Which browsers are best for your laptop’s battery life in Windows 11?

If you are a mobile user with a Windows 11 laptop, tablet, or 2-in-1 device, you may want to know which web browser to use to get the maximum battery time possible. To learn which web browser uses the least battery power, I’ve compared all the major browsers (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox) on two separate Windows 11 devices. Here’s what we’ve learned:

How I tested the battery life for browsing

For these tests, I used two different devices, both with Windows 11 installed:

  • ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED UX5401. The model I had came with a 14" OLED display with touch, a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels, an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor clocked at 2.80 GHz (12M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 4 cores), Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1 TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 Samsung solid-state drive. This laptop comes with a 65 Watt-hours Li-ion battery.

ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED UX5401

  • ASUS ZenBook 14X UM5401Q. This model has a 14” WQXGA (2560 x 1600) touchscreen, an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor clocked at 3.3 GHz and up to 4.2 GHz in boost mode, AMD Radeon Graphics, 8 GB of DRR3 RAM, and a 512 GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 solid-state drive. The ZenBook 14X UM5401Q is powered by a 63 Watt-hours lithium-ion battery.

ASUS ZenBook 14X UM5401Q

Both laptops are new devices that have been used only for testing purposes for about two weeks. On both, I installed Windows 11 and the latest versions of all the major web browsers available at the time of testing: Microsoft Edge 103, Mozilla Firefox 102, Opera 88, and Google Chrome 103. All the web browsers used their default configuration.

I used the Balanced power plan on the two devices, but modified it so that it never turns off the screen and doesn’t put the computer to sleep until the battery depletes to 5%. That's because I wanted to simulate a relatively non-stop browsing session on both devices.

To measure how long the battery lasts, I used the Tampermonkey web browser extension to run a custom script that executes the JetStream 2 benchmark every 5 minutes, until the battery runs out.

I ran the test two times in each browser on each device. Next, I calculated the average battery time obtained by each web browser on both devices. Here are the results:

The browser battery life benchmark results on the ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED UX5401 laptop

On the ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED UX5401, Microsoft Edge and Opera were the uncontested winners. The power savings were huge when comparing these browsers with Google Chrome, the worst performing browser in this test. With Microsoft Edge, I got more than one hour of additional battery time, while Opera was very close, offering 55 minutes more battery life than Chrome.

Browser battery life benchmark results on the ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED UX5401 laptop

Google Chrome is really power hungry, don’t you think?

The browser battery life benchmark results on the ASUS ZenBook 14X UM5401Q

ASUS ZenBook 14X UM5401Q has a slightly weaker processor than the other laptop I had, but still an excellent one. The autonomy was generally better on this laptop, no matter which browser I tested.

However, Microsoft Edge was still the best in terms of battery life, delivering again one hour more of battery time compared to Google Chrome.

Browser battery life benchmark results on the ASUS ZenBook 14X UM5401Q

TIP: Microsoft Edge and Opera include battery-saving modes. While not enabled by default, you can manually turn them on in the browsers’ settings to possibly increase your laptop’s battery life even further. Unfortunately, neither Google Chrome nor Mozilla Firefox has such options.

Efficiency mode in Microsoft Edge

The winners are: Microsoft Edge and Opera

As you have seen in this comparison, Microsoft Edge and Opera are your best options when you need to save battery. Your savings vary depending on your device and how intensively you use each browser. In my testing, I saved up to 70 minutes when using Microsoft Edge instead of Google Chrome. That’s a huge difference!

Now that you have seen the results of this testing, don’t hesitate to share your opinion. Does your user experience reflect my testing? Which browser do you prefer to use when on battery power and why? Let’s debate in the comments section!

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