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When you’re buying a laptop, don’t assume it offers good battery life. If a manufacturer isn’t touting the battery, it’s probably best to skip that notebook. You need to check the battery rating before you buy.

The best laptops never leave the user hanging. They have enough battery life to last an entire workday. After all, even if you bought a notebook with top-of-the-line specs, it’s a useless chunk of metal when the battery runs out.

My hunt for laptops with the best battery life shows there isn’t a clear answer. That’s because manufacturer battery ratings and real-world tests don’t always match up. So I relied on a combination of my own experience, hardware knowledge, third-party reviews, and user reviews to come up with this list.

Low-Cost Chromebook: Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CA/UK)

  • Battery rating — 45 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 12–13 hours

At the $300 mark, the Chromebook to buy is the Toshiba Chromebook 2. You’ll find laptops at this range with longer battery life, but their other features make them inadvisable to buy. It’s the best all-around Chromebook for students in 2016 Best Chromebooks for Students in 2016 Best Chromebooks for Students in 2016 If you're heading back to school this fall, you might want to consider a Chromebook. They're perfect for students (I should know -- I'm a recent graduate myself) because they're cheap, light, fast, and do... Read More .

The Toshiba Chromebook 2 still gives you about 12 hours of real-world usage, which is fantastic in any case. That’s despite an Intel Celeron processor, while other laptops at this price go for the low-performance Intel Atom processor.

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Best Chromebook: Dell Chromebook 13

  • Battery rating — 67 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 14–15 hours

Buying a Chromebook doesn’t mean you have to settle for mediocre hardware. The Dell Chromebook 13 is the perfect example of that, balancing good specifications with long battery life. There’s a Full HD 13-inch screen here, after all. It’s ideal to make the switch to Chromebook and never look back Make an Easy Switch to Chromebook Now (and Never Look Back) Make an Easy Switch to Chromebook Now (and Never Look Back) I've adopted, studied every Windows OS, adapted, and eventually learned to love each of them for different reasons. Are you curious to know why as of today, I'm a Chromebook guy? Read More .

Despite that, it has arguably the best battery life among all laptops running Chrome OS, with only the Acer Chromebook 13 (read our review The Best Chromebook Yet? Acer Chromebook 13 Review and Giveaway The Best Chromebook Yet? Acer Chromebook 13 Review and Giveaway Acer has come out swinging with the Chromebook 13, an Nvidia Tegra K1-powered beast that is easily one of the most powerful Chromebooks out there -- and yet it still only costs $299. Read More ) giving it some competition. Dell’s laptop lasts for 14–15 hours of real-world usage, and might go a little more if you dim the screen brightness a bit.

Cheapest With Windows: Asus Vivobook E403SA (CA)

  • Battery rating — 57 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 10–12 hours

The Asus Vivobook E403SA is one of the best laptops under $500 The 5 Best Laptops Under $500 in 2016 The 5 Best Laptops Under $500 in 2016 It's surprising how little you have to spend to get a good laptop these days. Whether you're getting ready to go back to school or just need a new notebook PC for work, you can... Read More . Among cheap Windows laptops, it has perhaps the best battery life.

Multiple reviewers say the Vivobook E403SA should last for around 10–12 hours of real-world usage. That’s impressive in its own right, outpacing the MacBook Air, among others. But the cherry on top is the USB Type-C charging port on the E403SA. If you use a USB-C phone, you can charge your laptop and smartphone with the same cable. Convenience at its best!

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Perfectly Balanced: Asus Zenbook UX305 (CA, UK)

  • Battery rating — 45 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 9–10 hours

The Asus Zenbook UX305 is a personal favorite. I even bought it after testing it, so the 9–10 hours figure comes from personal experience. This sleek laptop perfectly balances portability, performance, battery life, and features. It also packs a solid state drive, since SSDs are better for battery life. In fact, the Zenbook proves you’re wasting money if you buy an expensive laptop Are You Wasting Money If You Buy An Expensive Laptop? Are You Wasting Money If You Buy An Expensive Laptop? The average consumer buys a laptop that costs about $600, a behavior that’s persisted for years. Yet there are also laptops on the market which cost two or even three times as much. Are they... Read More .

However, there’s one thing to know. The Zenbook UX305 comes in several variants, and you need to buy the model with the Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display. There’s also a high-res QHD model, but its battery life suffers due to the screen resolution. Stick with the Full HD version and you’ll be happy.

