Apple recently unveiled its latest generation of m3 macbook pro models battery life featuring the new M3 chips. These new laptops boast the “longest battery life ever in a Mac,” according to Apple. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the battery specs and power efficiency of the M3 MacBook Pro models to understand why their battery life has improved so significantly.
The M3 chip is Apple’s latest generation of its in-house designed silicon for Macs. Built on an extremely power efficient 3nm process, the M3 delivers significant gains in performance and power efficiency over Apple’s previous M1 and M2 chips.
These improvements are clearly evidenced in the battery life of the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with M3. Apple is touting up to 22 hours of video playback and 15 hours of wireless web browsing on a single charge – a major jump up from previous Intel and M-series powered MacBook Pros.
In this article, we’ll break down the battery specs of the new M3 MacBook Pro models and explore why Apple has been able to achieve such dramatically improved battery life compared to previous generations.
Battery Specs of the M3 MacBook Pros
The increased battery life of the new M3 MacBook Pro models can be attributed in large part to incremental improvements in battery capacity combined with the outstanding power efficiency of the M3 chips.
Here are the battery specs across the new M3 MacBook Pro lineup:
- 14-inch MacBook Pro: 70-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
- 16-inch MacBook Pro (M3 Pro): 72.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
- 16-inch MacBook Pro (M3 Max): 72.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
This represents a slight bump up in battery capacity from the prior generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which had 70-watt-hour and 72-watt-hour batteries respectively.
While not a major increase in capacity, the extra 1-2 watt-hours provides a bit more juice. But the biggest factor in the extended battery life is undoubtedly the efficiency gains of the M3 silicon.
Power Efficiency of M3 Enables Battery Life Leap
The switch to Apple’s own custom silicon in Macs starting with the M1 chip in 2020 enabled huge leaps forward in battery life thanks to the excellent power efficiency of the Arm-based chips. The M3 takes this to a whole new level.
Built on TSMC’s cutting-edge 3nm manufacturing process, the M3 system-on-chip (SoC) has roughly 16 billion transistors, over 40% more than the M2 which uses TSMC’s 5nm process. Despite having significantly more transistors and higher performance, the M3 manages to be much more efficient than prior Apple silicon.
According to Apple, the M3 chips deliver over 20% improved power efficiency at the system level compared to M2. The advanced 3nm process enables the M3 to scale performance way up while keeping power draw under tight control.
This ability to balance high performance and lower power is the key to the sizable battery life gains of the M3 MacBook Pros. Even with the same or slightly larger battery capacities, the M3-powered laptops are able to last significantly longer on a charge thanks to not draining the battery as quickly during both intensive workloads and idle states.
Let’s compare the battery life improvements of the new M3 models over previous generation MacBook Pros:
- 14-inch: Up to 22 hours video playback with M3 vs. up to 17 hours video playback with M1 Pro – an improvement of 5 hours
- 16-inch (M3 Pro): Up to 22 hours video playback with M3 Pro vs. up to 21 hours video playback with M1 Pro – an improvement of 1 hour
- 16-inch (M3 Max): Up to 22 hours video playback with M3 Max vs. up to 14 hours video playback with M1 Max – an improvement of 8 hours
The efficiency gains are similarly dramatic when browsing the web wirelessly. Apple says the new M3 models last up to 15 hours browsing the web, while the prior models lasted around 11-12 hours under the same test conditions.
Real-World Battery Life Impressions
While Apple’s stated battery life estimates are impressive, do they hold up in real-world usage? Early hands-on reviews of the M3 MacBook Pros indicate the battery life improvements genuinely deliver in day-to-day usage.
Reviewers at popular tech sites like The Verge and Engadget have reported reliably getting through full 8+ hour workdays on a single charge with juice left to spare for the M3 models.
In his review of the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro, The Verge’s Monica Chin used the laptop as her primary work device for a workweek. She reports that the laptop lasted between 12-14 hours on a charge with her usual workflow consisting of web browsing, watching video, productivity apps, and some gaming in her downtime.
Other expert reviewers like Engadget’s Devindra Hardawar echoed similarly positive battery findings during their testing of the new MacBook Pros. Most reviewers agree that Apple’s claimed 18-22 hours of battery life is achievable under ideal conditions like video playback, while real-world usage nets 12-15 hours on a single charge – still a major upgrade from previous MacBook Pros.
The battery life capabilities of the M3 models appear more than adequate to reliability power through a full work or school day plus additional multimedia usage at night without having to hunt for an outlet.
The combination of slightly larger battery capacities and enormous power efficiency gains from the 3nm M3 chips has enabled Apple to deliver dramatically improved battery life in the latest MacBook Pro models.
Key takeaways include:
- New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M3 now offer up to 22 hours video playback and 15 hours web browsing per charge.
- Slightly larger 70Wh and 72.4Wh batteries provide small capacity increase over previous models.
- M3 chips built on 3nm process enable 20%+ better power efficiency over M2 for substantial battery life gains.
- Real-world usage nets 12-15 hours on a single charge for all-day work.
- M3 MacBook Pros now offer the longest battery life ever in a Mac laptop according to Apple.
The new M3 MacBook Pro models provide a big leap forward in untethered work time for users who need lengthy battery life from their pro laptop. The combination of outstanding performance and remarkable power efficiency make the M3 series the new benchmark for pro notebooks.