Tablets with the best battery life

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

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 six 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.

Sure it looks like an oversized Galaxy S4, but...well, actually that's because it kind of is. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch
The Galaxy Tab 3 is a slightly older 8-inch Samsung tablet, but the fresh-faced Tab Pro 8.4 doesn't outlast its 10 hour battery life. The Tab 3 8.0 is a bit expensive at $299, but comes with a deep feature set and has one of the more pleasing designs of any small tablet. Read the full review.

In Airplane mode while playing a video, the Nexus 7 kept going and going and going... Josh Miller/CNET

Google Nexus 7
Despite some problems out of the gate, the Nexus 7 nonetheless shows up when it comes to battery life. Its score of 11.5 hours is one of the best for an Android tablet, especially a small one. Fast performance, a sharp screen, and a minimalist design make it the best small Android tablet around. And the always up-to-date version of Android -- thanks to its Google branding -- means you won't have to worry about missing Android features. Read the full review.

The Surface 2 also keeps going and going... Josh Miller/CNET

Microsoft Surface 2
The Surface 2 is the best productivity tablet on the market, but it certainly wouldn't be if you didn't have time to actually enter figures into a spreadsheet or write the great American novel. You probably won't have time for the latter, but with its 11.6-hour battery life, you'll at least have time to appease your muse and stave off her retribution for at least a day or two. Read the full review.

The Yoga Tablet 10's battery is its best part. James Martin/CNET

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10
A unique design marred by an unimpressive screen and an ugly-looking interface. Thankfully its battery lasts forever. Well, maybe not "forever," but quite a lot longer -- 12.4 hours in our tests-- than those of the vast majority of Android tablets.Read the full review.

Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPad Air
The best tablet money can buy was previously also the longest-lasting tablet, bar none. Not so much anymore. However, with a 13.2-hour battery life, I can't be too disappointed. Read the full review.

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. Read the full review.

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


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