Your favorite browser might be draining your laptop’s battery life unnecessarily. Is it time to ditch Chrome or Firefox and pick a more energy-aware browser when you’re out and about? Let’s find out.
Microsoft did its own tests, which other browser-makers contest.
Our test machine: a battery champ!
Under normal circumstances, the Surface Book is a true battery life wonder: It gives me 8 ½ hours of movie playback, 10 hours of working in Office and 2 hours of 3D gaming on the road. So basically, we’ve got one very energy efficient laptop/tablet hybrid.
Now let’s take a look at the results.
1st battery life test results: browser video streaming
The different browsers show quite different impacts on the Surface Book’s battery life when streaming video content.
Google Chrome had the biggest impact on battery life with the laptop dying after 3 hours and 2 minutes. Edge, on the other hand, kept the laptop streaming for another hour for a total of 4 hours and 5 minutes, with the two other browsers sitting in between.
It’s quite astounding that just by picking the right browser you can save another hour.
2nd battery life test: continuously opening websites
Yet again, Edge takes the crown by offering more battery life than the rest: 5 hours and 18 minutes. Not bad. Chrome’s battery drain isn’t as bad this time, with 4 hours and 40 minutes of total runtime. Both Opera and Firefox trail behind a bit.
There are a lot of factors other than battery life when it comes to choosing a browser, and even though these tests aren’t 100% scientific due to the variances in online connection speeds and web content, they do seem to point in one direction: Edge.
If you’re on Windows 10 (and more and more users are) and browser battery drain is an issue, you should think about using Edge when there’s no power outlet in sight, even if you’re a hardcore Chrome, Firefox or Opera user.
Practically, the results don’t show an extreme difference between Chrome’s battery drain compared to Edge or Firefox: it’s not like you’ll be getting double the battery life by using Edge.
But if you do need that extra hour, you know what to do!