IE9 Least Likely to Drain Your Laptop Battery, Study Suggests

Dennis Faas's picture

A new study suggests that the web browser you choose to use may have an impact on the energy consumed by your laptop. If you're a user that's on the go, this study could prove newsworthy, but it's not without its caveats.

Watt Consumption, Efficiency Measured

In the study, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), Mozilla Firefox 4, Google Chrome 10, Apple's Safari 5, and Opera 11 were tested.

Each browser was run on an Intel laptop that measured the watt consumption when the browser was a) left idling, b) displaying a news website or c) running a number of graphics-based web tests.

For the final series of tests, each browser ran Galactic, an HTML5-based browser performance test and the FishIE Tank, another performance test. (Source:

Internet Explorer 9 Rated Most Energy Efficient

In the end, it was Internet Explorer 9 that proved to be the most energy-efficient of all the browsers tested, draining a laptop computer's battery the least.

Microsoft representatives were quick to play up their browser's newfound achievement, encouraging others within the industry to "follow us... on the path to a more power-efficient web." (Source:

Results Considered Controversial

The results of the test do not come without their fair share of controversy.

For starters, all of the browsers tested were featured on the same Intel laptop running Windows 7. To make a truly impactful statement, Internet Explorer 9 would have to garner these same results in similar tests on a variety of operating systems and other devices.

Also, not the most popular online destinations were selected when conducting these tests. It is important to be mindful of the fact that different computers have different power consumption and power-saving features, making the latest test results potentially isolated occurrences.

Still, with Internet Explorer losing ground to Chrome and Firefox for quite some time now, it will be interesting to see if the advancements made in speed (and now energy-efficiency) will be enough for users to make the conscious effort to resort back to IE.

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