The best laptops for battery life are a vital tool for anyone who has to work or study on the move in different locations – which is a lot of us in this era of hybrid working and education. Knowing that you don't need to rely on always being close to a plug socket can give you the freedom to work from a studio or lecture hall, a library, cafe or a client's office. The best laptops for battery life are useful even for those who are only computing between home and an office since you probably don't want to have to pack the charger all the time.
Even just a few years ago, many great laptops for creatives struggled to offer a full day's work on a single charge because of the amount of power needed for demanding applications. Things have greatly improved, though, thanks to both advances in battery design but also efficiency improvements in laptops themselves. Nowadays there are a lot of options. To make it easier to choose, we've drawn up our own pick of the best laptops for battery life based on our reviewers' experiences.
In the guide below, we lay out the benefits of each laptop and who it would be best suited for. We consider each laptop's power, portability, features and pricing, as well as how long the battery lasts. Of course, you can always opt for packing one of the best power banks if you're worried that even these laptops won't get you though the day. For more general laptop recommendations, see our guides to the best student laptops and the best laptops for video editing.
The best laptops for battery life available now
When the 16-inch MacBook Pro was released last year, Apple set a new bar for portable workstation laptops. The latest generation of what is the largest model in the Pro line now comes with an even beefier SoC – either the Apple M1 Pro or Apple M1 Max, providing the kind of performance you would expect only from a laptop sporting a discrete GPU.
Most importantly for the purposes of this guide, these new chips are extremely energy efficient. As a result, we found we could get over 18 hours on a single charge. For a laptop with a bright, beautiful display and the power to handle demanding work like high-resolution video editing and 3D rendering, that’s incredibly impressive.
Read our full MacBook Pro 16-inch review for more details on this beast of a laptop.
Apple's standard M1 chip isn't to be sniffed at in terms of power and efficiency either. Despite being the entry-level laptop in the MacBook family, and an old one too (the MacBook Air 2022 has just been released, and may well make it into this guide once we've reviewed it), the 2020 MacBook Air is still a very worthy laptop. It comes with the same ARM-based Apple M1 chip as the more expensive MacBook Pro 13-inch, while its fanless design makes it lighter.
Battery life came in behind at around 11 hours in our own tests, though Apple claims the laptop can run up to 15 hours of web browsing and 18 hours of video playback. We've placed it higher on our list due to the value factor, with the MacBook Air significantly cheaper than the Pro 13. Note that we're hoping to see a new MacBook Air released in 2022. There was no word on this at Apple's March event, but it might be along later in the year.
Read our full MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review for more details.
Not a fan of the Apple ecosystem? No problem, because you don't need a MacBook to get a laptop with good battery life. Microsoft's brilliant Surface Laptop studio, can give many MacBooks a run for their money. This gorgeous 2-in-1 has a stunning design and a thin, light body that seamlessly transitions between a laptop and tablet format, giving you the convenience of a Windows laptop with a very comfortable keyboard but also a touchscreen tablet with stylus support.
It can be configured to offer some powerful specs (including cutting-edge integrated graphics from either Intel or AMD, depending on the configuration you go for). The reason it's in this guide though is that it also offers great battery life for these specs. We managed to keep it trundling along for over 13 hours in our own tests, but Microsoft claims that you can stretch that up to 19 hours on the AMD-powered model.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review for more details.
If the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops are too large for you, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2020) should be on your radar. It doesn't come with the same M1 Pro or M1 Max configurations as its younger, larger siblings, but this compact portable workstation is still a force to be reckoned with. It can handle 4K and even 8K content and run demanding apps thanks to the power of the M1 chip. As for battery life, in our tests, it managed just under 13 hours.
See our MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review for more details.
The Acer Chromebook 314 is a fantastic Chromebook for anyone on a tight budget. Despite its affordability, it still offers great features including a bright and vibrant 14-inch display and a whopping 10-hour battery life to keep you going through an entire day's work or study without needing to charge.
Of course, this is largely because Chrome OS is less demanding than Windows 10 or Windows 11. It does present some issues for software compatibility, but if you only need a device for online-only services and communications, this is a great choice that doesn't require you to splash too much cash.
See our full Acer Chromebook 314 review for more details.
Dell offers some of the best non-Apple laptops going in the world, and the Dell XPS 13 is no exception. Offering a thin and light design alongside a gorgeous display and some of the most powerful components you'll find in a laptop, this is a stunning device that's easy to carry around, while being powerful enough to handle graphic design tasks without breaking a sweat.
Battery life isn't the best on the 3.5K version (3456 x 2160 touch OLED) – we got slightly less than the 8 hours 12 minutes that Dell quotes when we tested it, but the FHD version of this sleek laptop can go for up to 14 hours.
See our full Dell XPS 13 review for more details.
The LG Gram 17 has a beautiful 17-inch display that will offer you plenty of workspace, and It's also incredibly light, weighing just over 1kg. It packs in Intel's new 11th generation processors and Iris Xe graphics, suitable for running most everyday applications. Battery life is also extremely impressive. LG claims up to 19.5 hours, but we've found 12 hours on a single charge to be very doable. It doesn't have the premium style of a MacBook, but if you need a large display and long battery life on a Windows-based laptop, the LG Gram 17 is ideal.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a fantastic gaming laptop, which may feel out of place on this list as gaming portables are hardly known for offering the best laptop battery life, but this powerful device equipped with AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card can last for a whopping 11 hours on a single charge. For a gaming laptop, that's impressive battery life.
As far as gaming laptops go, this is among the laptop battery life aorund, and those powerful components can also come in handy for creatives who use demanding software. The display is excellent for video and photography editors, featuring a 120Hz refresh rate, while the GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card can boost some features across various applications thanks to Nvidia Studio.
The Asus TUF A15 is a great value gaming rig that offers incredible durability and impressively long battery life, capable of lasting up to 12 hours under the right conditions (as testing in a looped video benchmark). These are no small numbers for a gaming laptop, with many of the popular offerings typically achieving under 5-hours on real-world usage.
The great laptop battery life is largely thanks to the energy-efficient AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, which helps the device run for longer than those powered by power-hungry Intel CPUs. Meanwhile, the powerful internal components are ideal for 3D applications like Blender, so while this was intended to run demanding AAA games, you can also use its capabilities to run creative software.