iPad, iPad mini win battery life shootout among tablets

UK consumer watchdog site Which? has tested the world's leading tablets to see how their battery life compares and both the iPad with Retina display and the iPad mini came out on top by a large margin.

To be fair to all tablets, Which? took into account the screen size and brightness of each one. First, testers divided the tablets into two categories: those with screen sizes of 9.4-inches and larger and those with screen sizes of 7.9-inches and smaller. Then the company used a light meter to set the screen brightness of each tablet to 200 nits. For its tests, Which? measured the battery life of the tablets while using WiFi and 3G connections (if applicable) for web browsing and while watching videos.

Out of the seven tablets tested in the 10-inch category for WiFi browsing, the iPad with Retina display handily beat out the rest of the competition. It tallied up a total of 811 minutes of WiFi browsing (that's 13.5 hours). The iPad 2 came in a distant second place at 590 minutes (9.8 hours). By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 came in at 532 minutes (8.8 hours) and the Microsoft Surface RT came in at 501 minutes (8.3 hours). The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime came in at the bottom with a mere 335 minutes (5.5 hours).

Of the five tablets tested in the 7-inch category the iPad mini was the big winner -- and by a wide margin. It came in at 783 minutes (13 hours) while the runner up, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, came in at 591 minutes (9.8 hours). The Nexus 7 scored third at 550 minutes (9.1 hours) while the Amazon Kindle Fire came in at 437 minutes (7.2 hours) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 came in last at 425 minutes (seven hours).