The 2020 Browser Battle: Surfing With Speedby Brett Howse on September 10, 2020 8:00 AM EST
HTML 5 Compatibility
Finally, to see how many HTML 5 features are supported by each browser, each one was run against http://html5test.com/ which compiles a score out of 555, with scoring being based on how many HTML5 specifications, popular draft standards, and WebGL, and IndexedDB / Web SQL. A higher score means the browser supports more of the tests, which in theory means that the browser should be more compatible with more websites, although that is certainly not always the case.
Web Browser Battery Life
It would be hard to argue with how pervasive and important the internet is, so “browsing the web” is a critical function for laptops. Gone are the days of browsing static content on Geocities and instead the web is now the home to critical business applications, communication, and of course, entertainment. Finding a few more minutes of battery life just by using a different browser might be the difference between getting through a workday, and not.
To see how each browser performed, the Surface Laptop 3 15-inch had the brightness dialed into 200 nits, and each browser was run through our quite demanding web workload until the system turned off, and then the test was repeated to ensure there were no anomalous results. All the browsers were tested at least twice, with the exception of Internet Explorer 11, which was not tested, because you should really not be using it.
One of the biggest questions going into this was what impact Microsoft would see moving from their EdgeHTML and Chakra based browser in the classic Edge, to the Chromium version. Microsoft touted their battery life significantly when Edge was the new browser on the block, and for good reason. As you can see, classic Edge provided significantly better battery life than any other browser used. When your pool of energy is a fixed size, squeezing out extra runtime is not a trivial undertaking, and Microsoft has certainly given up some battery life to provide a more compatible browser.
Looking at the Chromium based browsers, which are the new Edge, Chrome, and Opera, and they all more or less fall in the same range, with only twenty minutes of runtime between the three, but as we saw with the scripting tests, Edge was able to provide just a bit more battery life than the others.
Firefox, while competitive, is over thirty minutes behind its closest competitor. It is likely not enough of a difference to spur anyone from moving away from Firefox if they are happy with its other features, but the Mozilla team is not quite up to par in terms of energy use.