Internet Browser Face-Off: Battery Life Explored
Outside of Safari 4, which was clearly the worst browser choice for battery life under Windows, the major browsers offer similar battery life. We expected to see the largest difference on netbooks, where we thought the CPU and limited memory would influence the results; instead the opposite was true, where our netbook had nearly identical battery life with every browser we tested other than Safari 4. The AMD platform showed the most differentiation between browsers, so a switch might net you 10% or more battery life. Intel's platform doesn't show quite as much difference between browsers, but you could still get 5% more battery life.
Overall, Internet Explorer and Firefox + AdBlock consistently place near the top, with Chrome following closely behind. Opera 10 Beta 3 didn't do as well as Opera 9.6.4, and in a couple quick tests it doesn't appear that the final release of Opera 10 changes the situation at all. Opera in general - version 9 or 10 - looks like it doesn't do as well as the other major browsers. Safari is at the back, by a large margin on all three test notebooks. We suspect that Safari 4 does better under OS X, however, so the poor Windows result probably won't matter to most Safari users.
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