The 5 laptops and tablets with the best battery life


These laptops and tablets from Apple, Samsung, Dell and Microsoft will last the distance.

Staying in charge


Whether you're working out of your local cafe or way out in the bush, a laptop or tablet battery that can last the distance will make a huge difference to your working day. 

Here are the top five performers in terms of battery life from CHOICE's most recent tests.

Need to know:

  • CHOICE tested the battery life of laptops and tablets under heavy usage.
  • We also tested charging time to 80% and 100% capacity. 
  • Five products came out on top.
  • The top performing brands were Apple, Samsung, Dell and Microsoft.
  • Find out how we test.
 apple ipad air wi fi cellular a2123

1. Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular (A2123)

  • Battery life score: 89%
  • Average battery life – heavy usage: 12h 20m
  • Charging time to 80%: 3h 4m
  • Charging time to 100%: 4h 20m

This tablet offers the longest battery life of all the tablets and laptops we tested, but also a very long charge time.

What the CHOICE experts say: The screen is very good, it gives long battery life (but slow charging), and feels zippy to use.

 samsung galaxy tab s4 wi fi 256gb

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Wi-Fi 256GB (SM-T830NZKLXSA)

  • Battery life score: 81%
  • Average battery life – heavy usage: 10h 27m
  • Charging time to 80%: 2h 3m
  • Charging time to 100%: 3h 14m

Another tablet with a good battery life, this one also has quite a long charge time.

What the CHOICE experts say: Not bad if you want the convenience of a slim tablet and a desktop computer all in one device, but the cost of the required accessories add up.

 dell xps 13 9360

3. Dell XPS 13 9360

  • Battery life score: 77%
  • Average battery life – heavy usage: 9h 20m
  • Charging time to 80%: 1h 29m
  • Charging time to 100%: 2h 38m

This laptop hits the sweet spot between battery life and charging time: while its battery life is still very good, its charge time is much faster than both the Samsung and Apple products.

What the CHOICE experts say: Overall, a very solidly built laptop with good speed and an excellent matte screen.

 samsung galaxy book 2

4. Samsung Galaxy Book 2 (SM-W737YZSBXA)

  • Battery life score: 74%
  • Average battery life – heavy usage: 8h 24m
  • Charging time to 80%: 1h 53m
  • Charging time to 100%: 3h 12m

This Samsung has a long charge time, but still offers good battery life.

What the CHOICE experts say: The Galaxy Book 2 pairs Windows 10 S (or Home if you upgrade for free) with ARM computing architecture. Our user experience was not always smooth.

microsoft surface book 2

5. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (HMW-00009)

  • Battery life score: 71%
  • Average battery life – heavy usage: 7h 35m
  • Charging time to 80%: 2h 26m
  • Charging time to 100%: 3h 28m

The base has its own battery, which will extend the battery life, but it is very slow to charge to 80% in our tests when used as a laptop.

What the CHOICE experts say: Its desktop base adds extra battery life (there is also a model with a graphics card included in the base) and allows it to be used reasonably well as a traditional laptop.

How we test battery life

Battery life testing for laptops starts with each battery conditioned to achieve optimum life, then tested under a heavy-usage scenario. The power management features are set to maximum performance and screen brightness to 100%, with Wi-Fi turned on and connected to a network.


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