Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 14, 2011 11:10 PM (in response to Insane Robot Dog)
    I reported the same problem to Apple support. They replaced my trackpad with a new one. At first the new one seemed to resolve the problem. But now I just had to replace the batteries with brand new Energizers and the battery level says 40%?
    Therefore, this is not a usage problem. I love the trackpad and will probably go buy a bulk pack of cheaper batteries if need be.
    Imac i3 Intel 2010, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • WaterCons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 10, 2011 6:53 AM (in response to chillvisio)

    I'll add another observation.  I've been trying CVS 2450 mah NiMH batteries using both the Apple charger and a Duracell charger.  When recharged the MT will not even turn on and be discovered.  Now, these may be "cheap" batteries and until I get a better charger with indicators I won't know for sure.   Also, when I used the new 1700 mah batteries that came with the Duracell charger the MT indivated 19%.

     

    I've seen the same things others have reported.  The "meter" in the MT is clearly not very accurate.

  • WaterCons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 10, 2011 7:05 AM (in response to WaterCons)

    OK, I removed the CVS batteries, reinstalled the 1700 mah Duracells that the MT orginally said were at 19% and now it says they're at 31%.

  • Krescendo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 17, 2012 10:41 AM (in response to chillvisio)

    Hi Everyone

     

    I think I 'fixed' it on my iMac I bought in the Summer of '11 with a trackpad and the Apple battery pack.  I kept getting the quickly depleting batteries even using "Mighty Monitor" until one day I opened my bluetooth prefs and noticed that the last "services update" for my keyboard and track pad were BEFORE I bought the computer.

     

    For both the keyboard and trackpad I selected "Update Services" and low and behold my batteries are now lasting A LOT longer.  What I saw before was my Apple NiMh batteries lasting only a few days and now my trackpad is going on 3 weeks since I did this.

     

    HTH

     

    Karl

  • Fishcake21 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 6, 2012 1:38 AM (in response to chillvisio)

    You guys are just spouting information from your own "disbelief" conclusions.  Allow me to explain something similiar.

     

    I use the track pad alot for the past few weeks ever since i bought it for my macbook pro to set it up as a desktop.  However one time I decided to go for a trip and I haven't used the track pad or the apple keyboard for a week.  All i did was shut off the bluetooth via the system menu on OSX.

     

    When i came back I notice something very wrong.

     

    Apple bluetooth keyboard was somewhere around 90 percent, while the track pad is dangerously low at 8 percent.

     

    After some research, it seems you have to make sure you turn off the trackpad and the apple keyboard off before disconnecting to prevent battery life drain, though the keyboard was still fine, the trackpad is so bull.

     

    Apple should've in a way make it so it will be completely disabled and turned off automatically rather than the end using having to hold the power button until its off.  Yeah i call it a user error mistake... but i can see how it can riled up a few individuals.

     

    Maybe next time I should just take the battery out so that way I can be 100 percent sure.

     

     

    I am also using stock batteries, rechargables are a joke because they don't carry enough charges.

     

     

    Peace be with you

  • HenryS Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
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    May 10, 2012 5:32 AM (in response to Krescendo)

     

    For both the keyboard and trackpad I selected "Update Services" and low and behold my batteries are now lasting A LOT longer.  What I saw before was my Apple NiMh batteries lasting only a few days and now my trackpad is going on 3 weeks since I did this.

     

    Thanks, Karl.

     

    Where is this "Update Services" of which you speak?? My metering also seems 'broken'. I do notice that with rechargables (Eneloop) I can get a really long time by turning the keyboard and trackpad off on my Mini when not in use (not removing the batteries, as that depletes the memory and you have to pair the keyboard and mouse again). My meter reads 17% (warning) on my keyboard and the alkaline batteries are at 1.259V.

     

    Rechargables do have a faster discharge than alkaline cells. Eventually, after numerous charge/discharge cycles, all recharables will no longer retain as good a life. The Eneloops have a better shelf life. The cost savings are significant, though, over time in this kind of use. I get about 8-12 weeks in intermittent use, turning the keyboard and mouse off when storing the set (I have both bluetooth devices).

     

    Also discovered a new device from Logitech (not requiring internal Bluetooth), model #K750, a Mac-specific, white, thin keyboard that is totally light powered! It comes with a USB dongle (receiver). The dongle can be expanded to support some Logitech mice as well (e.g., use only one hub port).

     

    I replaced my old Logitech keyboard (ended up with a new dongle fro free and later sold it off) I had with this one. Now use the Solar keyboard as my primary keyboard on the MacPro. It charges fully with the desk lamp (flourescent) that points onto it. There is nifty charge metering app that comes with it (that actually works!). Similar look and feel to the Apple Bluetooth keyboard's keys and hieght, but without the power issues of any kind. Just an FYI. I have NO STAKE in this product!

     

    H

     

    Message was edited by: HenryS

  • HenryS Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
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    May 10, 2012 8:31 AM (in response to HenryS)

    FWIW, as a point of info, my Sanyo Eneloop battery fully charged (a 6mo old battery that runs fine) is ~1.432V, whereas a full, fresh Alkaline is ~ 1.53V (measured on the same meter). That's a 7% difference starting out... (0.1/1.5 =0.07)

  • Krescendo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 11, 2012 7:43 AM (in response to HenryS)

    Hi Henry

     

    Open the bluetooth prefpane and select your trackpad in the device list.

     

    In the right hand column it shows fields for the last inquiry update and the last services update.  For my trackpad they were ancient. 

     

    It updated after I went to the gear menu under the device list and selected "update services".

     

    I'm running 10.7.3 FWIW

     

    K

  • letters Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 28, 2012 11:34 PM (in response to Krescendo)

    Thanks Krescendo.

    I was confused at first but finally saw that I had to click and drag the right hand part of the table in order to see the fields that display the last services update. I just updated both my wireless keyboard and trackpad, hopefully this improves the battery life.

  • HenryS Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 18, 2012 6:04 AM (in response to Krescendo)

    This works a little differently in OS X 10.8.2, Mountain Lion. The Services Update (latest I think) takes a bit of time to update and the versioning doesn't change. The date does however. So I guess it's a good idea to do so every once in a while. I last did it in 2010!

     

    Bottom line? My battery life is not stellar, but I use rechargeable cells (Sanyo Eneloop). Getting about two weeks of constant use between charges. Could not afford to keep this running with disposable cells even with the better life (50-70% better reported life?). When I tested with disposables it was close to a month.

     

    The condition of the cells does make a difference as to the length of service. I suppose matched cells makes a difference, too. Try to rotate the cells regularly. Have a pool of these batteries – sets from my flashes (the flash has much higher demand). I wish there were a way to test current delivery capability of these cells, as that does degrade over time. Probably have some old, weak cells in the mix.

     

    Rechargeables is the way to go. Apple's Keyboard has lower demand and MUCH better life (months!). The Logitech solution is best ("solar" recharge, which works in room/desk light).

     

    H

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