Tablets with the best battery life

Let's take a moment to celebrate the longest-lasting tablets currently at the top of our list.

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A bigger tablet doesn't necessarily mean a bigger tablet.

Josh Miller/CNET

No spec -- no matter how appealing -- should ever be viewed in a vacuum, and the decision to actually commit your time and money to a consumer electronics investment will hopefully have been informed by a multitude of factors.

From design to features; performance to comfort, it's always best to inject your brain with all aspects of a product, swirl them around a bit and wait to see which ones rise to the top for you.

Having said that, battery life is the one metric that truly affects all other aspects of a tablet's functionality. Let's be real: if you run out of battery life, there's not much you can do with a dead slate.

So, I've compiled a list of the tablets -- culled from a collection of many more -- that lasted the longest during CNET Labs' tests. Before the test is run, we put the tablet into Airplane mode and adjust the brightness down to about 150 candelas per square meter. We then run a looped 720p version of "Toy Story 3" and track how long it takes until the tablet's battery dies.

Not every tablet on this list is a thing I'd recommend you buy -- at least not without a few caveats -- but at the very least, each will easily facilitate binge-watching of at least half a season of most TV shows. As barometers go, that one feels especially apt given the subject matter.


The Fire HFX 8.9 is a sweet deal for Amazon Prime members. Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9

The 2014 model of the Fire HDX 8.9 impresses with a solid list of improvements, while simultaneously maintaining the characteristics that initially made the Amazon tablet a success. It features the cutting-edge Firefly item-recognition software, faster performance and an impressive set of speakers. Though battery life isn't a significant improvement, it'll last about 10 hours of watching (downloaded) Amazon Instant Video titles. Read the full review here.

New processor, same battery. Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple iPad Air 2

Apple improved the second iteration of the iPad Air with a faster processor and thinner build, but it forgot about a bigger battery. Nonetheless, the iPad Air 2's battery life is still commendable, with about 10 hours of use on a full charge. Read the full review here .


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The chunky cylindrical spine on the Yoga Tab 3's bottom houses a long-lasting battery.

Josh Miller/CNET

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

Lenovo's Yoga tablets are great due to their innovative designs. One of the hidden advantages of the quirky construction is the large battery hidden behind the chunky cylindrical spine. It's a bit heavy, but the ergonomic design makes it work. Oh, the built-in kickstand doesn't hurt either. Expect to get about 13.8 hours out of this bad boy.


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Long battery life is crucial for Netflix binges.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

A long battery comes in handy when you're binge watching the latest Netflix-sensation. There are few better tablets to do that with than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. Not only is it a svelte stunner that comes in two sizes, it packs a gorgeous screen and great battery life. The 8-inch model lasts around 13.2 hours, while the larger 9.7-inch version lasts around 12 hours.


Want to see more? Check out our list of best tablets overall.

Editors' note:This article was originally published on January 27, 2014, and is updated periodically to reflect changes in the marketplace.

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