Best MacBook for battery life 2023

MacBook Pro battery status on macOS Ventura
(Image credit: iMore)

MacBook battery efficiency has improved dramatically with the arrival of Apple silicon. Of the current MacBook models, the 16-inch MacBook Pro (203) offers the best battery life, although it's not the best pick for most people because of its high price. Instead, our choice for the battery consensus is the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2, 2022), although it does come with significant drawbacks over our second recommendation, the MacBook Air (M2, 2022). Here's a look at the best MacBooks for battery life. Which one is the choice for you?

The best MacBooks based on battery life

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Macbook Pro With M1 Chip with a fish tank video playing on the screen

Macbook Pro With M1 Chip with a fish tank video playing on the screen (Image credit: iMore)
Best battery life — ever

Reasons to buy

It's much cheaper than the 16-inch model
Includes Touch Bar ... if you still want it

Reasons to avoid

Price can rise quickly as you add components
Only offers a 720p FaceTime HD camera
No MagSafe

With an integrated 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022) version offers up to 17 hours of wireless web and up to 20 hours of Apple TV app movie playback between charges. The only MacBook with better battery life is the 16-inch model (see our third pick). However, that one is much more expensive.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2, 2022) includes a system-on-a-chip (SoC) Apple M2 chip that consists of an 8-core CPU with four performance cores, four efficiency cores, a 10-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. In addition, you can get up to 2TB of storage and 24GB of unified memory.

If you're purchasing a MacBook Pro solely based on battery life, choose this one. It was just updated last year and should stick around for a while.

Macbook Air Hands On

MacBook Air Hands On (Image credit: iMore)
Forget the charging cable for longer

Reasons to buy

Least expensive MacBook
Apple M2
18 hours of battery life
Return of MagSafe

Reasons to avoid

Better battery life found on 13-inch MacBook Pro
Can get expensive as you add options

The best Mac for most people, the MacBook Air (2022), offers up to 15 hours of wireless web and 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback thanks to its integrated 52.6-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery.

The MacBook Air (M2, 2022) has a 13.6-inch Liquid Crystal display and features the same SoC Apple M2 chip found on the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2, 2022). You can also get up to 2TB of storage and 24GB of unified memory.

In previous generations, purchasing the 13-inch MacBook Pro over the MacBook Air often made more sense. Not anymore. Many more features are offered by the MacBook Air vs the MacBook Pro in its entry level form, including a MagSafe charging port, a larger display, less weight, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and more color choices. Still, regarding battery life, the 13-inch MacBook Pro reigns, offering 20 hours between charges in many cases versus the 18 hours for the MacBook Air.

Another note: The MacBook Air can get very expensive as you add better internals, which is something to keep in mind.

The best all-around option for most users, the MacBook Air is a great-looking device that will provide you with years of fun and productivity.

14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023)

14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) (Image credit: Apple)

16-inch MacBook Pro (2021)

Largest display

Reasons to buy

Most prominent MacBook Pro display to date
A powerful beast

Reasons to avoid

Expensive even for the base model

The 16-inch MacBook Pro received its second Apple silicon update in 2023 — and it's great. Apple promises up to 15 hours of wireless web and 22 hours of movie playback between charges. The latter is the best you will find on any MacBook, and it's a modest jump over the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021)

Besides the largest display currently available on an Apple laptop, the 16-inch model packs a punch. You can choose from an M2 Pro or M2 Max SoC. The base 16-inch MacBook Pro also comes with 16GB of unified memory, 512GB SSD storage, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, and a MagSafe 3 port. All versions come with a 12-core CPU; you can get up to a 38-core GPU and 96GB of memory. 

On the downside, this is an expensive laptop, and it gets even more costly as you add better specs.

What about the 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023)? Along with the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023), Apple revealed a second-generation 14-inch model. This laptop is identical to the larger model except for the display size — and battery life. Unfortunately, this Mac provides a lousy 12 hours between charges for wireless web and a respectable 18 hours for Apple TV app playback. Nevertheless, we consider this one of the best MacBooks on the market. Based on battery life alone, however, you can do better.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is an excellent choice when the screen size matters the most.

Three choices

The best MacBook based on battery life is the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2, 2022), which provides up to 17 hours of wireless web and 20 hours of Apple TV app movie playback between charges. For this, and our alternative choice, the MacBook Air (M2, 2022), you'll experience the Apple M2 chip. This SoC chip consists of an 8-core CPU with four performance cores, four efficiency cores, 10-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine.

We recommend the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) only if you care for the bigger display. This model features M1 Pro or M1 Max and offers very good battery life between charges despite its larger screen size. It also comes with a lot of storage and memory options.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.