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Bite the Apple: MacBook Air 13 (CA, UK)

  • Battery rating — 54 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 15–16 hours

The 13-inch variant of the MacBook Air is still the best laptop to buy under $1,000 Best Laptops Under $1,000 in 2016 Best Laptops Under $1,000 in 2016 Unlike desktop PCs, you are unlikely to upgrade your laptop by fitting in a couple of new parts. That's why when you're purchasing a new notebook, paying a premium makes sense. Read More . A big reason for that is the battery life. The MacBook Air 13 was the battery king for a long time, after all.

You can expect this battery life on the Intel Core i5 version. The Intel Core i7 version drops the battery rating by a couple of hours, which is still excellent if you need that extra power.

I’ve long said that the MacBook Air is an excellent value-for-money laptop. But if you’re planning on buying one, wait if you can. Apple is expected to refresh the line with new 6th generation Intel Skylake processors Intel Skylake CPUs: 3 Things to Know Before Upgrading Intel Skylake CPUs: 3 Things to Know Before Upgrading Thinking of upgrading to an Intel Skylake CPU but not sure if you should? Here's what you should know to help make that decision easier. Read More , which will again boost the battery slightly.

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Ultra-Powered Ultrabook: Dell XPS 13 (CA, UK)

  • Battery rating — 57 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 14–15 hours

Ask any geek which Windows laptop to buy these days, and the answer is almost unanimous. If you can afford the Dell XPS 13, it’s the best Windows ultrabook What Is An Ultrabook & Can It Succeed? [Technology Explained] What Is An Ultrabook & Can It Succeed? [Technology Explained] Remember when the word laptop described virtually every mobile computer on the market? The choices were certainly easier back then (because there was simply less choice available), but today there’s a far wider variety including... Read More . And part of the reason is its battery life.

When it first launched, the XPS 13 actually didn’t have great battery life. But subsequent iterations have fixed this issue, and the 2016 version has been rated to last for 14–15 hours of real-world usage.

You need to purchase the non-touch XPS 13 to avail of this battery boost. The touchscreen version still has good battery, but it drops to about 9–10 hours.

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Game On: Razer Blade Stealth (CA)

  • Battery rating — 54 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 14–15 hours

At the start of this year, Razer, a big brand in gaming peripherals, launched a specialized gaming laptop called the Blade Stealth Best of CES 2016: 6 Amazing Products That Are Coming Soon Best of CES 2016: 6 Amazing Products That Are Coming Soon CES 2016 showcased thousands of awesome products, prototypes, and demonstrations. Here are some amazing ones that you might've missed and can expect to be released some time soon! Read More . It’s a sleek, powerful piece of hardware meant for PC gaming on the go. Unfortunately, all that power and sleekness meant sacrificing battery life.

The company recently updated the Blade Stealth to improve the battery life. Razer says you can expect nine hours on a single charge, so real-world usage should be about seven hours, going by the previous record. The laptop hasn’t been tested yet, so we can only guess.

If you want to play games on a laptop, you’ll need to sacrifice battery life to some extent. In that aspect, I find the Blade Stealth to be a better idea, since you can use the Razer Core external GPU with it too. That said, buy this only if you want a gaming machine.

The Longest Lasting: Lenovo ThinkPad X260 (CA, UK)

  • Battery rating — 23 Wh + 23 Wh + 48 Wh
  • Expected real-world usage — 18–20 hours

Isn’t it nice when most reviewers agree on something? Almost every single user and reviewer has said that the ThinkPad X260 has the best battery life among all laptops today. It’s also good that this comes with the most reputed laptop brand in the world. Just remember to watch out for malware on Lenovo laptops Now It's THREE Pre-Installed Malwares on Lenovo Laptops Now It's THREE Pre-Installed Malwares on Lenovo Laptops For the third time in a year, Lenovo have been caught shipping customers computers laden with privacy-unfriendly malware, showing that they haven't learned the lessons from the public outcry over Superfish. Read More .

The ThinkPad X260 is light enough to be portable while managing about 18 hours of battery life in most tests. Lenovo has one internal and two external batteries for this one. There’s a 23 Whr battery built in, and a 23 Whr external battery that can be plugged to the laptop. Lenovo also packs a 48 Whr external battery. You can swap the external batteries when you want. That’s some long battery life!

If you’re a working professional who needs a laptop that won’t die on you, and can do every office task you ask of it, the ThinkPad X260 is what you want.

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How Much Battery Life Is Enough?

We’re already at a point where you can go a full day without needing to charge your notebook. Do you need more battery life than that? What do you think is the ideal or minimum battery life needed from any laptop?

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