You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much battery life. Your phone, tablet or laptop can have a gorgeous screen, stunning design and powerful performance, but when it runs out of juice at 2 p.m., it will be the ugliest gadget you’ve ever seen. That’s why LAPTOP puts every device we test through a rigorous endurance test where we turn the brightness to a usable 40 percent, connect it to the Internet via Wi-Fi or 4G (for phones) and make it surf the Web until it dies.
Not a fan of carrying your charger? We’ve tested a number of gadgets with strong endurance during the past 12 months. From a tablet that lasts more than 12 hours to a laptop that can keep going through a trans-Pacific flight, these are the 13 longest-lasting mobile tech products of 2013.
Whether you’re a business user creating a detailed quarterly report or a college student spending all night at the library writing a term paper, you want to focus on your work, not your remaining battery percentage. With its extended battery, the 12.5-inch, 3.6-pound ThinkPad X240 lasts an amazing 20 hours and 28 minutes on a charge, long enough to pull an all-nighter or work on the entire flight from New York to Taipei. Add in a bright IPS touch screen, a powerful Haswell processor and a wide array of ports and you have a portable productivity powerhouse.
The lightest tablet with a big screen, the 1-pound, 9.7-inch iPad Air weighs 0.4 pounds less than its predecessor while offering faster performance and the widest app ecosystem around. Despite its svelte dimensions, the Air lasts an impressive 11 hours and 51 minutes on a charge, more than enough time to make it through the day.
For most of us, the workday lasts a lot longer than 8 hours. With the LG G2 Android phone, you can leave the house at 6 a.m., get to work early and arrive home at 7 p.m. with your phone still on. With a battery of 13 hours and 44 minutes on T-Mobile (10:42 on AT&T, 9:14 on Verizon), the G2 is the longest-lasting smartphone we’ve tested. LG’s flagship handset has more going for it than just endurance. The G2 also offers a colorful, 5.2-inch full HD screen, a sharp camera and a powerful quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor.
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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is easily the best phablet of the year, thanks to its colorful and extremely bright 5.7-inch 1080p screen, sharp 13-MP camera, and speedy Snapdragon 800 processor. This big-screen phone also endured for an impressive 11 hours and 15 minutes on T-Mobile (9:57 on Verizon). Add in a stylus for note-taking and WatchOn for using your phone as a TV remote and you have a winner.
Who says long battery life needs to be expensive? For a starting price of just $349, ASUS’ Transformer Book T100 provides a 10.1-inch Windows 8.1 tablet and a keyboard dock that turns it into laptop. With Intel’s Atom Bay Trail processor in the inside, the T100 provides performance that’s good enough for light gaming or using the free copy of Office 2013 Home and Student it comes with. Best of all, the Transformer Book T100 lasted an eye-popping 12 hours and 28 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test.
You don’t necessarily have to add heft to get strong laptop battery life. Apple’s MacBook Air weighs just 3 pounds and measures 0.11 inches at its thinnest point (0.68 inches at its thickest), but lasts an amazing 11 hours and 40 minutes on a charge. This lightweight laptop doesn’t skimp on speed either; its Intel 4th Generation Core Series CPU and blazing fast 128GB flash storage make OS X Mavericks fly.
Dell’s 10-inch Windows 8 business laptop has one of the brightest displays in the market, a luxurious soft-touch design and the ability to run all of your desk apps. With its default battery, the Latitude 10 lasted a pedestrian 7 hours and 16 minutes on our test, but when we added an optional 4-cell battery, that time jumped to 17 hours and 40 minutes.
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When you’re using a mobile hotspot to get online, the last thing you want to worry about is it running out of juice. The Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L (say that 5 times fast) not only delivers blazing fast download and upload speeds to up to 10 users at once, but also lasts a full 14 hours and 43 minutes on a charge. With that kind of endurance, your laptop or tablet will probably run out of gas before the Jetpack does.
With a gorgeous 1080p touch screen, speedy Intel 4th Generation Core Series processor and the best keyboard available on any laptop, the 4.2-pound ThinkPad T440s is the ultimate 14-inch mobile workstation. This powerful portable is more than just a joy to use, as it lasts 14 hours and 36 minutes with its extended battery. Thanks to a second, internal battery that drains last, you can swap batteries for even more endurance, without powering the laptop down.
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For $379, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch gives you a lot of tablet for your money. In addition to its gorgeous 2560 x 1600 display, strong performance, tight parental controls and deep integration with Amazon services, the Fire HDX 8.9 lasts an epic 13 hours and 42 minutes on a charge, even longer than Apple’s iPad Air (11:51), which is also one of the longest-lasting gadgets of the year.
At 2.4 pounds, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 is one of the lightest laptops you can buy and boasts a stunning full HD touch screen, a blazing fast SSD and solid sound. With its regular battery, the VAIO Pro 13 lasts a solid 7 hours and 20 minutes, but when you attach a $149 sheet battery to the bottom, that time jumps to a full 14 hours and 38 minutes.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is one of the world’s most popular smartphones, but not because of its battery life. With its default 2,600 mAh battery, the Galaxy S4 lasted just 6 hours and 41 minutes on T-Mobile and even less on Sprint (6:05), AT&T (5:54) and Verizon (5:25). Fortunately, you can swap Samsung’s battery for Mugen Power’s 5,500 mAh HLI-9500XL extra capacity battery. Yes, inserting this $89 battery adds 2 ounces and more than doubles the Galaxy S4’s thickness, going to from 0.25 to 0.65 inches. But it also nearly doubles the battery life, bringing the AT&T Galaxy S4’s endurance up to 11 hours and 7 minutes. We’ll take a thicker phone over a dead phone any day.
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Made for gaming on the go, the Nvidia Shield just goes and goes. The Android-powered mobile gaming console features an attractive 5-inch display, a speedy Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and dual analog sticks with plenty of buttons for controller-based gaming. With 14 hours and 2 minutes of battery life, the Shield will let you play all day.
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