Microsoft touts Edge's battery life advantage, but Chrome is closing the gap

It's become a predictable pattern at this point: Microsoft releases a new feature update, then it shows off how its Edge browser's battery life compares to the competition with that update. For the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, things are no different. And while Edge still comes out on top, as it has in each previous tests, a noticeable trend has appeared. Namely, Chrome is closing the gap.

Once again, Microsoft's test pits Edge against its main rivals, Chrome and Firefox. This go-around, Microsoft Edge managed to hold out 98 percent longer than Firefox and 14 percent longer than Chrome.

The browsers were compared on three identical Surface Books while continuously looping the same streaming video. Firefox petered out at just over seven hours, while Chrome managed to hit the 12-and-a-half hour mark. Edge managed more than 14 hours. Results were based on average times, and Microsoft is quick to point out that battery life "varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors."

What's interesting is how the numbers have shifted over time. In January, Microsoft released a similar test showing that Edge lasted 63 percent longer of Firefox and 19 percent longer than Chrome. Going back to the Creators Update, Microsoft's testing showed a 77 percent advantage over Firefox and a 35 percent advantage over Chrome. In 2016, Edge was outpacing Chrome in battery life by 70 percent.

While the advantage over Firefox that Microsoft's browser enjoys seems to be all over the place, one thing is clear: Chrome is slowly but surely closing the gap. The 14 percent difference between the two in the latest test is still significant, and you'll likely be better off sticking with Edge while you're on the go. But if you're a heavy Chrome user, its battery-hungry ways appear to be diminishing – at least in this one scenario.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl