Dell claims the Inspiron 13 7000 Special Edition will last for up to 9 hours, relying on an integrated 43Whr, 3-Cell battery. Of course, battery life will depend on how much you require of the system throughout the day, and quoted times have historically been "best case scenario" results. Indeed, that proved true in our testing, as we weren't able to reach anywhere near 9 hours in actual, real-world use.
In an attempt to quantitatively measure the battery life in a controlled benchmark environment, we ran two tests to get a sense of how long the system will last under light and heavy use. Our web browsing test is a light-use scenario in which it refreshes a webpage over a Wi-Fi connection until the battery is exhausted. For this test, we set the display to 50% brightness and connected to the web via a wireless network.
The Battery Eater Pro test gives the laptop a much heavier workload to simulate the kind of stress you might put on the machine with multiple resources engaged including CPU, GPU, memory and hard drive.
The Inspiron 13 7000 SE performed fairly poorly in the strenuous Battery Eater Pro test, lasting for just under two hours. Frankly, we expected as much given how frequently the fans came on in use and how powerful the unit is. For hardcore road warriors that value longevity over all else, this should serve as a red flag.
We expect systems to last longer in our custom web browsing test than they do in the Battery Eater Pro test. Indeed, the Inspiron 13 7000 SE lasted longer in this test, making it almost to five hours of runtime before shutting down. That's reasonable for a powerful laptop, but it's still well short of Dell's ideal run time, We feel that users who cranked the brightness down and were careful with their processes could squeeze out more, but it definitely didn't score near the top compared to rivals.