IE8 is Kinder to Batteries

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There are all kinds of reasons to choose one browser over another, speed, familiarity, user interface, security and personal preference (the list goes on and on) but the one people seldom consider is battery life. Apparently, it’s an area in which Internet Explorer 8 excels.

internet explorer 8 logo

The folks over at AnandTech sat down with two notebooks and a netbook and ran a series of fairly exhaustive tests to see to what extent browser choice effects battery life for those of us into mobile computing. It’s worth noting that there isn’t the vast difference you might imagine between browsers, but that there was a noticeable difference at all will be enough to impress upon some the need to carefully choose their browser. Internet Explorer beat stiff competition from Firefox (with Adblock installed), Google Chrome, Opera and Safari, which turned out to be significantly less impressive.

According to the folks at AnandTech, “The AMD platform showed the most differentiation between browsers, so a switch might net you 10% more battery life. Intel’s platform doesn’t show quite as much difference between browsers, but you could still get 5% more batter life.”

In truth, we’re kind of surprised at the results; the generalised bashing of Internet Explorer (whether IE7, IE8 or the still fairly regularly used IE6) has us just kind of expecting it to perform poorly in any kind of comparison. If nothing else it’s kind of interesting to see just where Internet Explorer 8 can perform very well indeed.

Of course, with all that said, it’s also worth pointing out that if you’re doing anything else at all with your notebook then your choice of browser is likely going to have a markedly less noticeably difference in your battery life. If you’re at all interested in seeing the full tests (including some really excellent graphs) then you should definitely check out the AnandTech article on how your choice of browser impacts battery life.

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