For traveling or just staying unplugged, these are the longest-lasting laptops you can buy right now, as tested by our experts.
Dan AckermanEditorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications.
"Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
ExpertiseI've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever.Credentials
Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
The whole point of a laptop is that you're not tied to a desk or even a nearby power outlet. Whether it's working on a plane or train, writing in a coffee shop, killing time on the couch or just lounging in bed, you want a portable computer to run as long as possible without its power cord. Long battery life is a big feature we look for in the best laptops we test and review.
Some PC-makers specifically aim for long battery life, using highly efficient components and special performance modes to extend usability. Gaming laptops, on the other hand, often use the highest-power parts possible and are lucky to last even a few hours. Some factors that affect battery life include screen resolution, CPU choice and the type of display panel used, from LCD to OLED.
Our CNET Labs team tests every laptop we review for both performance and battery life. We use a video playback test that streams a private video over Wi-Fi on an endless loop, with uniform screen brightness, volume and sleep/hibernate settings. More details on how we test computers can be found below.
This is not the most strenuous test possible, but it is one that's replicable across many different products, so it allows for easy comparisons regardless of the operating system or manufacturer. The current top performers are MacBooks, which closely match the battery life estimates provided by Apple, and Chromebooks, which are known for their power efficiency. Our current top-performing Windows laptop ran for about half the time of our current top-performing MacBook. For real-world use that's more power-hungry than streaming video, you can expect to get 50-75% of the scores here.
This list includes Windows and MacOS laptops, Windows two-in-one hybrids and Chromebooks running Google's Chrome OS. Not included are Android or iOS tablets. The laptops listed were tested in either 2022 or 2023 and are still available to buy. Systems we've published full reviews of are linked below; other systems are models we've tested only for comparison.
This list will be updated regularly as we test and review new laptops.
Apple's 2023 update to its flagship MacBook Pro 16-inch line follows the company's usual MO. It offers a modest refresh from the more significantly redesigned 2021 model; notably, upgrades to the latest generation of M2-class processors, Wi-Fi 6E and HDMI 2.1,
Acer makes a lot of Chromebooks, and they come in a variety of configurations and screen sizes. The Chromebook 514 CB514-2H/T is what I would recommend to most people looking for a straight-up good Chrome OS experience in a compact lightweight body. Especially if your budget is under $500.
Even though it costs $200 more than its immediate predecessor, I still think the new M2 version of Apple's MacBook Air is a great default starting place when you begin your laptop search, thanks to a new design, a larger display (13.6 inches versus the previous 13.3 inches), a faster M2 chip and a long-awaited upgrade to a higher-res webcam.
Acer's Spin 513 is an update of sorts to one of the best Chromebooks from 2021, the Spin 713. It's a two-in-one convertible Chromebook with a 13.5-inch display that has a 3:2 aspect ratio. The extra vertical space means less scrolling when you're working. The screen size is also close to that of letter-size paper, making it comfortable for notetaking in tablet mode with a USI pen.
The review process for laptops, desktops, tablets and other computer-like devices consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our expert reviewers. This includes evaluating a device's aesthetics, ergonomics and features. A final review verdict is a combination of both objective and subjective judgments.