On 10.7.0 and 10.7.1, battery life was disappointing. Even sleeping, my MBP lost at least 5-10% of battery strength a day. Even hybernating, 3% a day. Nothing close to the SL days, when it was 1% a day.
I updated to 10.7.2 last night. The Apple literature doesn't mention any changes to power flow or battery life. But I did notice an incremental improvement of battery life. I'll need a longer trial period before I can give full results.
10.7.2 - Reset the PRAM and as soon as it came back on it predicted 9:50 with 95% battery life. (This was with nothing running)
Then opened Safari and Mail and it jumped down to 4:35. Typing this with Mail still open it's predicting me 6:38 (gone back up? :S) which is very respectable. I did try a PRAM reset with 10.7.1 but it made no difference. So i'm not sure how to react to this.
It's just jumped down to 3:18.
13" Macbook Pro, 250GB, 8GB RAM (Late 2010 Model)
For those still experiencing this problem, run Activity Monitor and Console and look for processes using high levels of CPU (Activity Monitor) or that are generating a large number of error messages (Console).
Also, look in System Preferences>Users and Groups>Login Items.
You may well find something that is causing the problem.
It is well documented that apps that trigger the discrete graphics card will cause rapid battery depletion (Apple does need to address this...)
Error messages you see in Console are almost certainly the result of 3rd party apps that have not been properly updated to run in the Lion environment. Failed processes keep repeating and also cause battery depletion.
As a benchmark / QA veteran, I can assure you, my 4 year experience with MAC's and LION is little differnent, the battery indicator in the top RIght is a pretty accurate indicator of how long you battery is going to last, doing the same or similar things.
Sure it can go up and down like a yoyo - when totally idle it can go up a lot or if you launch an app, play games, play a movie, it can leap down a lot BUT, it's a constant once YOU are fairly constant.
OK, on to the problem. I completed DRAINED the machine last night and recharged it fully overnight. The initial recharge time was indicated to be 1hr 20 mins which I was sure not believing. It took about 3 hrs in the end though I thing. The guy in the Apple store noticed this abnolmoaly too and couldn't explain it from the rechard perspective.
The GOOD news is, that as I am typing this, and for the last 20 mins, it has been showing 8 HOURS free. That is a FIRST. The same apps are running as when it showed 4hrs yesterday after a full charge (I am a constant).
So it's possible, the battery is relearning as we go forward again over the last few weeks debacle. I just launcehd anothe web page in Safari whilst typing this and it went to 6.45 but I've switched tabs to type this and t's 8 hours again. This is good. This is a first. Fingers crossed.
"apps that trigger the discrete graphics card will cause rapid battery depletion (Apple does need to address this...)"
Hence my question about people using the Google Talk video plugin. This was causing temperatures of 93C and 170% CPU usage. The process was npgtpo3dautoplugin.
Since I don't use Google Talk, I uninstalled it from HD/Library/Applications Support/Google, using their uninstaller, and the problem disappeared...
Maybe Google have an update, I have not checked.
A couple things. 1) my MacBook pro doesn't have a discrete video card and I still got poor battery life. This isn't to say that discrete card usage won't ham batt life, but it isn't the only cause.
2) I turned off the Time Machine "Back up while on battery power" and installed the new flash player. Since then I've seen much better life. I'm not sure how much because I didn't think it would matter - I'd given up on actually fixing it. But I made it through this past weekend without charging. That's a first.
C) I've never bothered with the estimated time left on the battery indicator. It seemed to be about as accurate as the download time remaining in Windows when running over a 56K modem. Whatever.
Bingo, I have identified the problem and can reproduce at WILL. Finally, thanks to 10.7.2 creating some consistency.
After the 10.7.2. update yesterday, a full battery drain and recharge I started this morning showing 8 hours. 1 hour and 45 into my day and I am showing 6 hors and 10 mins left.
However, I can actually make the battery go down by 3-4 hours just by launching one of these 2 applications (I am sure there are more, but these two, if I start 1 of them, battery goes down a LOT, even if I just leave them running in background, doing absolutely nothing, the battery stays on the low number. The CPU usage is neglible at all times so it's not CPU specific. it's just these 2 apps I've found so far. Every time, I can repeat this problem.
My normal setup this morning that got me 8 hours was Adium, Safari, MAC MAIL (to exchange and Google) and Mac Cal. WIFI was on as well. It's gone down consistently over the last nearly 2 hours with over 6 hours left. Perfect. I am happy with 8 hours. I was getting no more than 4 for the last 8 weeks.
However, if I start SKYPE. and leave it for 3 or 4 mins, my battery is down to 4 hours. I don't even have to use SKYPE, just have it launch and BAM, battery life depleted. Same goes for VMWARE. I don't even launch a VM, just start VMWARE manager with all sessions staying suspended and BAM another hour or two gone. In fact, it would stay on 50% of what it was before launching, every time I start these apps. With 10.7.2 though, shutting these programs down and within a minute, the machine stablises back to normal great battery life and like right now, I'm showing 6 hours and 10 mins after 2 hours working non stop. At all times, CPU rarely goes above 10% as I am on a fast beast and these apps are NOT eating CPU anyway.
So, APPLE. Come to ME. I can reproduce at WILL now. 10.7.2 has enabled enough consistency for me to repeat the problem we are all seeing.
I had 8 weeks since having this new machine of NEVER getting consistently above 4 hours real use (which matched the indicator always by the way). Now, I'm getting 8 hours and I know the bug lies with how these 2 apps (There are many more apps I'm sure but I can repeat - and the version of VMWARE I have was updated 2 weeks ago to support LION features).....
Today, after leaving my Mac asleep over night, I seem to be getting about 4.5 hours (with time estimates along with seeing how long it takes for the battery to reach about 75%). This is just with some basic web browsing and non-CPU-intensive apps.
I wonder what Apple will do next time I visit the Genius bar, seeing as I've already tried 2 clean installs (once with Lion and once with Snow Leopard) and this recent update, both to no avail. My battery, according to their diagnostic, seems to be in very good shape (97% of max capacity).
Time will tell.
Here's a cool test. Battery life at 5hrs 40 mins after 2 hours usage this morning. Safari, Adium, Mac Mail and Mac Cal open (and activity Monitor).
Start Skype. Minimize Skype. Battery drops down to 3hrs 10mins and stays there, pretty consistent. Quit Skype. Start typing this and battery life is, within a minute, back up to 5hrs and 38 mins.
Start FaceTime. Leave showing my ugly face on screen for about a minute. Battery drops to 3hrs and 37 mins. Minimize Face Time. Wait a minute.... Battery coming back. 4hrs 53... and then finally settles back to 5 hrs and 20 mins. Quit Face time and back up to 5 hrs and 35 mins.
Bingo... yet again another clear reproducible problem. For the past 8 weeks, I have probably left stuff running in the background after starting it. After all, it's a MAC not a PC..