There are always things you can do to stretch the battery life of a laptop. But if you rely on your computer to deliver a full day’s work before giving out, you want a model that packs plenty of power.
The laptops on the list below offer a variety of benefits, including in some cases the ability to fold up and double as a tablet. But the thing that makes them truly stand out is generous battery life.
The Lenovo Yoga 920, for example, delivers more than 16 hours of unflagging productivity, according to our testers. That’s enough to power you through the workday and even a movie before you go to sleep.
Because people depend on their laptops day and night, we test the battery life on every model that enters our labs. And according to Antonette Asedillo, who oversees that testing, the protocol is designed to resemble real-world use.
We start by setting the brightness of the computer’s display to 200 nits—a level that works indoors and out. Then, with the battery fully charged, we cycle the laptop through a series of 10 web pages, downloading them continually until the laptop shuts down.
The web pages are stored on a server in our lab, and transmitted over a WiFi network set up specifically for this purpose. We use the computer’s default browser—Edge for Windows 10 laptops, Safari for Apple laptops, and Chrome for Chromebooks.
Under these conditions, we get a fair read on how almost any laptop—everything from a $2,400 MacBook Pro to a $200 HP Chromebook—will perform for the average user.
And based on our test results, it’s safe to say you can readily find well-made laptops that cross the 14-hour threshold. Of course, you may also stumble across models that provide less than half that. Case in point: the 12-inch Samsung Galaxy Book doesn’t even reach 6 hours.
But the models on this list come recommended by our testers, which means they’re less likely to succumb to fatigue before you need to start closing apps or dimming the brightness on your display.
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C2W3
Also recommended for consumers who are looking for a good deal, the $250 Acer Spin 1 boasts a tick more than 14 hours of battery life.
At 11.6 inches, it has the smallest display of the models discussed here, which may be a tight fit for people who, say, spend all day sifting through row after row inside Excel documents or who regularly edit lengthy text documents in Word or Google Docs. Our testers also noted that viewing angles were quite wide. That means you can adjust the tilt of the display without a negative impact on legibility. That’s useful, especially considering the screen can be folded backward against the bottom of the keyboard to function like a tablet.
The Spin 1’s other specs, including an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of memory (RAM), and 32GB of solid state storage, suggest that you probably won’t be editing 4K video anytime soon. But being able to handle typical productivity workloads for more than 14 hours at a clip is no doubt valuable.
Dell XPS 13 XPS9360-7710SLV
Dell’s 13.3-inch XPS is among the fastest laptops we’ve tested at Consumer Reports, and one that just so happens to have a battery that lasts nearly 16 hours. And unlike the modestly spec’d Acer Spin, this Dell has more than enough power, including an Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB of solid state storage, and 8GB of memory (RAM) to cut through demanding applications. You may not be able to play popular games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds at the absolute highest settings, but you’ll be able to, say, edit and organize your photos in something like Adobe Lightroom without any trouble.
What else makes the XPS 13 worth your hard-earned money? For one thing, it’s very light. Weighing in at a mere 2.7 pounds, it can be carted from room to room in your house without much effort and slipped into a backpack for trips across town. Unlike the Spin 1, though, you won’t be able to fold it up to use like a tablet; this is a traditional notebook that works best on your desk or in your lap. Good thing our testers found the keyboard, with its large keys, comfortable to type on.
HP Spectre x360 13t
Like the Dell XPS 13, the HP Spectre x360 13t is a 13.3-inch laptop with higher-end offerings for people who want a powerful laptop without necessarily springing for a gaming model. Those specs, which include an Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB of solid state storage, and 8GB of memory (RAM), should be more than enough to handle any productivity task you throw at it.
Also like the XPS 13, HP’s Spectre x360 is no slouch when it comes to battery life, which our testers found to last 15.25 hours on a single charge. While about 30 minutes shy of the XPS 13’s numbers, the Spectre may be more attractive to some consumers because of its ability to fold up and be used like a tablet. It’s also nearly as light as the XPS 13, coming in at 2.8 pounds.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch MF839LL/A
Macs more than hold their own when it comes to battery life. Take this MacBook Pro model, which clocks in at 14.5 hours, according to our testers. That’s not the longest on this list, no, but for consumers who prefer to use macOS instead of Windows 10, it’s still more than enough to get through the day with several hours to spare.
This particular MacBook Pro has a 13-inch display, which our testers found to be bright and accurate with wide viewing angles in case more than one person needs to look at the screen at the same time. Its specs largely align with the Dell and HP models above. An Intel Core i5 processor will easily handle demanding productivity tasks like applying filters in Photoshop, and 128GB of solid state storage and 8GB of memory (RAM) round out the package.
Consumers should note that this particular model doesn’t have the Touch Bar, a thin, programmable strip of glass that replaces the traditional row of function keys (F1, F2, etc.) on Apple’s more expensive MacBook Pro models.
Lenovo Yoga 920 14
With a 13.9-inch display, the Lenovo Yoga 920 14 is the largest laptop on this list. It also sports the longest battery life, at 16.5 hours. Again, more than enough to get you through a single day, and possibly enough to last a full second day depending on how you treat it. (Keep those open apps to a minimum.)
Like the HP Spectre x360 13t, the Yoga 920 14 can be folded around and used as a tablet, which may prove useful for some consumers, especially since it weighs only 3 pounds.
Similar to the Dell and HP models, this one is plenty powerful for demanding productivity tasks, but perhaps not suited for playing the latest 3D games at the highest settings. The Intel Core i7 processor will easily handle anything Microsoft Office will throw at you, and the 256GB solid state drive and 8GB of memory (RAM) should more than hold their own against everyday use.