The 25 laptops with the best battery life – CNET
The most important feature for many laptop shoppers is battery life, and rightly so. We carry these devices to meetings, to class, on airplanes and even just from room to room at home. Maximizing time away from the power outlet keeps you mobile and lets you move around without lugging a power brick.
Based on the extensive battery testing conducted in the CNET Labs, these are the 25 PCs with the longest battery life scores over the previous 12 months, including Windows and MacOS laptops, Windows 2-in-1 hybrids, and Chromebooks running Google‘s Chrome OS. (Not included are Android or iOS tablets.)
The top spot is a bit of a surprise, going to the Acer Chromebook R13, a budget-friendly but long-lasting Chrome OS laptop. The top Windows system is Microsoft’s 2016 refresh of the Surface Book, which benefits from having a battery in its tablet screen and a second battery in its keyboard base.
Apple‘s MacBooks are typically thought of as having excellent battery life, though the 2016 Pro models sometimes require an extra bit of coaxing to overcome uneven battery performance. The highest-ranking MacBook right now is the version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Apple’s new Touchbar, at no. 3. (The 2015 MacBook Air lasts even longer, but it’s an aging model with a lower resolution screen.)
How we test
We call on our laptops to perform a wide variety of tasks, from playing videos to office work, to web surfing, to games. As a middle ground that’s neither too easy nor too intense, the specific battery test used here streams a private video over Wi-Fi on an endless loop.
Note that these scores reflect the specific configurations we tested, and that screen resolution and CPU choice are some of the major factors that affect battery life. Those factors — and the apps you’re running on the machines in question — mean that you shouldn’t expect identical day-to-day battery life as shown here. But the general trends should hold true.
The top 25 battery life scores are presented below, while this related gallery includes context for each system and a link to its full review. We’ll update this list regularly, adding new high-level performers as we find them.