One of the biggest standout features that we noted in our recent MacBook Pro 13-inch M2 review was its battery life.
The first laptop to launch with Apple's new M2 Apple Silicon chip delivered easily the best battery life we've ever seen from a MacBook at 18 hours and 20 minutes in our Laptop Mag battery test.
Given that outstanding result, we wanted to take a quick look at how the MacBook Pro M2 holds up against the laptops with the best battery life and consider what this might mean for the battery life on the upcoming MacBook Air M2.
We run every laptop that we review through our Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi with the display at 150 nits of brightness. Depending on your usage that may not align perfectly with your daily real-world results, but it gives us a nice even playing field on which to judge the battery life of the dozens of laptops that we review annually.
MacBook Pro 2022 battery life vs. the Windows champs
The MacBook Pro 2022 has surpassed our previous laptop with the best battery life leader, but you might be surprised by how narrow a victory it was. The Dell Latitude 9510 held on to the top spot until now with 18 hours and 17 minutes, a mere 3 minutes shy of the MacBook Pro's new high water mark.
I'm not sure that I need to win you over on the notion that the MacBook Pro is the more intriguing option between the two, but there are a few caveats that make its narrow battery life victory more decisive for the MacBook Pro.
The first is that the MacBook starts at $1,299, compared to $1,699 for the base model Latitude 9510. The second is the display, a 15.6-inch 1080p panel for the Dell, while Apple boasts a 13.3-inch display with a vastly denser 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. Finally, the M2 MacBook Pro absolutely destroys the Dell on performance with a Geekbench 5.4 multi-core score of 8,911 compared to 4,735 for the 9510.
The Asus ExpertBook B9450 and the HP Elite Folio were the two next closest Windows laptops with 16:42 and 16:21, respectively. Both are price competitive with the M2 MacBook Pro, but also feature 1080p displays and from a performance standpoint may as well be stuck in place as they watch the MacBook Pro M2 channel its inner Quicksilver and finish its work before they can even boot up.
|Laptop||Battery life (HH:mm)|
|MacBook Pro (M2, 2022)||18:20|
|Dell Latitude 9510||18:17|
|Dell Latitude 9410 2-in-1||16:54|
|Asus ExpertBook B9450||16:42|
|MacBook Pro (M1, 2020)||16:32|
|HP Elite Folio||16:21|
|HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7||15:45|
|Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15||15:44|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6)||14:45|
|MacBook Air (M1, 2020)||14:41|
What does the MacBook Pro 2022's battery life mean for the Air 2022?
Despite its undeniably excellent battery life, the MacBook Pro M2 has some drawbacks that have me eagerly awaiting the launch of the MacBook Air M2 next month. While it won't outlast the MacBook Pro 2022, the M2 chip certainly bodes well for its battery life.
The MacBook Pro 2022 got nearly an 11% boost to its battery life versus its M1-powered predecessor. If we see the MacBook Air 2022 mirror that it should end up with roughly 16 hours and 16 minutes of battery life in our testing. That would be just 16 minutes shy of the MacBook Pro with M1 and while it wouldn't quite crack the top five on our laptops with the best battery life, it should be a performance beast compared to everything above it on our list.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.