OS X 10.5.7 Dramatically Increases Netbook Battery Life

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While some users are experiencing unpleasant issues thanks to Apple’s recent 10.5.7 update for OS X, others have plenty of reason to rejoice after updating. Specifically, hackintosh netbook users are reporting that battery life is seeing major improvements thanks to the update.

Wired’s Gadget Lab picked up on the user reports from the MSI Wind forums. Like the Dell Mini 9, the Wind is a popular choice for people looking to shoehorn OS X onto a netbook, which many users are doing since Apple seems unwilling to provide an official solution.

Better battery performance is great news for the hackintosh community, since it was one of the few remaining drawbacks to installing OS X on machines like the Mini 9, which is almost completely compatible with the Mac operating system. Personally, I’ve been considering picking up a Dell machine myself for just such a purpose, after numerous unsuccessful attempts with my Eee PC 1000HE, and this latest development will probably be the deciding factor.

Improved power management on Atom-based machines could suggest that Apple is readying OS X for deployment on new, official hardware — not a netbook, which the company seems dead-set against, but a tablet-type device that would make use of the 9.7-inch screens ordered from Wintek that have yet to appear in any production machines.

Since we know Snow Leopard won’t be ready for WWDC, it would make sense for Apple to build Atom-specific power optimization into Leopard at this point if it were planning a device launch for the June event. Even if no tablet is forthcoming, this is still great news for people hoping to use OS X on a more portable platform, officially or not.

Photo courtesy fiatlux on Flickr.

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