Winners, Apple iPad & iPad Mini rule with battery life

The Apple iPad has long dominated the tablet world and we recently saw the launch of the iPad 4 as well as the iPad mini. As usual for new Apple products, both are proving to be big hits. In the holiday season tablets are flying off the shelves and you may be wondering whether to opt for an Apple tablet or an alternative. Today we have heard of tests by a leading consumer website where the new iPad and iPad mini both came top for battery life against other popular devices.

The iPad and iPad mini are selling in droves despite the fact that just recently there has been much more credible competition, from the likes of the Android Google Nexus 7 and Sony Xperia Tablet S for example. Leading UK consumer watchdog Which? Has carried out tests on some of the most popular tablets at present to ascertain which had the best battery life. The test was split into two tablet categories, one for tablets of 9.4-inches and above and the other for tablets with a display size of 7.9-inches or less. A light meter was used so that each tablet was set to 200 nits of brightness to ensure they were assessed fairly.

In the larger tablets category 16 different devices were tested and among them were the Apple iPad with Retina Display (either iPad 3 or 4), Apple iPad 2 for comparison, Sony Xperia Tablet S, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Microsoft Surface RT, Google Nexus 10 and Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The clear winner in this category was the iPad with Retina Display, which managed 811 minutes (13.5 hours) browsing the web over Wi-Fi (and 3G where applicable) and watching video. In second spot but way behind came the iPad 2 with 590 minutes (less than 10 hours).

Third, fourth and fifth places were much closer with the next best being the Sony Xperia Tablet S on 534 minutes, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 on 532 minutes and Microsoft Surface RT on 501 minutes. Of all 16 tablets tested it was the Eee Pad Transformer Prime that came out worst, managing only 335 minutes (5.5 hours), without the keyboard. The average score across all 16 tablets was 451 minutes and the top 5 above plus the Google Nexus 10 were all above that average.

In the smaller tablets category it was Apple that beat rivals again with the iPad mini managing 783 minutes (over 13 hours) of use for browsing the web over Wi-Fi (and 3G if applicable) and watching video. The next spot was taken by the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, some way behind on 591 minutes and in third place the Google Nexus 7 with 550 minutes. The average across 10 tablets tested in this category was 478 minutes and trailing in last position was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 with only 425 minutes of use.

As you can see, the iPad both in the standard format and smaller format easily won in both categories and this might be an important factor on which tablet you decide to purchase. Many people always check battery life on future devices as this can be such an important element of owning a smartphone or tablet. However there are just as many who wouldn’t necessarily think to compare battery life performance and for a device that’s going to see a lot of use this is an important aspect.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the comparisons by Which? on the battery life performance of popular tablets on the market. Is battery life an important consideration for you when purchasing a new device? Maybe you were wondering which tablet to choose and this has helped you make up your mind? Let us know with your comments.

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