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Before reading, it is worthy to continue that all notebooks discussed in this Q&A are no longer available. But, we have updated this article to become a credible and useful source for anybody who plans to buy or sell one of these lines from the used market of Apple.


Apple conducted a test and it has discovered that the “Mid 2012” and “Early 2013” 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro versions with the identification number A1398 give at least seven hours of runtime during the “wireless web” use testing.


Furthermore, the company estimated that the same seven hours of the runtime was also available on the “regular” Mid-2012 MacBook Pro models which were also the case with the Late 2012 MacBook Pro lines that were available before the earlier.


The Retina Display MacBook Pro versions have the same glued and integrated 95-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery. Consequently, the “regular” Mid-2012 13-Inch and 15-Inch MacBook Pro lines include an integrated and not glued 63.5 to 77.5-watt-hour battery.

Mid-2012 13-Inch and 15-Inch MacBook Pro lines (Credit:

Official Battery Life Testing

Apple explained in a fine print the battery life estimates of the 2.6 GHz model, preproduction version updated on January 2013 with the 2.7 GHz line. The Apple maker accurately discussed that they measured the battery life of the mentioned models by wirelessly browsing 25 well-known websites setting their brightness display to 50%. Although, they disclaimed that this differs depending on the purpose and configuration.


The official battery life of the models is reasonable enough, most especially the Mid 2012 MacBook Pro models. Generally, it has been like that for recent years. Despite that, it will still be more objective to conduct tests from third-parties to ensure reports without subjectivity.


Third-Party Battery Life Test Results

There various independent testing methodologies and they can provide a solid overview of the battery life performance of myriad Mac models, most especially when utilized in certain scenarios.


LaptopMag facilitated a simple test. It set the model to 40 percent brightness while web browsing continuously. It found out that the Retina Display MacBook Pro lasts a whopping 8 hours and 2 minutes. This runtime is already longer than Apple’s official statement which is 7. Even the non-Retina MacBook Pro from the year 2011 stays on for 8 hours and 23 minutes. However, the notebook did not show that much power as the rest, for the average runtime of this thin-and-light unit is only six hours and 18 minutes.


MaclLife published a report too, for a more varied trial. For their first battery test, they managed to install software, download updates, and check emails and Twitter for five hours. Besides this, they also pounded heavily on the machine the moment they started using it. There were instances when their screen went to sleep while downloading, but other than that, they were able to maximize the computer consistently.


The second time, they looped a DVCPro HD QuickTime file with the QuickTime Player X open until 8 am. However, the MacBook Pro snoozed forcibly at around 12:46 pm. This resulted in four hours and 46 minutes of constant use while the screen was still open the entire time.


Lastly, AnandTech conducted its own testing too, in three different scenarios from which they concluded that firing up the dedicaged GPU with even the lightest workload will cut the performance hour of the computer to 5.5. Furthermore, moderate usage will suddenly drop the battery life to five, and once you maximize the dedicated GPU, it will decrease to 3.5. Heavy users who love to multitask will be two hours behind even after a single charge. Just take note that these numbers are at 100 nits, and navigate in the 2880 x 1800 panel when they are in full brightness.


There is a big possibility for most users to enjoy at least five hours of battery life too compared to those that only have four. You can achieve this upon setting the machine to minimum brightness while typing a very long document. This will allow you to use the computer for almost 7 hours, at an estimate.  For professionals who have to edit videos and photos, they would have to prepare themselves for they may no longer reach the maximum of the battery, while writers will be very much pleased with the performance of this unit.


Battery Life Summary

It is safe to say that the estimation of Apple when it comes to the battery life of its Retina Display MacBook Pro models are just realistic and sound. They can be expected in terms of “real-world” light use. But, there is a possibility to exceed the official numbers released by the company when you do not perform arduous tasks. With this, we can conclude that battery life changes depending on the use of the computer.

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