I've been using a MacBook Pro (15", Core Duo 2GHz, Radeon X1600 about 6 months old) for the last week or so. I used to have an iBook that I bought in 2001. It had really great battery life, especially for a laptop of that era. I have a Dell that is very similar to the MacBook Pro (also 15", Core Duo 1.8 GHz, integrated graphics.) It gets excellent battery life. I'm almost always using it with the wireless card turned on and it gets around 3 hours of battery life. If I turn the wireless off, like I've done on an airplane for example, it will easily get 4+ hours of battery life. I expected something similar from the MacBook Pro. Maybe a little less battery life since it has a slightly faster processor and a better graphics card.
Nope. The battery life is awful. I get around an hour of battery life with the wireless card on. I manually turn the brightness way down on the display. I have the power setting for "Better Battery Life". I keep Bluetooth turned off at all times. Still maybe an hour of battery life. What's worse, is that it tells me I have more battery time left than I actually have. I don't get any kind of warning. I'll just be typing away at something and the thing goes to sleep unexpectedly. Really annoying.
I love the MacBook otherwise. It will be nice when Office is compiled as a universal binary so it will perform a little better, but everything else I use on here runs really fast. My only other complaing is that it gets extremely hot. I think that's a combination of it being so thin, having a metallic skin, and relying on passive cooling to keep it quiet. No big deal. Bad battery life and buggy management of it? Very big deal.