Laptops with the Longest Battery Life
No matter how stacked its specs are, a laptop is useless if it can't hold a charge. Fortunately, there are plenty of notebooks that go the distance. Using our Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi), we've identified the longest-lasting notebooks on the market. We're talking more than 11 hours of endurance, which should more than suffice for that cross-country fight, long day of meetings or multiple, back-to-back classes.
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s (15:26)
Our favorite business laptop lasts for 15 hours and 26 minutes on a charge with its extended battery, which is long enough to last through a flight from New York to Taipei. During that time, you'll enjoy the 14-inch ThinkPad T450s' sharp 1080p display, durable chassis, speedy Intel 5th Generation Core Series processor and best-in-class keyboard. Lenovo's Power Bridge technology even lets you swap out the battery without powering down first.
Lenovo ThinkPad X250 (15:12)
Some ultraportable laptops skimp on endurance by using slimmed down, sealed-in batteries. The ThinkPad X250 bucks this trend by lasting 15 hours and 12 minutes with its six-cell battery on board. With a starting weight of under 3 pounds (using the extended battery adds 0.4 pounds), this 12.5-inch notebook is small and light enough to take anywhere, but functional enough to use as your productivity workhorse. A snappy keyboard, full-HD display and hot-swappable batteries complete the X250's impressive package.
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook (14:43)
When it comes to price per hour of battery life, Acer's $199, 14-inch Aspire One Cloudbook has every other system beat. On Laptop Mag's Battery Test, the Cloudbook lasted a staggering 14 hours and 43 minutes on a single charge, 2.5 hours more than the next-closest budget machine, the Asus X205. You also get a big 14-inch screen, a sturdy body, a full-sized keyboard and Windows 10 instead of Chrome OS. So if you're looking for an affordable system that doesn't need to be tethered to an outlet, this is the laptop for you.
Toshiba Portege Z20t (14:37)
Lasting 14 hours and 37 minutes in laptop mode (and 7:29 when docked), the jet-black Toshiba Portege Z20t is among the machines with the best endurance on record. The slick design — which combines a sleek tablet and a slim keyboard into an elegant 2-in-1 — is nothing to sneeze at, either. We love the bright and crisp 12.5-inch, 1080p display, as well as the included Wacom-powered stylus that made it a breeze to use the multitouch display.
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (14:00)
The latest MacBook Air keeps the same sleek design as its predecessor and adds a 5th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and even faster flash storage. And, with a 14-hour runtime, it lasts nearly 2 hours longer than before. Add in OS X and its useful Continuity features, and it's easy to see why the $999 Air is one of our favorite ultraportable values.
Dell Chromebook 13 (13:25)
With its soft-touch carbon fiber lid, magnesium alloy deck and full HD display, this 13-inch system certainly doesn’t look like a Chromebook. It also boasts a backlit keyboard, Intel Celeron processor and 16GB of storage, making it powerful enough for all cloud-related tasks. But its best attribute is its 13-plus hour endurance, better than any Chromebook we’ve tested.
Microsoft Surface Book (12:29)
When coupled with its keyboard dock, Microsoft’s first notebook will last up to 12.5 hours. But this “ultimate laptop” also comes with a clever fulcrum hinge, 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000-pixel display, and a magnetically attached stylus. All this in a minimalist magnesium chassis that will probably end up in MoMA.
Asus X205 (12:05)
Not only does the Asus EeeBook X205TA offer more than 12 hours of battery life, but it's also cheap. At $199, it gives Chromebooks a run for their money while offering Windows 8.1 and solid everyday computing performance. That's all while being clad in a dark navy blue that shimmers almost purple. The thumping speakers are surprisingly good, too.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display (12:04)
Not only does the 2015 MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display last more than an hour longer than the 2014 model — 12:04 versus an already-excellent 10:44 — but it's also a lot more powerful. Plus, a new Force Touch trackpad can sense pressure, letting you do more things with fewer clicks.
Dell XPS 13 (11:54)
Not only did Dell manage to fit a 13-inch display into an 11-inch, 2.6-pound chassis, but it also squeezed in enough juice to last nearly 12 hours. (The touch version, which has a quad HD display, made it 7.5 hours). Add to that a Core i6 processor, 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, a backlit keyboard and a smooth touchpad, and you’ve got one of the best ultraportables of the year.
Lenovo 100s Chromebook (11:19)
For less than $200, you can get a notebook that lasts more than 11 hours. The highly portable Lenovo 100s Chromebook weighs just 2.5 pounds and has a better than expected keyboard for the price, but typing is a bit cramped on this 11-inch system. Its Celeron CPU will easily get you through email and Web surfing, though.