The best laptops for battery life are capable enough to tackle your day-to-day tasks and power-efficient enough that you won't run out of juice unexpectedly.
Everyone values battery life in a portable PC, but finding the laptops with the best battery life is tricky because not only is each model different, but what you're doing on the laptop and how has a big impact on how long it lasts before needing to be plugged in. Worse, many laptop vendors quote too-good-to-be-true battery life estimates for their products that rarely stand up to real-world use.
That's why we send every laptop we review through our testing lab, which puts each PC to the test in a battery (pardon the pun) of performance benchmarks. One of those tests involves tasking the laptop with endlessly surfing the web via Wi-Fi with its screen set to 150 nits of brightness, then timing how long it takes to run out of power.
This test gives us a decent idea of how long you can expect a laptop to last on a single charge while browsing the web. More importantly, it gives us a standard metric we can use to see how laptops stack up against each other in terms of power efficiency.
We review dozens of laptops from the top manufacturers every year, then gather the very best (4 stars or higher) together here and rank them by how long they lasted on a fully-charged battery. Laptops are only allowed on this list if they earned 4 stars or more and lasted 12 hours or longer in our battery test, which should give you some confidence you can use one for an eight-hour workday without having to recharge.
However, keep in mind that battery life fluctuates based on a number of factors, including what you're doing and how your laptop is configured.
Regardless, any laptop on this list should deliver best-in-class battery life, though if you're looking to buy one make sure you first check out our growing list of the best Black Friday deals to see if you can save a nice chunk of change!
The best laptops for battery life you can buy today
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Want a lot of power in a small form factor? Then you may be looking for the new 14-inch MacBook Pro which sports Apple's new M3 chip that delivers excellent performance, surprisingly robust graphics and of course, fantastic battery life. This model features a 14-inch, mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display and in our lab tests, we saw that it's display is even brighter than its predecessor. The new MacBook Pro 14-inch still has a notch but its 120Hz refresh rate makes for a smoother overall experience.
One change that most people probably won't prefer though is that the MacBook Pro M3 only has two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports on its left side compared to three available with the MacBook Pro M3 Pro. On the right side, you'll find an SD card slot which creative pros will certainly appreciate along with an HDMI port. During the Tom's Guide battery test, the MacBook Pro M3 lasted an epic 17 hours and 25 minutes while continually surfing the web at 150 nits of screen brightness. Its keyboard remains basically unchanged and its power button continues to integrate a Touch ID button for easy logins.
Read our full MacBook Pro 14-inch (M3, 2023) review.
The MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Max, 2023) delivers some of the best performance we've seen yet in a laptop of this size thanks to Apple's new M3 Max chip. Design wise, things remain relatively similar except that this laptop is now available in a new Space Black finish that's designed to prevent fingerprints. Most importantly for our purposes though, the M3 Max chip allowed the new MacBook Pro 16-inch to last for 17 hours and 11 minutes in our battery life test.
The MacBook Pro M3 Max also impressed us with its 16.2-inch Liquid Retina Display that remains as gorgeous as ever while its 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate made everything run smoothly including games. In terms of ports, there are two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports and a headphone jack on the left as well as another Thunderbolt 4/USB-C port, an HDMI port and an SD card slot on the right. At the moment, the MacBook Pro M3 Max is the premium Apple notebook to get especially if you're a professional video editor or just want a MacBook you can game on.
Read our full MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Max, 2023) review.
The AMD-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 OLED is an excellent value, offering an eye-catching 1080p OLED display and exceptional 15-hour (in our tests) battery life in a slim, lightweight package for less than a thousand bucks.
Sure, the speakers aren't amazing, the webcam leaves something to be desired, and there's no headphone jack, but these are stumbling blocks you can work around. If you need a zippy little ultraportable with a great screen that will last you all day long, you can't do better than the OLED-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 at this price.
Read our full Asus Zenbook 13 OLED review.
The MacBook Air was always the best MacBook for most people, and even now that the M2 model is out, the original MacBook Air with M1 is still a great laptop, with great 14-hour battery life and strong performance in a lightweight package.
Apple's decision to replace its Intel processors with its own Apple Silicon, starting with the M1 chip in the MacBook Air, is reaping serious rewards. This laptop's 14 hours and 41 minutes of battery life on the Tom's Guide battery test is excellent, and the M1 chip gives it enough power to tackle whatever day-to-day tasks you throw at it.
The MacBook Air's webcam has also been upgraded, as the M1 chip provides signal processing tricks to improve clarity and color accuracy. And, of course, the Magic Keyboard is still here, which provides a comfy typing experience.
Read our full MacBook Air with M1 review.
While the 14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 didn't last quite as long in our battery tests as the 16-inch model, it still lasted over 14 hours, which is remarkable.
Other than that and the size difference, this is basically the same laptop as the 16-inch model. That means HDMI-out and an SD card reader for when you need to expand your display or use external memory. Also, MagSafe charging is back, though it doesn't displace USB-C charging either. What is gone, though is the Touch Bar, that little touch screen that sat above the keyboard. It's been replaced for full-sized function (F1-F12) keys, which we're happy to see back.
Apple's also upgraded its internal webcam to 1080p (from 720p), as we're all spending far more time on video conferencing calls than ever before. Combined with that fantastic display, improved internal mics and a six-speaker setup that produces stellar sound, the new MacBook Pro will have everything looking and sounding better than before.
Read our full MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch) review.
While it couldn't match the performance of its predecessor in our battery tests, the new MacBook Air M2 is still a remarkably long-lasting laptop. With 14 hours of tested battery life you should have no trouble taking this out for a day of work without bringing a charger, and it delivers everything you could want in a notebook: great performance, an awesome display, long battery life and plenty of comfort in a very sleek design.
