Tablets with the best battery life

Let's take a moment to celebrate the current top longest-lasting tablets.

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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.


New processor, same design. 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

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 Galaxy Tab S wouldn't be the best movie-watching tablet without an enduring battery life to back it. James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and 10.5

Whether you're obsessively binge-watching television shows or marveling at the graphics of this summer's latest blockbuster rental, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S is the ideal slate to do it all with. Rocking a gorgeous pixel-packed screen and hefty battery life for enjoying it all, the 10.5-inch model offers a whopping 13.4-hour battery life, while the smaller -- still impressive -- model boasts a 12.1-hour battery life. Read the full review.


The Lenovo Yoga 8 boasts a clever design and long battery life. James Martin/CNET

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8

The Yoga 8 isn't a great tablet, but thanks to its 14.2-hour battery life, it makes what would have otherwise been a tablet best left ignored into something worth talking about. The 8-incher features a built-in stand that's tucked into its rounded spine, which makes holding it easy like a paperback book. Its bare-bones user interface is only ideal for very casual use, yet with its long battery life, you can also casually go without charging it for a few days. Read the full review.


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

 

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