The laptops with best battery life allow you to work, play, browse and game for hours on end, worry-free. After all, the portability of a laptop isn’t much use in practicality if you’re spending all your time tethered to a plug socket. Unfortunately there are plenty of laptops out there with dismally short battery life, where you’ll see that indicator plunge towards zero the moment you start any task that’s even slightly intensive on the processor. This guide is to help you avoid them.
We’ve picked out the five laptops that represent the best battery life you can get right now. First, we’ve crowned our number-one pick of the laptop with the best battery life – and after that, we’ve anointed four worthy runners-up. We’ve made sure to include a range of manufacturers (spoilers: the list isn’t all MacBooks) and options at different price points, so that there are choices for all users.
At the bottom of the guide, we’ve also included some buying advice to guide you through the kinds of questions to think about when buying a long-lasting laptop, and the pros and cons of this type of computer.
Lots to get through then! If you prize portability in your computers, make sure you also check out our guide to the lightest laptops – but for now, let’s end the suspense and reveal our nomination for the laptop with best battery life…
Laptops with best battery life
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We've rounded up the five laptops with the best battery life that are currently available to help you find the right one for you and your home office. We've considered a range of budgets and processing needs, so dive in below to find the perfect laptop for you.
Laptop with best battery life
Well, they set out to do it, and they did it. The MacBook Pro 16-inch (M2 Max, 2023) is the new king of the hill in terms of MacBook power, and it also manages to throw in the best laptop battery life you can get right now. A 100-watt-hour battery powers the 2023 edition of the MacBook Pro – it’s rated to last up to 22 hours in the official literature, and real-world tests generally have it lasting between 18 and 19 hours of browsing and general usage. That really is quite something.
Elsewhere across the board, of course, this laptop performs outstandingly. The top-end flagship version is equipped with Apple’s proprietary M2 Max chip, and you can also get versions with the M2 Pro. Whichever you go with, you’re getting incredible speed and performance – load the laptop up with tabs, programs, windows and whatever you like, and it’s unlikely you’ll see even a stutter. It’ll handle high-end gaming with aplomb too; thanks to the 38-core Apple GPU, your favorite games will run great at high frame rates. It’s not as dazzling as a discrete GPU, but it’s still more than good enough for most users.
So what’s the catch? Let’s not kid, you know perfectly well what the catch is – the 2023 MacBook Pro in its simplest configuration runs up a retail price of $2,699, and if you max out on the specs, it’ll run you up to $5,299. Apple lets you play around with configuring the specs before you buy, but there’s no way this laptop isn’t going to be a serious, significant investment. If you’ve got the budget and need the performance, it’s most certainly worth it – but ultimately, that’s up to you.
More best battery-life laptops
Not a Mac person, or don’t fancy the outlay required for the MacBook Pro 16-inch (M2 Max, 2023)? Never fear – we’ve picked out four more excellent laptops with the best battery life.
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen2
Weight: from 2.91 lb
While it’s been out a couple of years now, the HP Elite Folio is still a very solid choice of laptop for those prioritising battery life. In real-world tests, it can clock up to around 17 hours before needing a charge – more than enough for a good, long day’s use. It’s lightweight and compact, clearly designed for business users and anyone who doesn’t want to feel like they’re lugging a brick around all day. It’s a 2-in-1, meaning it can also behave as a tablet for those who want that option, and it comes with a stylus that sits in its own holder above the keyboard to stop it from getting lost – a nice touch. We also like the mechanical keyboard, which is quiet and comfortable to type on for long periods.
- Very long-lasting
- Comes with stylus
- Well-made keyboard
- Not the most powerful
CPU: Intel Core i5 / Intel Core i7
Weight: 3.83–4 lbs
Microsoft claims the battery on its Surface Laptop Studio can last up to 18 or 19 hours, depending on whether you opt for the i5 or i7 version. Real-world tests generally clock in a little under that, more like 14 to 16 hours, but that’s still very impressive, and more than enough for even an intense day’s work or play. The Surface Laptop Studio is a pretty radical experiment from Microsoft, with its repositionable display that can be set to all sorts of angles without even taking the laptop off its desk. The software-based Battery Saver mode is also handy for the times you need to eke a little more life out.