This new Air lives up to its name by shrinking down the design 20% by volume and measuring just 0.44 inches thick. And it's quite light at 2.7 pounds. And yet the M2 chip inside this machine delivers power that outperforms most Windows laptops. It's a multitasking champ, and if you want more graphics might you can upgrade to a 10-core GPU.
We also really like the bright display on the new MacBook Air M2, which rivals the MacBook Pro M2, and it's now bigger at 13.6 inches with slimmer bezels. Other highlights include a sharp 1080p webcam, MagSafe charging and four color options. The only strikes against this system are the somewhat distracting notch and support for only a single external display.
Read our full Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022) review.
Costing under $300 yet delivering over 12 hours of tested battery life, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a remarkable value and a very power-efficient Chromebook. It's technically a Chrome tablet, but the keyboard comes free, making this a great device for casually surfing the web and getting some light work done.
Oh, and it's also a solid tablet too, thanks to strong color output and a sharp resolution that you rarely see at this price point. The Chromebook Duet also sees ChromeOS gain some touchscreen tablet optimizations that it's needed for a while, making it easier to navigate all of your tabs. The only knock against it? Its cramped keyboard might take some getting used to, especially if you have large hands.
Read our full Lenovo Chromebook Duet review.
When we hear a laptop is incredibly thin and light, it makes us worry about how long its battery will last on a single charge. That's not the case here, as the 2-pound Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano lasted 12 hours on our battery test, which should be more than enough to get you through a day at the office.
Lenovo didn't sacrifice on performance or usability either. The Nano's Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors provide the speed you need for tons of productivity — and its keyboard provides a snappy and comfortable typing experience that lives up to the ThinkPad brand. You just might need to pack a USB-C hub, though, as it's a little light on ports.
Read our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano review.
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is an ultra-thin 2-in-1 laptop that's tailor-made for people who are always on the go. With a tested battery life of nearly 12 hours it's got plenty of juice to get you through a day at the office. And like last year's Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360, this iteration features a gorgeous AMOLED screen that's perfect for media consumption. It's also ideal for work thanks to its speedy performance.
Though a Windows laptop at its core, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 comes loaded with a slew of Samsung software. This could be good or bad, depending on how invested you are in the Samsung ecosystem. If you are, then you'll find that this 2-in-1 pairs nicely with your Samsung tablets and phones. Otherwise, all of these applications are effectively bloatware.
Despite the middling webcam and Samsung bloatware, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 has a lot going for it and is a 2-in-1 we highly recommend to those who are in the market for a powerful, portable laptop that pairs nicely with Samsung devices. The fact that it comes with Samsung's S Pen stylus included is a nice touch that makes this especially nice if you like doodling notes or just doodling in general.
How to choose the right long-lasting laptop for you
What kind of power do you need? Forget about battery power for a minute -- what kind of performance do you need from your new laptop? If you only need something basic for surfing the web, consider a Chromebook -- the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is an especially good value, if you don't mind a tablet. If you plan on getting more intensive work done, consider buying a laptop with at least a Core i5 CPU, 8 to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB to 512GB SSD.
What kind of games do you want to play? Most mainstream laptops (including nearly everything on this list) feature integrated graphics, which can handle lightweight titles such as Minecraft and Fortnite but aren't ideal for graphically-demanding games or heavy visual work. For that, you'll want a laptop with a discrete graphics card, such as an Nvidia GTX 3000-series on the higher end. While no dedicated gaming laptop has the battery efficiency to make it on this list, we recommend the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which lasted over 10 hours in our battery test. Of course, you'll get far less (maybe a couple hours) when playing demanding games, but that's still better battery performance than most gaming laptops.
How big of a laptop do you want? Consider how mobile you want your laptop to be. Machines such as the Dell XPS 13 and HP Elite Dragonfly are feather light with slim designs, but their 13-inch screens are on the small side. You can get a larger 15-inch display on a premium ultraportable like the XPS 15 and still not have to worry about weight too much, but once you start getting up into the realm of 17-inch screens, expect your laptop to weigh at least a few pounds. Gaming laptops such as the Alienware m15 R4 have more heft to them, than thin-and-light ultraportables, but offer big power in exchange.
Do you want Chrome, macOS, or Windows? Thanks to recent tech improvements, no operating system is out of the question if you really want a long-lasting laptop. You have your choice between Windows (pre-installed on most laptops), macOS (MacBooks) and Chrome OS (Chromebooks). Windows 10 is the most common operating system, but if you buy a new Windows laptop these days it may well come with Windows 11, which makes meaningful improvements to the way Windows deals with touch interfaces but is otherwise not a huge upgrade. Apple's macOS is more ideal for folks already tied into Apple's ecosystem, while Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system built to allow for cheap, fast systems, though it has gotten a bit more robust over the years with support for full Android apps.
How we test the best laptops
To find the best laptop, we run every machine through a rigorous suite of benchmarks and real-world tests to gauge how it will perform during everyday use.
We measure the average brightness and color quality of each laptop's display using our in-house light meter and colorimeter. For general performance, we run our machines through tests that include Geekbench 5 (CPU performance), as well as various 3DMark tests to measure graphics capabilities. We also run a file transfer test to measure how fast a machine's hard drive is, and our custom battery test that has the machine browse the internet over Wi-Fi until it runs out of juice.
When testing dedicated gaming laptops, we run benchmarks for popular games such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
For more details on our testing process, check out our guide to how we test products at Tom's Guide.