Last Wednesday, my review of the M2 MacBook Pro went up. But when I got my hands on the device the previous Thursday, it became clear that draining the battery — one of the most important things a laptop reviewer needs to do — would be a thing.
Reader, I tried it. I would use the unit all night and leave it running all night, but in the morning it still has enough power that I have to plug it in for a test, give it up to shoot, or give it to our video and photography team Shoot before I’m completely exhausted. I don’t have a long enough outage to use the device consistently. That’s how long this laptop will last.
But with both written and video reviews in real-time, and a fulfilling evening and subsequent morning with no plans or obligations, last Thursday gave me my first truly uninterrupted free time since the review unit arrived. I decided that when I got home around 7:30pm and finished my dinner, it was time. I’m going to kill this thing. If this is the last thing I do, I’ll drain this stupid battery to zero.
Soon, some chores. First off, this isn’t the official battery life estimate that I’ll end up updating my review with. This will be based on multiple trials, hopefully many of which aren’t like what I’ve done here…weird. (That said, our battery life test is always a rough estimate, I never pretend it’s anything else. Never treat a review as your only data point, etc.)
Second, while I really want to kill this battery, I should stress that I always want my battery tests to reflect mine Personal workload – so while I can certainly do something drastic to drain the battery faster, I do take care not to artificially run anything ridiculous and stick to the programs and tasks I’d be doing in reality (though is a more intense real day, part).
Anyway, I did screw things up. I kept a little diary of this process, which I share here. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of the various things I’m doing on my device when it drains it, and see how quickly it might drain if you’re running a workload similar to mine. That said, this is my personal diary, so please don’t tell anyone.
8:00pm: I’m here for the night. I have about a dozen tabs open. My screen is at medium brightness and True Tone is off. I have Spotify running the “Chill Pop” playlist. The battery level is 100%. pull. bring it on.
8:20pm: Still 100%. I double checked to make sure the battery meter was working properly. It was getting dark, so I turned on the night light. Don’t judge me, I care about my eyes, you monsters.
8:25pm: The internet is boring. I pulled up a short story I’m writing, which is a Google Doc of about 20 pages. God, I love how fast this thing loads Google Docs. I have a dozen other tabs open.
8:30pm: My friends, we are still 100%. Considering having a character die in my short story, because if this laptop isn’t going to die, there must be someone. I decided against it.
9:00pm: We are 98%. The fear that this thing could last 50 hours gave me reasonable pressure. Like, my Garmin Venu told me to relax.
9:30pm: 95%. “I don’t think this thing will ever die, haha,” I’m a friend of iMessage. “Wow,” my friend replied. 9:30 p.m. is our moment of wisdom to shine.
9:45pm: 91%. The “Chill Pop” playlist is complete. I went on to say “hot today”. stay Started by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber. Yes. Popular today.
10:15pm: My story hit a wall, but I left Google Docs open in case inspiration strikes. I started running PugetBench for Premiere Pro just to get a feel for something. It’s a strange cure to have benchmarks take full control of my computer and try to figure out what ridiculous things it’s doing. Are the things in life really in our hands? Aren’t we all throwing blurry GPU effects in random Premiere shots at some point?
10:30pm: This is about when the Gigabyte Aero 16 is about to die. However, the MacBook is still very much alive. Anyway, I feel like I’m clearly not taxing this thing hard enough, so I’m looking around for something that might need an update. Some of my Adobe apps are out of date, so I turned off those downloads. I’ve always wanted to get familiar with After Effects, so I played around with it.
11:59 PM: 78%. Well, I still don’t understand how to do anything in After Effects, but at least I tried. I also passed “Today’s Hot”. The Creative Suite has finished updating, so I opened all the applications right away to see if it was slowing down the computer. of course not. I’m fiddling with some photos in Lightroom that I might (but probably never will) upload to Instagram, just like a person.
12:15pm: I made some Swift Playgrounds 4 because I couldn’t understand how cute these little animations are. I’m running a Rosetta Stone class with Swift Playgrounds 4 in the background. Listen, therapist, you can’t say I’m not working for myself. The screen is starting to feel too bright, but don’t worry: I’m going to kill my eyes for the blog.
12:26 AM: 73%. I have nothing to do. I’m watching old K-pop videos on YouTube. “What if we go to Lollapalooza?” I iMessage my friend. “We’re not going to Lollapalooza,” the friend replied.
12:47 AM: I’m back to short stories again. I’m tired so it’s a little weird. I started downloading more Adobe software because you might as well get bigger. I don’t know what a Bridge is, but I’m sure I can find a use for it.
2:13 AM: 63%. Call it a night. I left a YouTube video (“Fireplace 10 Hours Full HD”, one of my favorites, with a flawless vibe) and a “Chill Hits” Spotify playlist. please die, I thought about this device when I fell asleep with it on my head. Now it is in God’s hands.
8:15 am: I woke up because there was construction outside and it was a 4-D experience in New York City. The MacBook Pro remains strong at 36 percent. I fire up PugetBench to give it something to do, then go back to sleep (I rest in the morning).
10:26 AM: I woke up again, this time because I highlighted a mistake I made in yesterday’s draft submission. It’s just something I’m worried about. I took the draft out and read it through. No errors. Crisis resolved. Back to bed. Laptops are at 21% and all kinds of things are still running.
11:40 AM: The last time I woke up, it was the first thing I was bleary-eyed: red batteries. That dazzling red. Red, has almost done the battery-running laptop reviewer’s blood. Laptops are 9%. We are so close, everyone. so close.
11:42 AM: Time to kill this thing. I open slack. I’ve been blasting at Spotify. I open three different email tabs, a bunch of blog posts, a video, iMessage, Notes, Lightroom. I started downloading the game on Steam. I was doing a review on another computer and clicked on a whole bunch of other reviews included in the ad. dying soonI thought, looking at the red battery meter.
12:30 noon: Well, the last paragraph took a lot longer than I thought. But after 16 hours, 30 minutes, 39 seconds, the M2 MacBook Pro was done.It died while playing Tomorrow X Together can’t you see me Music video, right when they set the building on fire. There should be a metaphor there, but I’m too tired to find it.
Don’t worry – I’ll run it a few more times to get tighter results.