A series of tests with four major browsers concluded that Internet Explorer versions 10 and 9 provide the longest battery life compared to competitors, while Google Chrome finished in last place with a battery life performance more than 20% poorer than the leader.
The tests were conducted by Ciprian Adrian Rusen of 7tutorials, who used a two-and-a-half year old HP Pavilion dv7 2185dx laptop for the test. The laptop was equipped with an Intel Core2 Quad Q9000 at 2.00 GHz, 6 GB of DDR2 RAM and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650. Due to the age of the laptop, Rusen was already experiencing less than optimal battery life when using his laptop, which is what spurred the tests, as he was keen to find the browser that provided him the longest battery life.
The tests pitted Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10 beta (which is included in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview), Google Chrome 18, Mozilla Firefox 11 and Opera 11.62 all against each other, with no add-ons installed on any browser. A clean Windows 7 installation was used (except in the case of Internet Explorer 10, since it's only available in Windows 8), with the most recent Windows Updates installed. The Peacekeeper battery test was used for the benchmark. Rusen ran each test three times to get an average of results for each browser.
Rusen notes that the browser that gave him the most trouble was Google Chrome, which Rusen says crashed on him until he reinstalled the browser. Even after reinstalling, Chrome failed to record results in Peacekeeper for reasons unknown to Rusen, among other issues.
The averaged results of Rusen's tests can be seen below.
While Chrome outscored all its competitors when it came to Peacekeeper's performance score, its battery life was significantly lower than other browsers. Rusen's conclusion is that Internet Explorer 9 or 10 is the best bet when battery life is the top consideration, and that Opera is the best choice for a mix of browsing performance and battery life.