Remember the possible improvement in MacBook battery performance with the arrival of OS X 10.8.1? One developer even said that the duration practically doubled, from 4 hours and 5 minutes to 8 hours!
Now that the first Mountain Lion maintenance update has been released to the general public, the The Mac Observer decided to do some tests to see if what happened to the developer above was a rule or an exception. They compared the battery performance in versions 10.7.4, 10.8 and 10.8.1 (builds 12B17, a beta version, and 12B19, the final). All this on a 2.3GHz MacBook Pro Core i7, with 8GB of RAM and 240GB of storage (SSD from OWC), with a 115-cycle battery and considered “Normal” by the OS X monitor.
The test involved seven steps: 1. opening the Text Editor (TextEdit) and 10-second pause; 2. opening Safari, a heavy website and pausing for 20 seconds; 3. opening another heavy site and pausing for 20 seconds; 4. Mail opening and 10-second pause, to allow all messages to be downloaded; 5. close all open applications; 6. record the time of it all; 7. repeat the process. All of this with intermediate brightness, Wi-Fi on, keyboard lighting and other features turned off.
As we can see, things have improved, although it is still well behind (more than an hour) OS X 10.7.4 (Lion). Taking into account that Apple is already working on OS X 10.8.2, it remains to be cheered for him to further improve this performance. Oh, and they promise new tests with a MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air soon.