M1 MacBook Air handles a Zoom-filled workday with battery life to spare

Zoom on a Mac
Zoom on a Mac (Image credit: Zoom)

What you need to know

  • Zoom is only going through 10-13% battery on the new MacBook Air with M1 chip.
  • Apple promised that users would gain up to twice as much battery life when using video conferencing software.

Reported by MacRumors, the new M1 Macs are having a major impact on the amount of battery that video conferencing apps like Zoom gobble up. One forum member, who works regularly through Zoom, has found that the software is only eating up between 10-13% of battery life per hour on the new MacBook Air.

MacRumors forum member "acidfast7_redux," who resides in the UK, spent most of their work day today on Zoom video calls using their new MacBook Air with the M1 chip and 8GB of memory. After a 2.5 hour video call, they say their battery life dropped by 17%, and after a second 36 minute video call, their battery life dropped by 7%, meaning that Zoom ultimately consumed roughly 10-13% of battery life per hour.

They ran the new MacBook Air completely unplugged for a workday and found that it survived with battery life to spare:

Finishing the day at the office now:

  • 09.11 to 17.25 (8h14m)
  • Battery went from 100% down to 28%

Time breakdown for the office part of the day was:

  • 4h33m Zoom meetings (just closed Zoom for the first time since opening it this morning at 10.00)
  • 3h01m web browsing / MS Office / emails
  • 45m sleep (just closed lid and left the office)

Video conferencing software like Zoom are known for eating through battery life, and this result is even more impressive since the software has not even released native support for Apple silicon yet.

These numbers are impressive given that Zoom has yet to introduce native support for Apple Silicon Macs, so the app is currently running through Apple's translation layer Rosetta 2 on Macs with the M1 chip. Zoom is known to be quite the battery hog on Intel-based Macs, so Apple Silicon's power efficiency gains will be much welcomed.

When Apple unveiled the new Macs and M1 chip, it promised that users would get twice the battery life when using video conferencing software, and that claim appears to be holding up.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.