Laptop Users: Some Browsers Eat Up More Battery Than Others
Article by George Norman
On 17 Sep 2009
When you decide which browser to use on your machine you probably take numerous factors into consideration. The desktop user for example will most likely focus on security, ease of use, features and perhaps customization. The topic of power consumption does not even arise. After all, the computer is plugged in and power is not an issue. For the laptop user on the other hand it is. When deciding what browser to use, the laptop owner must ponder about one more thing: which browsers are battery hogs and which are not?

Laptops give you mobility – you can do the same things you do on a desktop computer, just that you do it on the go. But you cannot do this indefinitely, at some point the laptop’s battery will go down and unless you find a socket to recharge the battery, you’re stuck with an unusable laptop.


A study conducted by AnandTech on some of the most popular browsers available for download today revealed the fact that some browsers eat up more battery than others. The following browsers were included in the study: Apple Safari 4.0.3, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox 3.5.2, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18813 and Opera 9.6.4 as well as Opera 10 Beta 3 (the final Opera 10 version was not ready when the study was conducted).

What the study revealed is that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser is the most battery friendly while Apple’s Safari is the biggest battery hog. Please note that the laptops on which the test was conducted ran on Windows Home Premium (64-bit).

“Overall, Internet Explorer and Firefox + AdBlock consistently place near the top, with Chrome following closely behind. Opera 10 Beta 3 didn't do as well as Opera 9.6.4, and in a couple quick tests it doesn't appear that the final release of Opera 10 changes the situation at all. Opera in general - version 9 or 10 - looks like it doesn't do as well as the other major browsers. Safari is at the back, by a large margin on all three test notebooks. We suspect that Safari 4 does better under OS X, however, so the poor Windows result probably won't matter to most Safari users,” explained Jarred Walton, the study’s author.

Tags: Laptop, Battery, Power, Browser
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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