Take your laptop out and about and you need to start thinking about battery life. There's a lot you can do to maximize the length of time you can spend away from a power socket -- turn down screen brightness, disable sounds and animations, etc -- but have you ever thought about how much of a drain on battery your applications are? It turns out that the browser you choose can have a huge bearing on things.
Tests carried out by 7Tutorials show that Internet Explorer 11 is the least demanding web browser when compared to Firefox 26, Chrome 32 and Opera 18. All four browsers were tested on three devices -- two brand new devices, including a Surface Pro 2, and one older one -- each running Windows 8.1. Testing was performed using the Peacekeeper battery test.
In every instance, Internet Explorer latest the longest, although the results did vary between devices. On a new 8" Toshiba Encore tablet the modern version of Internet Explorer killed the battery in 8 hours and 52 minutes, while the desktop app knocked an hour off this figure at 7 hours and 45 minutes. Each of the competitors gave at least an hour less usage, with Opera 18 coming in last place with a disappointing 6 hours 11.
On the Surface Pro 2, it was the desktop version of IE that won, offering battery life of 4 hours and 45 minutes. The modern version on the browser was beaten into third place behind Firefox, but it was Chrome picking up last place with just 3 hours and 28 minutes of usage. The final tests were performed on a rather older HP Pavilion dv7 desktop IE came in first offering 1 hour and 25 minutes of battery life, but modern IE came last with 1 hour 13 minutes.
Things were much closer on the older computer, but it still seems that the browser you use determines how long you'll be able to use your device.
So the message seems clear, even if Internet Explorer is not usually your browser of choice, it's well worth considering making the switch when you're going mobile.
Have you noticed a big difference in battery life with different browsers?