iPad family aces battery tests while Android tablets lag

Android tablets, large or small, can't seem to match the battery life of the iPad.

Android tablets, large or small, can't seem to match the battery life of the iPad. In a recent set of battery life tests, Apple's new iPad has the longest battery life among 10-inch tablets; in the 7-inch category, the iPad Mini comes out on top as well.

UK consumer watchdog site Which? tested the battery life of tablets for Web browsing over Wi-Fi (or 3G if available) and video playback. The brightness was set to around 200 nits using a light meter on all tablets so no manufacturer can get an advantage due to some default low brightness settings.

In the large tablets category, the iPad with Retina display led test results with 811 minutes (13.5 hours) of battery life, with the iPad 2 in the second spot at 590 minutes (9.8 hours). The highest performing Android tablet in this category was the Sony Xperia Tablet S at 534 minutes, closely followed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

Microsoft's Surface RT tablet was included in the large tablet battery life tests, and scored a respectable 501 minutes (8.3 hours). Near the bottom of the rankings was the new Google Nexus 10, with a Retina-beating high-res display, but with only 488 minutes (8.1 hours) of battery life. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime was the last in the scores, with 335 minutes of battery life without its separate keyboard, which can extend the battery for up to 661 minutes (11 hours).

In the small tablet rankings, the Apple iPad Mini is on top with 783 minutes of battery life (13 hours)--some three hours more than the next best challenger, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, which scored a respectable 591 minutes (9.8 hours). Third was the Google Nexus 7 with 550 minutes, around 9 hours and 10 minutes.

Why do Apple devices lead in battery life? Apple's tight control over hardware and software helps. When multitasking under iOS, most apps are suspended in the background so they don't zap your battery; on Android, apps have the freedom to continue running in the background and using up more computing resources and battery.

Recent studies also show that ads in free Android apps such as Fchess and Angry Birds take a toll on battery life, as they spend under 25 percent to 35 percent of their energy on game play, but more than 65 percent to 75 percent on user tracking, uploading user information, and downloading ads.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPadMicrosoftsmartphonestabletsAppleAndroidsonyhardware systemsconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?