Try disabling the ambient light sensor system and controlling screen & keyboard brightness yourself. My MacBook Pro runs for about 4 hours with this enabled so I do think yours is exceptional.
Another thing I would suggest is run a battery calibration.
1. Plug in the power adapter and fully charge your PowerBook's battery until the light ring or LED on the power adapter plug changes to green and the onscreen meter in the menu bar indicates that the battery is fully charged.
2. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for at least two hours. You may use your computer during this time as long as the adapter is plugged in.
3. Disconnect the power adapter with the computer still on and start running the computer off battery power. You may use your computer during this time. When your battery gets low, you will see the low battery warning dialog on the screen.
4. Continue to keep your computer on until it goes to sleep. Save all your work and close all applications when the battery gets very low, before the computer goes to sleep.
5. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or more.
6. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.
Hey guys, here's my current situation: I bought a MacBook Pro in the craze to get one like everyone else; my first laptop. After having it for a few months I realized the short (2.5hrs) battery life is driving me crazy, I feel like I'm being cheated out of the purchase since dragging my charger around behind me and getting 2-2.5hrs of life out of this thing before it dies is hardly "mobile" in my eyes. (Even though my other mobile friends say that kind of battery life is normal)
Anyway, I started to look at new notebooks and really think the ThinkPad T60 fits the bill for me. I am a Java software developer, so a relatively high screen resolution (for an IDE) and fast process/lots of ram are important. The Core Duo chips are certainly fast enough that I don't need to max the chip out, but probably keep it around 2Ghz or something. Also I noticed that the T60 offers a 1600x1200 15" screen, I worry this might be too small DPI for me and make it hard for reading, so the 1400x1050 resolution is probably just fine.
The real question for me that I cannot find out from reading all the online reviews of the laptop is the actual expected battery life using the 9-cell battery and doing things like browsing the web, doing email, listening to music and watching short little YouTube movies (my real test case is coding Java, but I think the load on the computer is equivalent to what I mentioned above when factoring in the audio decoding and video decoding).
I posted what I currently found out on my blog here:
as you can see I have found reviews, all with *almost* identical setups report as low as 3hrs and 42minutes and AS HIGH AS almost 9 incredible hours (with slightly lower hardware specs) when browsing the web/doing office work. This range is so huge I'm pretty much back to square one, I still have no idea how uch time I can really expect from this machine.
I did notice on the longest running machine it using the integrated Intel graphics chip, which I likely won't choose because I would like the option of running Vista when it comes out and the Intel graphics chipset has absolutely no 3D performance abilities (like 5fps in games).
Any help or input would be greatly appreciated guys, I know this was a long winded question, but I'm really trying to pull my research together and not make another expensive mistake.