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Friday, May 24, 2013, 09:36 am PT (12:36 pm ET)

Haswell chips could bring 50% more battery life to Apple's next-gen MacBooks

The next generation in Apple's MacBook line could see 50 percent greater battery life thanks to the processors expected to go into them, according to Intel.

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In a media briefing ahead of the launch of its Haswell processor platform, Intel chief Rani Borkar said that the chipmaker had designed the line with notebooks and tablets in mind, according to PCWorld. That focus on mobile devices led to dramatic increases in battery life, with 50 percent longer operation in normal use and extending idle and standby battery life by up to 20 times.

That could mean that battery life for future MacBooks — already near the top of the industry — will see considerable improvements. A 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, in AppleInsider's tests got about six hours and 15 minutes, but in normal use it should hit Apple's seven-hour estimate.

The Haswell line is the latest in the chip giant's instruction set architecture. Intel updates the lines every two years, and this year's refresh is more important than most. The rise of smartphones and tablets has hobbled the PC industry, the main source of Intel's sales. Increasingly, consumers are opting for mobile devices rather than traditional computing form factors, and Intel has struggled to gain a foothold in the mobile device segment.

The Haswell line, then, is intended to address both traditional computers and tablets as well. Some components of the line have had their power consumption reduced to as low as 7W. Intel's tablet-tailored offerings are said to offer better performance than non-Intel chipsets, but with comparable battery life.

Intel has been talking up the possibilities of the Haswell line for months ahead of its launch. Most recently, the chipmaker released a document showing that Haswell will double or triple graphics performance compared to previous models.

Apple's expected refresh of its MacBook line of devices is widely expected to feature Intel's latest and greatest processor set, and AppleInsider has already explored what impact Haswell's graphical capabilities are likely to have on the next generation of Macs.

Currently, retailers are running low on supplies of some MacBooks, and many Apple observers expect the company to announce the next generation during the keynote of its Worldwide Developer Conference in June.