The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro beat 18 Windows 8 laptops in a battery-life test conducted by Which?, the UK consumer test organization with a reputation for the most detailed testing in the industry.
In the web-browsing test where most laptops performed best, the Acer Aspire M5-581T was the longest-lasting Windows 8 machine at 358 minutes, while the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro lasted 30 minutes longer. The Which? test was primarily aimed at comparing Windows 8 machines, but they included two non-Windows machines as a contrast. The MacBook Pro topped the list, while a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook came out in the middle of the pack at 224 minutes.
The longest running Windows 8 laptop for web browsing is the Acer Aspire timeline Ultra M5-581T – a 15.6″ screen, 2.1kg ultrabook. It lasted almost six hours on battery – enough to get you to from London to Middlesbrough and back – and fell 30 minutes shy of the battery life of the 13″ Apple Macbook Pro Retina, but costs around £500 less.
If you switch to watching movies from the Acer’s hard disk, you’d get four hours and 37 minutes of movie viewing time – a little over an hour less than the Macbook.
Similar to Consumer Reports in the United States, Which? is known for scientific approach and detail in its testing. For example, product testers hook up laptops to lab gear to measure power consumption, use thermal imaging systems to measure heat and use light-measurement kits to test screen brightness.