Microsoft's Copilot+ PC battery tests are good — but worrying for Snapdragon X Elite

Microsoft Surface Pro
(Image credit: Microsoft)

An important facet of the advertisement for Copilot+ PCs powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite processors is its superior battery life. Expectations were set high, with the official Qualcomm website promising up to 22 hours of longevity. 

While these laptops haven't quite hit those highs for various reasons, the Snapdragon X Elite is clearly making leaps in improving battery life for its Copilot+ PCs, based on the tests we've seen so far.

But is it high enough to appear at the top of our list of laptops with the best battery life? After all, this list is primarily dominated by Apple, and Intel has made a massive improvement in longevity with its Meteor Lake processors.

Let's test the Microsoft Surface Pro's battery life and see if Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite X1E-80-100 processor can keep up with the competition.

Microsoft Surface Pro Copilot+ battery life

On the Laptop Mag battery life test, which involves continuous web surfing over wifi at 150 nits, the Microsoft Surface Pro lasted 12 hours and 11 minutes. This is much longer than the mainstream laptop average of 10 hours and 5 minutes. While it doesn't quite reach Microsoft's advertised 14 hours of battery life, our testing method differs from the company's.

Eight hours should be your bottom floor in terms of longevity, but we recommend looking for anything that can last 10 hours or longer. The Surface Pro's ability to last a little over 12 hours is impressive, but it's far from the best battery life we've seen compared to Apple Silicon, Intel Meteor Lake, and even other Copilot+ PCs.

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Microsoft Surface Pro vs MacBook M3
LaptopBattery life test result (hours and minutes)
Microsoft Surface Pro12:11
MacBook Pro 14-inch M317:16
MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 Max 18:05
MacBook Air 13-inch M315:13

Apple's M3 chips have no problem demolishing the Surface Pro, as seen with the MacBook Pro 14-inch M3 (17:16), MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 Max (18:05), MacBook Air 13-inch M3 (15:13).

But this isn't a fault of the Snapdragon Elite X processor, as the HP EliteBook Ultra (16:01) proves that it's more than capable of hitting numbers within the range of a MacBook. Even then, the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge (9:58) does even worse than the Surface Pro.

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Microsoft Surface Pro vs Copilot+ PCs
LaptopBattery life test result (hours and minutes)
Microsoft Surface Pro12:11
HP EliteBook Ultra16:01
Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge9:58

It also cannot reach the peaks we've seen from Intel Meteor Lake and AMD processors. The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, 15:52) and Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 (AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 6650H, 14:38) are two great examples of long-lasting laptops built with Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processors.

However, just because it doesn't last as long as these doesn't mean it still isn't doing exceptionally well. The last five non-gaming laptops we've reviewed with Intel Meteor Lake processors are the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 Gen 9 (9:47), HP Spectre x360 16 (11:07), Acer Swift Go 14 (8:25), Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 9 (11:24), and Dell XPS 14 (10:09).

The Surface Pro lasts longer than many recent Intel Meteor Lake laptops we've tested and outpaces previous generations. After all, its launch also marks the series' big switch from Intel processors to Qualcomm, as the previous Surface Pro 10 featured an Intel Core Ultra 7 165U or Ultra 5 135U.

While we haven't been able to test the battery life of the previous generation, the Snapdragon Elite X yielded greater longevity than the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (Intel Core i7-1255U, 10:00), Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (Intel Core i7-1185G7, 9:07), and Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ (Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8:49).

It's still too early to give a final verdict on whether Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite has the potential to surpass expectations in longevity, but some of these early results suggest it'll be good but not great.

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Claire Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Claire finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Claire is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.