Tablets with the best battery life

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

Big batteries can come in small packages. Josh P. 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.


The LG G Pad looks simple, but don't underestimate its power. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

LG G Pad

LG tablets lack the same oomph as LG smartphones, but their battery life isn't anything to scoff at. The 7- and 10-inch tablets are simple, both in design and features, and their affordable pricing reflects that. The larger model has a longer battery life than the smaller one (13 and 11 hours, respectively), but the small one's screen wears their matching resolution better. Read the full review here.


The rounded silver spine houses a built-in kickstand on the back. Josh P. Miller

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2

Lenovo tablets are some of the most unique around. The Yoga line features an unassumingly useful built-in kickstand, and one of the latest models even has a projector. The 8-, 10-, and 13-inch models all boast about 13 hours of battery life -- almost three times as much as some cheap tablets -- and with such a utilitarian design, they make great companions in just about any situation. Read a full review of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch, 10-inch, and 13-inch models.


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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