Help Me, Laptop: I Want a Gaming Notebook with Long Battery Life

It's almost impossible to find a long-lasting gaming laptop. Why? Because powerful GPUs suck up energy when performing taxing tasks. So when reader Surya_T asked for a long-lasting gaming notebook, we had to do some digging.

"I don't want to sacrifice battery life for gaming performance," Surya T wrote. Here's the thing: that's nearly impossible.

Our reader has a budget of $2,500, and has already checked out two laptops from Razer and some non-gaming laptops from Dell and Microsoft.

$2,500 is a lot of money, and you can get a great laptop with it. But in this case, we'll prioritize battery life over performance where it counts. Laptop Mag Battery Test 2.0 tests laptops running through websites, WebGL graphics tests and videos at 150 nits over Wi-Fi. That's not as taxing as running The Witcher 3 continuously, however. So our battery- life numbers won't reflect how long a gaming laptop will last while actually gaming, but they're a good indicator of which will last longer than others.

Surya_T said that they're looking at the 15-inch Microsoft Surface Book 2. Although that's not a gaming laptop, it is powerful enough for gaming and it's one of the longest-lasting laptops we've tested. It ran for 11 hours and 34 minutes on our battery test, and it has a GTX 1060, which is good for midrange gaming and low-level VR. One caveat here: gaming while plugged in could cause an issue. The power brick included with the Surface Book 2 isn't powerful enough to fully power the GPU, and you might see battery drops even when attached to a wall outlet. But this might be a good compromise if you want something that will last long during non-gaming tasks.

MORE: Laptops with the Longest Battery Life

The Razer Blade is another solid choice. This premium 14-inch notebook, with a GTX 1060, ran for 7 hours and 45 minutes on our battery test. Razer's notebooks are a known gaming brand, but the Blade is subtle enough to fit in with a classroom of MacBook Pros.

If you can give up some performance for battery life, getting a cheaper model might help you out. The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, starting at $949 with a GTX 1060 Max-Q,  is a truly affordable system, way under budget. More important,  it ran for 7 hours and 5 minutes on our test, which is long for most gaming notebooks.

In general, your best option is to stay plugged in while gaming. It’s best for performance, and you won't have to worry about your laptop shutting down in the middle of a tense game.

Image Credit: Laptop Mag

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