Few things are more annoying than a dead battery right when you need it most, and of course, that's your laptop's favorite time to die.
No matter what operating system you prefer or how sure you were that you packed your charger, a dead battery brings things to a screeching halt.
The best way to avoid it, of course, is to get a laptop that focuses on battery life as one of its main features.
But how do you find one that doesn't compromise elsewhere and will still be able to do everything you need it to?
In this article, we are going to show you how to pick the best battery life laptop that fits your needs.
- For Apple fans, the Apple 13.3" MacBook Air offers an extremely light and sleek design in addition to 12 hours of battery life, the most offered from Apple whose machines are usually rated for about 10.
- If you prefer Windows, the Dell XPS 13 9360 13.3" comes from one of Dell's best design lines and offers a stunning 16 hours of juice in addition to stellar hardware that will keep performance at the forefront.
- And for the Chromebook users, the ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip offers the simplicity of Chrome OS in addition to a convertible, touchscreen design that functions as a laptop or tablet and about 9-10 hours of battery.
Who Should (Or Should Not) Get This?
In some cases, it will be simply impossible to get the battery life you want out of a laptop while also maintaining the computer power you need to work.
This is especially true if you work in the creative industry - any CAD modeling, video/photo editing or other artistic endeavors are known to be quick drains of the battery due to the amount of power the programs use regardless of what machine you have.
However, if you use your laptop for more traditional business purposes such as checking email, spreadsheet, presentations, or simple internet browsing, you can definitely benefit from a bigger, more efficient battery. These operations use minimal power, so the effect of a larger battery will be much more noticeable.
The Best Battery Life Laptop: What to Consider?
If you want more battery life, you need a bigger battery first and foremost. This means you need to look for laptops that are rated with large batteries. The amount of power is measured in mAh, where a higher number is better. Your typical laptop will have a battery rated between 2000 and 6000 mAh.
A larger battery can sometimes come at a performance cost. Because the unit is physically larger, it can make it harder to fit in other components such as extra RAM or storage space. So make sure you know ahead of time what your minimum performance needs are before compromising for the sake of your battery. You'll also want to make sure the OS can balance all of its computing power with the battery power available so it doesn't drain too quickly.
Of course, you can always get peripherals yourself, but it's better when they come built in, both in terms of value and convenience. Look for laptops that include an HD webcam, all of the ports you want (or the necessary dongles, if you're a MacBook Pro fan), and any fancy tech such as touch bar, fingerprint scanners, or facial recognition features. Optical drives can also be useful, but keep in mind that they're becoming less common on modern laptops, and add significant bulk to your machine.
Best Laptop with Battery Life 2018: Our Picks
Around half an inch thick and weighing only 2.68 pounds, the MacBook Air is nearly weightless in your bag, but it still packs a punch. The battery is rated for 12 hours, so you're sure to make it through the workday while still taking advantage of a lightning fast SSD drive and an ample 8 GB of RAM.
- Extremely lightweight and portable, with plenty of power for business and study uses.
- Battery lasts 12 hours, which will surely get you through the day.
- Lacks the Retina display and Touch Bar associated with most modern MacBooks.
If you prefer Windows as your operating system of choice, the Dell XPS is a great choice. It comes from a long line of high-performance models. The 8th generation Intel processor is the latest and greatest, plus the computer has an incredible 16 hours stamina despite weighing just 2.6 pounds.
- Thin and light design coupled with an SSD drive and top of the line processor makes for a stellar computer even before account for a 16 hours battery life.
- It's a laptop truly built for getting business done.
- Only comes with 256GB of storage, which may not be sufficient for some users.
Chromebooks are known for their educational usefulness, but many other users also prefer them for their simplicity and heavy integration of the Google suite of applications. This Chromebook combines the best of ChromeOS with a touchscreen design and a convertible lid that allows you to use it as a laptop or tablet for up to 10 hours.
- Convertible lid provides more versatility than a regular laptop.
- The design is sleek, and you can take advantage of all of Google's integrations.
- The battery is rated for 10 hours.
- Only has USB-C ports, so you'll probably want to invest in some adapters to use your legacy USB-A peripherals or HDMI/VGA connections.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Besides getting a bigger, more efficient battery, you can start saving power through your settings and actions, even on your current laptop. It's simple, and most of these fixes are quick and easy.
- Make your screen dimmer. The screen takes up the largest amount of your laptop's battery and dimming it will significantly reduce this effect.
- Change your performance settings. If you're on Windows 10, you can switch between "best battery life", "best performance", and a middle ground. On macOS, you have similar options in settings.
- Stop multitasking so intensely. While it makes sense to have multiple windows, you should set aside some of those 30 tabs or background programs if you want to see an increase in battery life.
For more ways on how to lengthen your battery life, and some more advanced tips, try checking out the advice that PCMag has to share.
Aren't sure about getting a whole new laptop just because of the battery? You can always consider buying an external battery pack instead to use as a backup, which can also double as a charger for your other devices in a pinch.
Our computers are supposed to work for us, not against us! If your laptop has been failing you lately in the battery department, you know it's time for an upgrade, and hopefully, our guide can help you pick the right new option for you.
We'd love to hear about how the battery has functioned on your laptops old and new, so make sure to leave a comment below!
Chris is a computer geek for a decade. He loved talking to computers via codes, and now he finds it more interesting communicating with the real people. He now writes everything related to computer issues and loves helping people solve problems.