Laptops With the Best Battery Life
Life is too short to worry about whether you're going to make it through the day on a single charge
There are many things you can do to stretch the battery life of a laptop. But if you want the device to deliver a full day’s work, you need to start with a model that packs plenty of power.
The LG Gram 14 (2021), for example, can deliver nearly 27 hours of battery life, according to our testers. That’s more than three full workdays of juice, with enough left over to screen an episode of "The Falcon and the Winter Solider" on Disney+.
In other words, we’ve come a long way from the days when you had to carry a power cord with you at all times.
Because people depend on their laptops day and night, we test the battery life on every model that enters our labs. And according to Antonette Asedillo, who oversees that testing, the protocol is designed to resemble real-world use.
We start by setting the brightness of the computer’s display to 200 nits, a level that works indoors and out. Then, with the battery fully charged, we cycle the laptop through a series of 10 web pages, downloading them continuously until the laptop shuts down.
The web pages are stored on a server in our lab and transmitted over a WiFi network set up specifically for this purpose. We use the laptop’s default web browser, rather than a third-party browser, to be more representative of how everyday consumers behave.
In a second test, we play 4K video (locally stored, not streamed over the internet, because using WiFi can deplete the battery even faster) until the power is fully drained.
“It’s a good way to gauge how well a battery will hold up during heavier workloads,” Asedillo says.
While your actual battery life will vary depending on what you’re doing, what’s important is that we test each laptop the same exact way so you can compare models with confidence. Here’s a list—available to CR members—of laptops that delivered great battery life figures in our testing.
The LG Gram consistently scores well in our tests, but this year’s model is the best we’ve seen. The laptop logged nearly 27 hours in our web browsing test and close to 11 hours in our 4K video trial. Not bad for a computer that weighs only a hair more than 2 pounds.
It’s powerful, too. The model we tested was equipped with an Intel Core i5, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage. As our results indicate, this is more than sufficient for routine productivity tasks and video calls. This is not a gaming laptop, though, so there’s no dedicated video card.
This laptop has an extra touch-screen display (hence the name ZenBook Duo) tucked above the keyboard, which can be used like a super-sized MacBook Pro TouchBar to launch apps, screen windows (say, your currently playing Spotify playlist), and doodle in Photoshop.
The 14-inch notebook has an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and 512GB of solid-state storage, which means it can easily handle just about anything you throw at it (with the exception perhaps of new, higher-end games). Add in a battery that lasted more than 21 hours in our web browsing test and more than 12 hours in our 4K video test and you’ve got a compelling, powerful package.
This 13.5-inch laptop is a good, no-frills option if you’re looking for a Windows laptop with battery life to spare. It’s got an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of solid-state storage, and delivered more than 20 hours of battery life in our web browsing test and more than 9 hours in our 4K video test.
Apple’s latest MacBook Pro ranks among the highest-scoring models in our ratings. It delivered 17.5 hours of battery life while browsing the web and 15 hours in 4K video playback, which means you’ll likely have power to spare no matter what task you tackle.
It also features Apple’s new homegrown, more-battery-efficient M1 processor instead of a traditional Intel processor. That’s a huge change for Apple, but the transition was relatively seamless—and now you can run select iOS apps on your Mac.
The model we tested has 8GB of memory and 256GB of solid-state storage, which combined with the M1, deliver a great experience. The built-in webcam is merely adequate, though, a deficiency Apple has addressed with the new 24-inch M1-powered iMac desktop.
This high-end notebook is designed for demanding users. It delivered a little more than 17 hours of battery in our web browsing test and 9 hours in our 4K video playback test.
Yes, there's a big disparity there, but it's in line with other Windows laptops featured here, and helps illustrate how much more demanding playing high-res video can be on a laptop than scrolling through Twitter or combing through Gmail.
The model was equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage. Once again, this is perhaps not the model to pick if you’re into video games, but the i7 processor should be useful for tasks like editing high-res video.
Another feature worth noting? The touch screen, which may come in handy in certain situations like scrolling through photo galleries or panning around large web pages.