Windows 10 v1803 battery life tests show Edge is better than Chrome

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read
Windows April 2018 Update battery life

Chrome and Firefox have a considerably larger user base than Edge, but Microsoft’s flagship browser does have a genuine edge when it comes to battery efficiency. Now that the Windows April 2018 Update is rolling out, Microsoft has uploaded another YouTube video that includes an Edge vs. Chrome vs. Firefox battery efficiency experiment. Of course, that video highlights that laptop batteries run out less quickly for users browsing with Edge.

Microsoft uploaded a Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Edge battery life video at the beginning of 2018. That video included three Surface Books streaming the same HD videos in Firefox, Chrome and Edge. The 34 second video showed that Edge’s Surface Book lasts for 16 hours and 8 minutes. Chrome finished with a 13 hour, 31 minute time and Firefox clocked in at 9 hours, 52 minutes.

Windows 10 April 2018 Update battery life test

Microsoft was no doubt delighted with the outcome of that battery test, and has now repeated the same experiment for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update in May 2018. A new Microsoft Edge Experiment video shows that Edge still outdoes Chrome and Firefox for battery efficiency. Edge’s Surface laptop lasted 14 hours and 20 minutes when streaming video, which is actually a drop of an hour and 42 minutes on its previous time. However, Chrome clocked up 12:32:58 and Firefox lasted 7 hours and 15 minutes.

As such, Microsoft now brags that Edge lasts up to 98% longer than Firefox on laptops when streaming video. Furthermore, the software giant also proclaims that Edge’s battery efficiency beats Chrome by a margin of 14%. Although the gulf between Edge and Firefox has widened, Edge streamed video 19% longer than Chrome in the Fall Creators Update video.

However, both the experiments leave out a few other notable Windows browsers. It would be interesting to see how Edge stacks up against Opera when it comes to battery efficiency. In fact, a Microsoft 2016 battery efficiency experiment video did also include Opera. It showed that laptops running Edge lasted 17% longer than those running Opera. Although Opera did finish second in that video, and that browser is a curious omission from the latest YouTube clips.

Opera’s engineering team countered Microsoft’s claims that Edge is more battery efficient than Opera with its own laptop battery experiment in 2016. Opera Software carried out its experiment with its browser’s native power saving and ad blocker enabled. The publisher released a video that highlights laptops running Opera last longer with the browser’s battery saver on. A post on Opera blogs states that Opera Developer (39.0.2248.0) lasts 22% longer than Edge (25.10586.0.0) on Windows 10 laptops.

Those browser versions are a little outdated now, but Microsoft’s omission of Opera in its 2018 browser battery videos suggests that the software giant is somewhat more reluctant to compare Edge’s battery efficiency alongside Opera. Why might that be? A post on Opera blogs states, “If Microsoft really wants to prove that its browser performs better than others (in any regard), the company should be transparent about its methodology so that others can replicate it.

However, a few less biased websites have also carried out their own browser battery life experiments. Those sites’ experiments have included Opera, Chrome and Firefox and highlight that Edge is the most battery efficient browser (of those four at least). Nevertheless, Vivaldi, Safari and Maxthon 5 are notable browsers still forgotten about in most of the battery efficiency tests!

So laptop batteries last than much longer when you browse in Edge. It might not be the fastest browser, but when it comes to battery efficiency Edge is hard to beat.


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