- Unique positionable design
- Very solid battery life
- Quite bulky
- Performance lags behind rivals
CPU: Intel Core i5 / Intel Core i7
Weight: 2.19 lbs
A business-focused laptop, the Asus ExpertBook B9450 may not be especially fancy-looking or the most powerful on the block, but it’s got the goods where it counts in terms of battery life. Real-world tests have it lasting up to 16 hours, depending on usage, and it also manages to be impressively slim and light – perfect for carrying between meetings throughout a busy working day. The CPU is nothing to write home about – you’ll be fine for general office productivity tasks, but pushing your luck if you try intensive tasks like video editing or gaming. Having an SSD helps the OS run at a brisk pace, and there’s a decent selection of USB ports, which is nice to see on a laptop this slim, and the 1080p display is punchy and bright
- Reliably long-lasting battery
- Slim and light
- High-quality display
- Average CPU performance
CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T
Weight: 2.02 lbs
Unlike some of the other boastful manufacturers on this list, Lenovo actually somewhat downplays the battery life of its IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. The official specs list it as having a battery life of around 10 hours, but real-world tests rate it at closer to 16 hours. Naturally this will fluctuate depending on how you use the laptop – but given that this is a fairly modestly powered Chromebook, it’s not like there are many different tasks you’re going to be pushing it into. It's another 2-in-1 that also functions as a tablet. Its 4GB of RAM and MediaTek Helio P60T processor make it the least powerful option on this list, but it’s also affordable. If you don’t need too much horsepower, this laptop is an excellent buy.
- Lightweight and cheap
- Battery lasts ages
- Meagre performance specs
- Keyboard and pad are tiny
What to look for in laptops with the best battery life
Why is a long battery life important?
Having long-lasting battery life in a laptop is hugely important if you’re the kind of worker, gamer or creative who is always on the move. With more people embracing remote working and a more nomadic approach to their jobs, there’s no practical reason you need to be tethered to the same desk all day. If you’re someone who regularly takes long flights or spends a lot of time working outdoors (such as on a location-based photoshoot) then you’ll certainly know the But of course, you can only work for as long as your laptop has power, and that means getting something with a long-lasting battery.
In terms of laptop type, generally the laptop with best battery life is going to have a traditional hinged design, or a convertible type 360-degree hinging display. Smaller detachable tablet-style laptops tend not to have room for a big enough battery to last very long. However, the good news is that a long-lasting laptop doesn’t have to be heavy – indeed, if you’ve already perused our list you may have noticed it includes a few ultraportables. This is largely thanks to advancements in processor architecture, as well as the chassis design of the laptops themselves. Technology has come a long way.
The other thing to remember is that there’s no fully objective measure of a laptop’s battery life, because it’s always going to depend on what you do with it. Some computing tasks are much more power intensive than others – like video editing or gaming – so if you’re going to be crunching your laptop’s capabilities pretty regularly, you should lower your expectations when it comes to battery life.
How to extend your laptop’s battery life
Something important about laptop battery life is that it doesn’t stay rosy forever. The more you use, deplete and recharge a laptop battery, the less effective it becomes at storing power. And while newer laptops and batteries are better at mitigating this, it is still a fact of life and chemistry that if you use any laptop for a number of years, it’s going to need charging more frequently.
There are plenty of good practices you can get in the habit of that can extend your laptop’s battery life over the long term. One of the best things you can do is avoid letting the battery drain down to absolute zero before charging it – if your laptop uses Windows, turning on the Battery Saver mode in settings is a good way to do this.
You may have heard that you’re supposed to unplug your device when it reaches 100% charge – however, most modern laptops are smart enough to stop charging when they are full, so this isn’t a problem in the way it used to be. The most effective thing you can do for longevity is prevent the laptop from discharging beneath 20% or so – so keeping it topped up when you can is a good idea, and charging it up beforehand if you know you’re not going to use it for an extended period of time.
However, all this is but a stopgap. If you keep a laptop for a long time, its battery will lose some of its capacity – that’s just a fact of life. However, with one of the picks in this guide, you can enjoy plenty of lengthy charging cycles before that happens.