The 8 Best Long Battery Laptops
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in April of 2016. There is nothing more frustrating than being halfway through a long work assignment or a good movie on your laptop only for it to die at a crucial moment. Here are some of the most efficient high-performing models at various prices that offer some of the longest battery lives around, ranked by their processing power, ergonomics, display quality, connectivity options, and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 16, 2021:
There's one huge caveat to keep in mind when looking for a laptop with a long battery life: Do not, under any circumstances, believe the manufacturer's claims. There's no standardized test for battery life, and different apps as well as activities cause significantly different levels of battery drain. Nowhere is this more true than with the groundbreaking Apple MacBook Pro, the first high-end notebook PC to use an ARM chip, called the M1 and produce in-house by Apple. This one's a great example because not many apps are optimized for the RISC processor, but if you stick to the stock Apple software (as in, no 3rd-party apps), the M1 Pro offers impressive battery life, even when operating at full power. If you stray to third-party apps normally run on 64-bit x86 systems, then your fancy MacBook will have merely above-average battery life.
With that in mind, look for the newest processors, as they're the most efficient, and avoid 4K laptops at all cost, as the high resolution is often meaningless, but still requires a significant amount of power compared to FHD displays. The LG Gram 17 is a rare exception to this rule, as its 2560 by 1600 resolution doesn't appear to hamper battery life in any noticeable way.
Of course, you don't have to shell out a fortune for the likes of the premium Asus ExpertBook B9or Dell Latitude 9510 just to get a full day of work out of a single charge. The Lenovo Yoga 6 is a great mid-range Windows option and the HP Chromebook x360 is one of the longest-lasting Chromebooks on the market.
March 15, 2020:
With constant upgrades and innovation in computer categories, we saw fit to remove every entry from our previous ranking and replace them with all new offerings. In ordering the list itself, we placed battery life at the forefront, making occasional exceptions where performance and other features could combine to outweigh it. Now, it's important to understand that advertised battery life and real-world battery life are never quite in step with one another, and our research revealed a number of discrepancies. With those in mind, we made sure not to include any computers that didn't advertise at least 10 hours of battery life, knowing that their inflated numbers would come down in the hands of a normal user.
The most impressive claim for battery life, and one that's pretty close to real world applications, came from a company with less of a foothold in the market than the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Acer, and Dell, in the LG Gram 14-Inch. By watt-hours alone, this model seems like it would match some of the competition's 10-14-hour claims, but efficiency in its physical design and a little restraint in RAM results in an impressive 18.5 hours of runtime.
We were also impressed by the runtime the Apple MacBook Pro has to offer, though that's in the context of its other impressive specs, which would drain any other company's cells much faster. Then, there's the new Google Pixelbook Go, which should eventually render things like the lower-level MacBook Air models obsolete for its lightweight design, processing power, and reliability. It's probably the most portable option outside the 2-in-1 class.
Understanding Common Laptop Classifications
Models with a detachable keyboard are often referred to as hybrids or 2-in-1 detachables.
Since laptops first appeared on the consumer market, they have taken many shapes and sizes. Laptops are constantly evolving to meet consumer demands. From advanced 2-in-1 models to basic netbooks, each fits a specific need and niche.
Ultrabooks are a type of laptop created with a focus on portability and power. They are lighter in weight than traditional notebooks and are designed to run for an extended period of time on battery. Many of the laptops on this list are considered Ultrabooks. With the advancement in battery technology over the last decade, we now have Ultrabooks and that can run for 10 or more hours before needing to be recharged. To be considered a true Ultrabook, a laptop must meet a set of stringent specifications set forth by Intel.
Netbooks were traditionally a type of compact and lightweight laptop that was designed to be energy efficient and budget-friendly. They generally have very little processing power or storage space, which makes them best suited to web-based computing, hence the name netbook. Over time though, the term netbook has also started being used to refer to Chromebooks, which are a type of laptop that runs the Google Chrome OS. While these are still energy efficient (often having very long battery lives) they are no longer necessarily compact.
2-in-1 laptops, or convertibles, are a relatively new and very popular type of laptop that bridge the gap between PCs and tablets. They can be used in a number of configurations, including tablet and stand modes. To function properly, a 2-in-1 must have a touchscreen. Some 2-in-1 models allow the keyboard to be completely detached from the screen, while other simply rotate or flip over. Models with a detachable keyboard are often referred to as hybrids or 2-in-1 detachables.
Three Things That Must Be Considered When Choosing A Laptop
Laptops are inherently designed to be portable, but some are much more portable than others. A 17-inch laptop might be great for productivity, but after lugging it to and from the office or school for a couple of days, and you'll soon be thinking twice about your purchase. If your top priority is productivity and you plan on leaving your laptop sitting on the desk in your home office everyday, then a 15- or 17-inch laptop may be the perfect choice. On the other hand, if you will transport your laptop regularly, you will probably be better off with a 13.3-inch model. For most users, this is the ideal size to maintain productivity while also being lightweight enough to carry around.
Laptops are inherently designed to be portable, but some are much more portable than others.
Processing power is the main factor in what applications your laptop can run, though RAM also plays a role. For basic web browsing and movie watching, a powerful processor that wastes a lot of energy isn't needed. For those who often run resource-heavy programs, like Adobe Photoshop and AutoCAD, or who like to run multiple programs simultaneously, a powerful processor is a necessity. Generally, the higher the numbers next to the processor name, the faster it will be. The average user will often find a middle-of-the-road processor suitable for theirs needs. Those who put a lot of demand on their laptop should opt for a faster and more powerful processor.
Laptops come with one of three storage types: SSD, HDD, or hybrid. SSD stands for solid state drive and is the quickest and most durable type of memory. It has no moving parts and can nearly instantaneously access information. It is also the most expensive. HDD stands for hard disk drive. HDDs are slower than SSDs due to their mechanical nature, but they are relatively cheap, which means you'll get a laptop with more storage space for the same amount of money. Hybrid laptops make use of both types of drives. They have a large HDD to store the majority of your data and a small SSD that is used to cache your most frequently used data for faster access. Ideally, a laptop with an SSD will be the best choice, though if budgetary constraints don't allow it, opt for one with a hybrid drive, and as a last resort, an HDD model.
Tips For Extending Your Laptop's Battery Life
If you are looking for a long-battery laptop, you will more than likely be interested in extending your device's battery life as much as possible. One of the biggest drains on battery life is the laptop screen, yet most users leave their screen set at maximum brightness at all times. Dimming the brightness of your screen to match your surrounding lighting conditions can greatly extend your battery life. It can also help to minimize eye strain from extended laptop use. You should also adjust your PC settings to automatically turn off your display after a couple of minutes of inactivity.
One of the best ways to do this is to change your startup program settings so that only necessary applications will automatically launch when your computer is turned on.
Many hardware devices cause an unnecessary drain on a laptop's battery, even when they aren't currently being used. Wireless and Bluetooth adapters are two such examples. Manually turning off each of these when you are not using them to connect to the internet or other devices will significantly increase your battery life.
You can also adjust your power plan to achieve maximum battery life. Most laptops come with three power plans to choose from: high performance, recommended, and power saver. You don't have to just accept the settings of these plans, though. You can tweak them to suit your needs. For example, you can choose for your computer to automatically switch to power saver mode every time it is unplugged, rather than it waiting until your battery percentage has dropped to 10 or 15 percent.
Closing any applications that are not currently in use is another great way to extend battery life. One of the best ways to do this is to change your startup program settings so that only necessary applications will automatically launch when your computer is turned on. Always remember to close programs that you have opened, but aren't planning on using again any time soon, as well.