Laptops with long battery life 2012

About The Author

CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

As we review laptops throughout 2012, we'll add their battery life stats here. If battery's the most important thing to you, this is the place to look.

Current king of the hill, Dell's XPS 14.
(Credit: HP)

We run two separate battery tests when we test laptops at CNET Australia — a heavy test, which turns up screen brightness and volume to full and plays back a 720p H.264 video; and a light test, which sets screen brightness to 40 per cent and visits three different websites every 20 seconds until battery exhaustion.

We've separated the below into screen sizes, so you can identify first what size laptop you want, then find how it rates in our tests.

< 13-inch

13- to 14.4-inch

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

15- to 19-inch

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Add Your Comment 22

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Laser Tek posted a comment   

I should have read this before I purchase my laptop. Urgh. Because I lack the research, I ended up buying a laptop battery replacement because I keep on draining my battery at the quarter of a day.


LesA posted a comment   
United Kingdom

Maybe this is a dumb question, but why don't laptop manufacturers build solar panels into the lids of their laptops as a sort of auxiliary power source?


dougaussie posted a reply   

i think thats a good idea, they have solar watches and calculators. Maybe its a weight thing.


DominicC posted a reply   

Well basically

1.that would be a cost thing, it will just mean higher price for the product.

2. Also solar panels doesn't have a very effective wield. Considering the energy require to sustain a laptop, solar panel isn't a necessary must for all laptop, but watch out in tablets (its lowered this year with kelper and ivy bridge, but not as low as using an ARM processor, which is built to be much higher efficiency)

3. You require the sun. This might sound really stupid (like duh), but most laptop screens suffers terribly in sun condition. And there is no way to avoid this, even with matter screen. Best method is to turn up the brightness of the screen, but that will just defy the point of a solar panel. There are a few panels that can work with indoor lights, but not very popular. Logitech has one for ipad keyboard I think.

The problem with recharging method will always be its environmental dependance. Unless you plug in the cord (or maybe wireless in the near future, I consider the wireless pad thing still wire solution, since you still need to be in physical contact.) all recharge methods require a certain environment condition, mostly annoyance to the usage of a laptop, to be effective.

I reckon the next year major theme for laptops and tablets with be battery breakthrough, much like the retina display for apple this year, going nuts with the retina.


FordMond posted a comment   

I'd like to know how MSI GT60-i789W7H performs on your test, I checked some reviews and it should be better than Samsung Series 7.


grumpi posted a comment   

Wow. This table is a really useful addition to CNet's Laptop reviews.

I'm sweating on an Ultrabook-esque style Ivy Bridge laptop with a discrete graphics card and maybe a DVD burner.


Tom Wood posted a comment   

Hi again Craig,

This might be too much but I was wondering if you know if any of the 13" ultrabooks with long battery have traditionally sized 2.5" sata (not msata) hard drives?. I ask because a client wants a long-lasting ultrabook but with a big hard drive and you can't really get bigger msata's yet.

Many Thanks,
Tom Wood


Craig Simms posted a reply   

Hi Tom,

Of the ultrabooks we've reviewed, Acer's Aspire S3 contains a 2.5-inch, as does Samsung's Series 5 (a Hitachi HTS543232A7A384 and Samsung MZ7PC128HAFU-000 respectively). Everything else has contained an mSATA drive. Be aware of height clearances though, not all 2.5-inch drives re created equal.



Tom Wood posted a reply   

Thanks again that's great!

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