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What kind of batteries are used in the new Macbook Pro? Should the battery be periodically fully discharged? What are the best practices for this battery?

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4 Answers 4

In general, Apple's battery site will have the full best practices on how to properly treat and care for your batteries. In the case of all their newest devices, following good practice on the batteries is especially important as they are not generally considered user-serviceable anymore. (Whether or not we agree with that practice is moot; Apple locked the batteries inside the cases no matter how you slice it.)

In general, this paragraph (from Apple's site) probably sums it up nicely:

For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her MacBook Pro on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing. If on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work, and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month.

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What are the best practices for this battery?

The answer to this and many other questions can be found at the Battery University.

Battery University is an on-line resource that provides practical battery knowledge for engineers, educators, students and battery users alike.

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Lithium batteries like to periodically charge and discharge. It's best to keep them between 50 and 80 percent. Battery life will start decreasing if you're constantly running on 20% power.

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Really, a laptop is a consumer device and should not require a certain usage. While it is true that battery life can be extended by using it in a special manner, normal usage is usually fine. Every Macbook I know has only something like 5% of lost battery life in its first two years of usage.
The only thing that is not recommended is to have it plugged in all the time for several months. However, if you actually do this, you don't seem to need the battery anyway, so there is no need worrying about it. And even if you did this, you can "revive" the battery by purposefully charging and recharging it a few times.

All in all, nothing to worry about, really.

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