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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.