No matter how stacked its specs are, a laptop is useless if it can’t hold a charge. Fortunately, there are plenty of notebooks that go the distance. Using Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 units of brightness, Laptop Guide identified the longest-lasting notebooks on the market. We’re talking more than 10 hours of endurance, which should more than suffice for that cross-country fight, a long day of meetings or multiple, back-to-back classes.
Lenovo ThinkPad X260 (17:14)
The ThinkPad X260’s 17 hours of endurance are enough to fly from New York to Taiwan or spend every waking hour of the day online, before going for a short night’s sleep. If you need even more endurance, the 12.5-inch laptop has Lenovo’s Power Bridge technology, which lets you swap out the battery while the system remains on. At 3.6 pounds (with the extended battery), the X260 is light enough to go anywhere and slim enough to fit in small spaces. Even better, Lenovo’s laptop offers a comfortable keyboard, accurate touchpad and plenty for performance for getting work done.
Lenovo ThinkPad T460 (17:04)
If you want a truly fantastic keyboard, durable chassis and strong performance, look no further than the ThinkPad T460. Unlike its slim sibling, the T460s, the T460 makes room for an optional extended battery that gives this 14-inch laptop up to 17 hours of endurance (with its non-touch display). A durable, MIL-SPEC-tested chassis helps this long-lasting business notebook stand up to the rigors of all-day business travel.
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook (14:43)
When it comes to price per hour of battery life, Acer’s $199, 14-inch Aspire One Cloudbook has every other system beat. On Laptop Mag’s Battery Test, the Cloudbook lasted a staggering 14 hours and 43 minutes on a single charge, 2.5 hours more than the next-closest budget machine, the Asus X205. You also get a big 14-inch screen, a sturdy body, a full-sized keyboard and Windows 10 instead of Chrome OS. So if you’re looking for an affordable system that doesn’t need to be tethered to an outlet, this is the laptop for you.
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (14:00)
The latest MacBook Air keeps the same sleek design as its predecessor and adds a 5th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and even faster flash storage. And, with a 14-hour runtime, it lasts nearly 2 hours longer than before. Add in OS X and its useful Continuity features, and it’s easy to see why the $999 Air is one of our favorite ultraportable values.
Dell Chromebook 13 (13:25)
With its soft-touch carbon fiber lid, magnesium alloy deck and full HD display, this 13-inch system certainly doesn’t look like a Chromebook. It also boasts a backlit keyboard, Intel Celeron processor and 16GB of storage, making it powerful enough for all cloud-related tasks. But its best attribute is its 13-plus hour endurance, better than any Chromebook we’ve tested.
Microsoft Surface Book (12:29)
When coupled with its keyboard dock, Microsoft’s first notebook will last up to 12.5 hours. But this “ultimate laptop” also comes with a clever fulcrum hinge, 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000-pixel display, and a magnetically attached stylus. All this in a minimalist magnesium chassis that will probably end up in MoMA.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display (12:04)
Not only does the 2015 MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display last more than an hour longer than the 2014 model — 12:04 versus an already-excellent 10:44 — but it’s also a lot more powerful. Plus, a new Force Touch trackpad can sense pressure, letting you do more things with fewer clicks.
Dell XPS 13 (11:54)
Not only did Dell manage to fit a 13-inch display into an 11-inch, 2.6-pound chassis, but it also squeezed in enough juice to last nearly 12 hours. (The touch version, which has a quad HD display, made it 7.5 hours). Add to that a Core i6 processor, 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, a backlit keyboard and a smooth touchpad, and you’ve got one of the best ultraportables of the year.
Vaio Z (11:42)
Vaio’s premium laptop doesn’t come cheap, but you get nearly 12 hours of endurance for its $1,499 starting price. The 13-inch laptop also boasts a bevy of high-end features including a 28-watt Core i5 CPU that’s on par with the MacBook Pro’s processor, a blazing-fast PCIe SSD and one of the brightest displays we’ve ever seen on a laptop. At 2.6 pounds, the Vaio Z is also light enough to take anywhere while you leave your charger at home.
Lenovo 100s Chromebook (11:19)
For less than $200, you can get a notebook that lasts more than 11 hours. The highly portable Lenovo 100s Chromebook weighs just 2.5 pounds and has a better than expected keyboard for the price, but typing is a bit cramped on this 11-inch system. Its Celeron CPU will easily get you through email and Web surfing, though.
Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA (10:56)
For under $350, the Transformer Book Flip TP200A gives you a whole lot of functionality and endurance in a lightweight package. This 11.6-inch 2-in-1 features a 360-degree hinge that allows it to morph into tablet, tent or stand modes. This hybrid provides a USB Type-C port for the next generation of peripherals, a bright display with accurate colors and nearly 11 hours of battery life.
Dell Latitude 15 3570 (10:25)
Dell’s 15-inch budget business laptop doesn’t have the best keyboard and screen, but it offers a durable chassis and very long battery life. When you configure it with the extended battery, a $20 option, the Latitude 15 3570’s endurance jumps up to 10 hours and 25 minutes. The 3570 starts at just $449, though we recommend configuring it with a Core i5 CPU, which brings the price up to $599.
Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35 (10:05)
Our favorite Chromebook, the 13-inch Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35 pairs a vibrant full HD screen with a snappy keyboard and attractive, textured-plastic chassis. Best of all, Toshiba’s laptop lasts over 10 hours on a charge.