With the browser wars heating up again, users have a choice between Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4, Google Chrome 10, Safari 5 and Opera 11 and with that choice the ability to find the browser that meets their needs in terms of features and looks, but also in terms of battery life. While you might now expect that the browser you use influences your notebook’s battery life while on the go, the browser you use can mean the difference between finishing your research and falling short because of a dead battery.
Now that Internet Explorer 9 is out and fighting with Google Chrome 10 and FireFox 4, Microsoft has decided to test the impact of the browser on battery life. Interestingly enough, Microsoft has concluded that Internet Explorer is the most battery friendly browser, and is sharing the data to back up the claim.
The tests measured how long a Windows 7 notebook would run in numerous states and while loading differnet types of sites. The most relevant information for most users comes from the News Site Total Power Consumption test which is shown above. In this test, the notebook visited a popular HTML4 website until the battery ran dry.
|News Site||IE9||Chrome 10||Firefox 4||Opera 11||Safari 5|
|System||11.728 W||13.561 W||11.830 W||12.833 W||12.060 W|
|Battery Life||4:46 hrs||4:07 hrs||4:44 hrs||4:21 hrs||4:38 hrs|
While Internet Explorer 9, FireFox 4 and Safari 5 all were within a few minutes, you can see the drastic drop of 20 and 40 minutes by Opera 11 and Chrome 10.
The power usage varies between each of the tests, but IE9 came out on top in each section. One of the most interesting items to look at for Opera 11 users is that in idle mode, Opera 11 actually prevents the CPU from going into a low power state and consumes the batter about half an hour faster.
Should you base your browser choice solely on the impact on battery life? Definitely not, but if you primarily use Chrome or Safari on Windows 7, you should check out an alternative browser to have on hand when you need to really make battery life count.
We’ve noticed unscientifically that battery life on the Mac is lower while using Chrome than it is using Safari, which has led to a switch in usage while we expect to be away from power for extended periods.