Which, the consumer watchdog, has been putting the top tablets through their battery life paces, and it turns out that the iPad Air is the king of battery longevity.
Which put the slates through tests of web browsing, over both Wi-Fi and 3G, followed by a video playback session. All tablets were set to the same middling brightness level using a light meter.
The iPad Air came out top for both web surfing – lasting 658 minutes – and video playback, with the battery lasting for 777 minutes in the latter case. It not only beat Android rivals, but also its smaller sibling the iPad mini Retina.
With web browsing, the iPad mini Retina came in second with 614 minutes, 44 minutes less than the full-size Air. The old iPad 2 finished third with 590 minutes, followed by the Tesco Hudl (534), Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (483), Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (438), and then Google’s Nexus 7 (416 minutes).
For video playback, the iPad Air (777) was followed by the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (714), the Nexus 7 (669), iPad 2 (660), Hudl (644), iPad mini Retina (604), Kindle Fire HD (585), and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (465).
There are some slight anomalies here, though, most notably the difference between the iPad mini’s surfing and video performance, which takes a decrease with the latter in the face of the strong gains seen by other tablets (save the Galaxy Note 10.1). Exactly how Which ensured that “web browsing” was the same across all the tests isn’t clear, either.
That said, the iPad Air was certainly clear at the top by a long way on both counts, and it would seem to be a glowing recommendation for Apple’s slim slate if you want the most life on the move.
The Tesco Hudl’s relatively strong performance is also interesting for those looking at low-end tablet options.