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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 always things you can do to stretch the battery life of a laptop. But if you rely on your computer to deliver a full day's work before giving out, you want a model that packs plenty of power.

The laptops on the list below (available to members) offer a variety of benefits, including in some cases the ability to fold up and double as a tablet. But the thing that makes them truly stand out is generous battery life.

The HP Spectre Folio, for example, delivers nearly 19 hours' worth of unflagging productivity, according to our testers. That's enough to power you through the workday and watch a movie before you go to sleep.

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 continually 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 computer’s built-in browser—Internet Explorer for Windows 10 laptops (we plan to switch to Edge next year), Safari for Apple laptops, and Chrome for Chromebooks.

We recently added a second battery test in which the laptop plays a locally stored 4K video (as opposed to one streamed over WiFi) until the power is fully drained.

“It's a good way to gauge how well a battery will hold up during heavier workloads,” Asedillo explains.

Under these conditions, we get a fair read on how almost any laptop—from a $210 HP Chromebook to a $2,400 MacBook Pro—will perform for the average user.

And based on our test results, it's safe to say you can readily find well-made laptops that cross the 13-hour threshold. Of course, you may also stumble across models that provide less than half that. Case in point: The 14-inch Avita Clarus, for example, lasts only 4 to 5 hours before being drained. Make sure you have a power cord handy.

But the models on this list come recommended by our testers, which means they're less likely to succumb to fatigue before you need to start closing apps or dimming the brightness on your display.

1

HP Spectre Folio
HP Spectre Folio

    HP Spectre Folio

    The first thing you’ll notice with the 13.3-inch HP Spectre Folio is that it’s fully clad in leather. The second thing? The 18.5-hour battery life, of course. That makes this Spectre Folio not only the longest-lasting 12- to 13-inch laptop in our ratings but also the longest-lasting laptop in our ratings—period.

     

    While the model is available in different configurations, the $1,400 version we bought and tested has a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage. The only thing that truly separates it from a high-end gaming PC is the lack of a dedicated graphics card required to play games at the highest settings. Everything else you need a laptop to do, from managing Excel spreadsheets to streaming high-resolution Netflix videos to editing photos, shouldn't pose any problems.

     

    Of course, the Spectre Folio isn’t perfect: There’s no built-in memory card reader, which means you’ll need a dongle or other adapter to transfer digital photos from a camera. Our testers also noted that the trackpad, while responsive to the touch, was on the small side for such a high-end laptop.

    2

    Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2018, MR9Q2LL/A)
    Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2018,...

      Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2018,...

      Apple’s 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro, which cost us $1,800, logged a battery life of 17.75 hours in our web-browsing test. That’s more than enough to get you through a full workday, plus a few episodes of “Being the Elite” on YouTube.

       

      Along with the impressive battery life, you’ll find an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage, which is plenty of horsepower even for advanced tasks like rendering high-res video. You have to step up to the 15-inch MacBook Pro to get a dedicated graphics card, however, which just about rules out playing games here.

       

      Our testers didn’t have any major complaints about this laptop, but they did point out that it lacks a dedicated memory card reader. And when you plug in the charger, it takes up one of the four USB ports, something that may rankle if you have a lot of external accessories to plug in.

      3

      LG Gram 13 8th Gen
      LG Gram 13 8th Gen

        LG Gram 13 8th Gen

        At 2.2 pounds, the 13-inch LG Gram is among the lightest laptops in our ratings. Combine that with a battery that lasts 16.25 hours while browsing the web and you’ve got a truly compelling package.

         

        LG didn’t skimp on the core components, either. There’s an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 512GB of solid-state storage. That’s double the amount of storage space you’d typically find on this class of laptop.

         

        One concern raised by our testers—and this applies to all sizes of the Gram—is that there tends to be quite a bit of flex to the laptop itself, meaning it feels like you could almost bend it. That doesn't meant it bends; rather, the sensation of it being almost too slight takes a little getting used to.

        4

        Microsoft Surface Book 2
        Microsoft Surface Book 2

          Microsoft Surface Book 2

          Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is unique among the laptops featured here, because it’s a two-in-one detachable. That means you can physically remove the keyboard from the display and use it like a tablet. It may not function as well as an iPad—Windows simply doesn’t have as many bespoke tablet apps as Apple's operating system—but it beats having to buy both a laptop and a tablet.

           

          As for battery life, our testers found that the Surface Book 2 delivered 16 hours for web browsing and 10.25 for video viewing. That goes alongside strong specs like an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid state storage.

           

          Gamers should look elsewhere, but for consumers hoping to get some work done at the local coffee shop without access to a power outlet, this laptop is worth consideration.

          5

          Huawei MateBook D Volta-W50D
          Huawei MateBook D Volta-W50D

            Huawei MateBook D Volta-W50D

            Our testers were generally impressed with this 14-inch MateBook D—which, yes, greatly resembles Apple’s MacBook line of laptops.

             

            The battery delivered 14.75 hours' worth of web-browsing and 9.5 worth of video viewing. Huawei rounds out the package with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage. There’s even a dedicated Nvidia graphics card, which, while more prevalent than just a few years ago, is still not a standard feature on laptops aimed at consumers. That means you can, in fact, play modern games like “Apex Legends” and “Overwatch” at high settings without much trouble.