Skip to main content

Intel slams Apple over MacBook Air battery lie, owns itself in the process

Macbook Air M1
Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Intel has a new website dedicated to telling you why you shouldn't buy a Mac.
  • It includes a section noting that Apple isn't truthful about the M1 MacBook Air's battery life.
  • Yet the Acer Swift 5 it compares it to is advertised using the exact same tactic.

In a new website dedicated to telling you why you should go PC instead of Mac, Intel has criticized Apple for not being truthful about the battery life of the M1 MacBook Air.

The new website, launched this week, lists comparisons and reasons as to why people should consider choosing a PC over Apple's new M1 Mac range. Intel even went so far as to hire the "I'm a Mac" guy Justin Long for an advert. But there's one key criticism Intel made it might wish it hadn't...

As spotted by our good friends at Windows Central, the site includes a fervent rebuttal of the battery life claims made by Apple about the M1 MacBook Air:

Apple boasts their new M1 laptop has an 18hr battery life. But the truth behind the claim reveals that the screen brightness does not represent what a user would do in the real world (Apple had the brightness set low at 150 nits). We ran a parity test with an M1 Mac against an Acer Swift 5 with an Intel Core i7 processor. We didn't change the test to win, we changed it to make it real. The truth is that both systems delivered roughly the same 10hr battery life.

Battery

Battery (Image credit: iMore / Intel)

That the M1 MacBook Air still offers better battery life than the Acer Swift 5 is beside the point (especially since it was running Chrome and using a more power-hungry i7 chip). Intel is accusing Apple of misleading its users:

Apple boasts their new M1 laptop has an 18hr battery life. But the truth behind the claim reveals that the screen brightness does not represent what a user would do in the real world

Head on over to Acer's website however, and you'll find this:

Acer Swift Battery

Acer Swift Battery (Image credit: Acer / iMore)

Turns out that all electronic device manufacturers advertise the battery life of their products using a "best-case scenario model". As Intel rightly notes, real-world use will very rarely reflect battery life as advertised by a manufacturer. From Windows Central:

The latest variant of the Acer Swift 5 can achieve an average of eight hours of battery life, assuming you're performing general work tasks and aren't keeping the screen super bright. If you do choose to do either or both of those things, you can expect the battery to last a little shorter than that.

And from our M1 MacBook Air review:

I'm reticent to say anything definitive about battery life right now given the early state of macOS Big Sur and the processing overhead of Rosetta 2, but I will say that this is one of the most impressive battery showings of any laptop I've ever used, and certainly the best balance of power to efficiency.Daniel Bader - Android Central

Battery life is just one reason the M1 MacBook Air is our pick for Best MacBook in 2021.

Whilst generating a lot of publicity for Intel, its recent PC vs Mac campaign continues to blow up in its face.

See more

Why I hate Intel's attack ads on Apple's M1 MacBooks - Windows Central

As the old saying goes, people who live in glass houses probably shouldn't criticize competing laptop vendors for deploying the same marketing tactic to advertise battery life. Or something.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

4 Comments
  • The biggest problem Intel has with this is that they Acer is still running Windows. I buy and Use Mac for MacOS.
  • I imagine had Intel turned up the sound on the Acer so you could hear Netflix over the fan noise, it would have had even worse battery life ;).
  • I will never ever forgive Tim Cook for this unconscionable move. I was born in 1990 and had been on Windows computers left and right for 20 years until my friend gave me his Macbook Pro in 2010. I was rejoicing at the inherent Boot Camp and high-app-compatibility. I will never ever forgive him ever. We all know that Mr. Cook came from the IBM company, and he will outsource everything while discarding the needs of the customer in real time. I am so angry.
  • A friend of mine pointed out that the left side product in the ad is not MacBook Air, but MacBook Pro 😆. You can see it by the thickness of the front edge of the machine.