No matter how much everyone else says they get 18 hours of battery life, or 21 hours of battery life, or 10 hours of battery life while running every app on their Mac — no matter how often they say that, I feel like the odd man out. Always.

I think I’m a victim of OneDrive on the Mac. Searching “OneDrive for Mac battery drain” on Google brings up a variety of stories. I should add my story to the pile.

I live in OneDrive. We manage data through OneDrive. We collaborate on documents in OneDrive. We share files with others in OneDrive. After 1Password, OneDrive is key to the workflow.

OneDrive is also the reason I never achieve Apple’s claimed battery life on my Macs.

It’s probably a combination of OneDrive and Parallels actually. Parallels consumed the most power in the last 12 hours on this M1 Pro MacBook Pro, according to Activity Monitor. But it’s followed very closely by OneDrive.

The M1 MacBook Air touts 18 hours of battery life. Not with OneDrive installed. Not with Parallels running. No sir. If I left my M1 MacBook Air unplugged for the night, I’d wake up to 10% shaved off my battery. Even this M1 Pro MacBook Pro — it’s only the 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro (and therefore comes with less battery life than the 16-inch) but it’s touted 11-hour wireless web battery is more like 7 or 8 hours for me. I just opened the lid to find 25% of the battery drained while the computer slept for the last 5 hours. I mistakenly left Parallels and all my Windows software running when I slept the laptop.

Surely, the seven or eight hours of battery life is an achievement in and of itself. I’ve never had a laptop that could make it through an entire workday on a single charge. I’m still impressed, given everything I said above.

I’m just not the person to comment on battery life for the new M1 Pro MacBook Pros. My workflow isn’t conducive to battery life and I’m in no position to change the workflow to do the test.

There’s a giant “but” coming though. My mentor says everything before the “but” is “bull…” — you fill in the blank.

In this case, the cliché holds water.

But… fast charging.

With the 96W charger — an upgrade over the included 67W charger on the base-base M1 Pro MacBook Pro, but included with all 10-core M1 Pro MacBook Pros — you can fast charge the M1 Pro MacBook Pro. Apple says you can fast charge 50% of the MacBook Pro’s battery in 30 minutes with these bigger chargers. For the 14-inch MacBook Pro, there are a number of ways to fast charge:

  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter + USB-C to MagSafe 3 Cable
  • 96W USB-C Power Adapter + USB-C to MagSafe 3 Cable
  • 96W USB-C Power Adapter + USB-C charge cable
  • Pro Display XDR + Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • External display with 94W power delivery + Thunderbolt 3 cable or USB-C cable

LG’s UltraFine Displays don’t make the cut. My small amounts of reading have those displays charging capabilities at 85W, just shy of the 96W requirement. My MacBook Pro is plugged into two LG UltraFine Displays for 8 to 10 hours each day.

Nevertheless, with the included charger in the box and the incredibly durable braided MagSafe cable, I can turn 8 hours of battery life into 12 hours if I charge over my lunch break.

For the first time ever, fast charging a device is more important to me than actual battery life. Until very recently, I never sported the required cables to fast charge any iPhones or iPads. This M1 Pro MacBook Pro is my first real foray into fast charging.

Fast charging has had a bigger impact on my battery anxiety than perhaps any other battery improvement I’ve experienced.

Simply put, if I can find an hour’s worth of charge time for this MacBook Pro, the general 8 hours I get turns into 16 hours in any given day. I’m always close to an outlet, be it in my office, at home, or even in my truck.

All told, the M1 Pro MacBook Pro’s battery life goes beyond meeting my needs.

It just has everything to do with fast charging and nothing to do with actual battery performance.