The new MacBook Pro models are just too good to resist, with the new Intel core i7 line of processors, brand new AMD Radeon graphics card, up to 750 GB of hard drive space, a new Thunderbolt port and stunning overall design. Just like a car, even a notebook computer needs regular maintenance. If you are a new owner of a MacBook Pro, one maintenance task that you shouldn't ignore is 'Battery Calibration'. Being the power source of your MacBook, it's essential that you see to it that the battery is performing at its maximum efficiency.
About MacBook Pro Battery
The MacBook Pro has a newly designed 95 watt hour Lithium polymer battery. According to the Apple website, the battery can power 7 hours of wireless Internet browsing at a stretch, after a full recharge. Due to adaptive charging and improved internal design these batteries can last for more than 1000 discharge and recharge cycles. Apple advertises its MacBook batteries to last thrice as long as average notebook batteries. A large factor which affects the total life span of a battery is of course its usage.
The battery needs to be used frequently to maintain its efficiency. That's what battery calibration is all about. If you prefer using your notebook with power cord plugged in all the time, it is not going to do much good to the battery. Like a shoe needs to be worn to fit properly, a notebook battery must be used regularly to stay efficient.
Battery calibration is no esoteric ritual. It's a very simple procedure which you must carry out at least once a month. Here is the procedure for calibrating MacBook Pro battery. It is also applicable to PowerBook G4 and MacBook models.
Step 1: Charge Battery to Full Capacity
Using the 85W MagSafe power adapter, start charging the MacBook battery. Depending on the existing battery power level, this may take some time. Keep charging until the battery power level indicator displays full capacity. Another indicator signal of the battery being fully charged, is the LED on the adapter plug turning green.
Step 2: Use the Battery in Fully Charged State
Once it's fully charged, don't remove the adapter immediately. For calibration, battery needs to stay in this charged condition for a considerable amount of time. For two hours, let the battery stay plugged in after full recharge. Meanwhile, you may continue working on it.
Step 3: Disconnect Power Plug & Continue Usage
After the stipulated two hours are over remove the power plug. Once you disconnect it, your MacBook Pro will start using its battery. Continue working on battery power.
Step 4: Let Battery Discharge Completely
After some hours, as you continue working, the battery power will eventually drain out and you will get a 'Low Power' indication. At this point save your work documents and continue usage.
Step 5: Switch Off Your MacBook For a Few Hours
At some point, the battery will exhaust its reserve power and automatically go into sleep mode. You can either let it stay that way until it switches off on its own or switch it off on your own.
Step 6: Recharge Again Till Full Capacity
Now that the battery has gone through a whole recharge and discharge cycle, you may reconnect the adapter and charge the battery back to full capacity. With that, the battery calibration is done!
With regular calibration, you are bound to see performance improvement of the battery as it goes through a full discharging and charging cycle. Avoid using your MacBook with power plug connection all the time and use it on battery power once in a while.