Microsoft shows Edge is the best web browser for long battery life

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft's own testing, and claimed the real-world figures, show that Edge is a battery powerhouse.

Microsoft reckons that you'll get more battery life out of your notebook when browsing the web with Edge in comparison to rivals such as Google's Chrome or Firefox.

Obviously this is when running Windows 10 (the only OS in which the Edge browser is available), and Redmond's tests show that the average power consumption under an identical workload was 2,068mW for its own browser, compared to 2,819mW for chrome and 3,161mW for Firefox. Opera, with Battery Saver mode enabled, came in at 3,077mW.

Edge is the clear winner when it comes to power sipping, then, and Microsoft says that its testing shows that you'll get between 36% and 53% more battery life with Edge, which is a very serious boost for those surfing on the go.

These were lab tests conducted using a Surface Book hooked up to power monitoring equipment which measured the amount of juice being used across a range of typical tasks – opening sites, new tabs, scrolling down web pages and watching videos. As mentioned, Redmond says that the browsers were tested under an identical workload.

Chrome didn't shine with video

Microsoft also set up a straight video streaming test running these browsers with the same clip on identical laptops (the Surface Book again), and found that Chrome actually flaked out first at the 4 hours 20 minutes mark.

Firefox lasted for 5 hours 9 minutes, with Opera managing 6 hours 18 minutes, and Edge coming top of the tree with 7 hours 22 minutes. So Microsoft's browser actually outdid Chrome by 70% and Firefox by 43%.

As well as these various laboratory-based battles between the browsers, Redmond also pointed to data collected from Windows 10 devices which backs its own conclusions up, and rates Edge with the lowest power consumption.

These aggregated telemetry figures (which have been a source of controversy for some, and a reason to avoid upgrading) show that Microsoft's browser is again in pole position, although it's actually not too far ahead of Firefox in this case, hitting 465mW for power consumption per browser compared to 493mW for Mozilla's effort.

However, Chrome was again considerably off the pace at 720mW. If there's one browser that gets a fair battering in these tests, it's Google's – and we're sure the search giant will have something to say about that.

Beating the drum

Microsoft doesn't stop its Windows 10/Edge drum-beating there, though, with the company noting that next month's Anniversary Update will see more power efficiency tweaks, and its browser will use less memory and CPU cycles still.

This big update will also see further new features being introduced to Edge, including Flash content automatically getting paused unless it's central to the web page (the user can opt to play said content if they wish, but by default, it won't be running – minimizing potential security and performance issues).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).