1. jojoe42's Avatar
    Hi guys,

    I just recently bought a Surface Pro 2, and I have to say I was expecting the battery life to not be as lackluster as it is - with mixed usage (web browsing, Facebook snapped to the side on chat and listening to music) in balanced mode I only get like 3-4 hours of battery until it dies!! Does anyone have any suggestions as to improve battery life on this thing? Also, I plan on using this thing to replace my books at school this year (cough OneNote cough) so can anyone tell me if it lasts a day doing (mostly) productivity on a single charge and if so how long for? I was at least expecting this thing to last 6 hours web browsing and stuff with the latest update and all the reviews getting 6-8 hours....
    01-15-2014 05:02 PM
  2. Dos101's Avatar
    My gf has SP2 and uses it exactly how you want you use it, replacement for books at school. Usually lasts her a whole school day but it's not consistent use.

    There are many factors that affect battery life: screen brightness, consistently low wifi signal, if you have devices plugged into your Surface, etc.

    Is your Surface up to date with the latest Windows updates?

    If it's none of the above it's not unreasonable to take your Surface to Microsoft and ask for a replacement, 3-4 hours is definitely on the low end of what I've seen people get out of the SP2.
    01-15-2014 05:13 PM
  3. MBytes's Avatar
    1- Make sure your Pro 2 is fully updated. Microsoft released an update in October which improved greatly the battery.
    Even if your Surface Pro 2 is newer, you don't have the latest updates.

    2- The CPU in the Surface Pro 2 is an low voltage one... meaning that the power consumption and heat produce by the device varies greatly between minimum clock speed and when Turbo Boost kicks-in. This is why, based on usage, you can have such a drastic difference between one user and another.

    So what can you do to reduce heat, noise, and increase battery life.
    > Reduce the screen brightness.
    > Remove unneeded USB devices. Many consumes a lot of power.

    > Use Power Saver power plan. You can go a step further and set the max CPU usage to 50%. You won't get the smoothest experience possible, as you'll limit the CPU a lot (and the GPU), but that's mobile computer for you. You can be more aggressive, and lock it down to ~800MHz by defining the power plan to 0% on both min and max. Windows MIGHT (I don't know, I don't have a SP2) not provide smooth animation, which you can choose to disable and live with less visuals, in exchange to a not visibly slow experience on battery with Power Saver. You can access these by typing: Performance in the Start Screen (or do Ctrl+Q anywhere), and click on "Adjust the performance and experience of Windows" item.

    > I don't know if you can do that in the Surface Pro 2, but some wireless card allows you to control the strength and aggressiveness of the wireless card in Device Manager. Go to Device Manager, and double click on the wireless card, and in one of the tabs you should have some additional options related to that. You can reduce the performance and aggressiveness to save battery life, in exchange to a less good wireless experience (require a stronger signal to operate... meaning if you are in week wireless area, it could be an issue)

    > Use different programs. Chrome for instance eats battery like no tomorrow. It's a horrible web browser (the Windows version) for mobile devices. Use Firefox or IE instead. So you want to check for that for all your software that you have.

    > Remove software that runs on the background that check for updates... but I highly recommend to check yourself for upgrade, especially for Java and Flash.

    Hope this helps.
    01-15-2014 05:28 PM
  4. jojoe42's Avatar
    My gf has SP2 and uses it exactly how you want you use it, replacement for books at school. Usually lasts her a whole school day but it's not consistent use.

    There are many factors that affect battery life: screen brightness, consistently low wifi signal, if you have devices plugged into your Surface, etc.

    Is your Surface up to date with the latest Windows updates?

    If it's none of the above it's not unreasonable to take your Surface to Microsoft and ask for a replacement, 3-4 hours is definitely on the low end of what I've seen people get out of the SP2.
    Just installing some updates now, actually. I did install the firmware update released back in October when I first got it out of the box. Brightness never usually goes above 50-65% when I use it, and my room has a router in it so there's always a consistent signal, and usually I don't have any devices plugged into the USB port or anything. Given I've only had this device for two weeks and I haven't had a "full" day of usage (I'm on holiday so it's been more inconsistent web usage) I'll probably give the device maybe a month or two before I send it back as the same thing happened with my 1020 - the first two weeks had terrible battery, and then after a while it came up to where most people get it at (1-3 days). Yeah I'm just a little underwhelmed by the battery as it drains so fast on web usage....

    1- Make sure your Pro 2 is fully updated. Microsoft released an update in October which improved greatly the battery.
    Even if your Surface Pro 2 is newer, you don't have the latest updates.

    2- The CPU in the Surface Pro 2 is an low voltage one... meaning that the power consumption and heat produce by the device varies greatly between minimum clock speed and when Turbo Boost kicks-in. This is why, based on usage, you can have such a drastic difference between one user and another.

    So what can you do to reduce heat, noise, and increase battery life.
    > Reduce the screen brightness.
    > Remove unneeded USB devices. Many consumes a lot of power.

    > Use Power Saver power plan. You can go a step further and set the max CPU usage to 50%. You won't get the smoothest experience possible, as you'll limit the CPU a lot (and the GPU), but that's mobile computer for you. You can be more aggressive, and lock it down to ~800MHz by defining the power plan to 0% on both min and max. Windows MIGHT (I don't know, I don't have a SP2) not provide smooth animation, which you can choose to disable and live with less visuals, in exchange to a not visibly slow experience on battery with Power Saver. You can access these by typing: Performance in the Start Screen (or do Ctrl+Q anywhere), and click on "Adjust the performance and experience of Windows" item.

    > I don't know if you can do that in the Surface Pro 2, but some wireless card allows you to control the strength and aggressiveness of the wireless card in Device Manager. Go to Device Manager, and double click on the wireless card, and in one of the tabs you should have some additional options related to that. You can reduce the performance and aggressiveness to save battery life, in exchange to a less good wireless experience (require a stronger signal to operate... meaning if you are in week wireless area, it could be an issue)

    > Use different programs. Chrome for instance eats battery like no tomorrow. It's a horrible web browser (the Windows version) for mobile devices. Use Firefox or IE instead. So you want to check for that for all your software that you have.

    > Remove software that runs on the background that check for updates... but I highly recommend to check yourself for upgrade, especially for Java and Flash.

    Hope this helps.
    I like to retain some form of fluidity - I did reduce the max CPU usage a bit down to 50% in my power saver plan. I did change the settings for the wireless adapters, to maximum power savings. I had no idea that Google Chrome has such an impact on battery life, but I absolutely despise IE....I guess I could give it a shot. The only programs set to auto-update anything are Dropbox, SkyDrive and Avira (anti-virus).
    01-15-2014 09:33 PM
  5. jojoe42's Avatar
    Sorry I forgot to update this thread but after changing from Chrome to IE my battery life has doubled. Shows how inefficient Chrome can be sometimes :P
    03-22-2014 04:42 AM
  6. andy roddy's Avatar
    After my 5-hour battery life yesterday, I was ready to return the SP2. This was with Chrome closed the entire time, and I even unchecked the "allow Chrome to work in the background" option. I didn't even use Chrome, so I decided to uninstall it entirely last night. So far today, I'm at 66% after 2.5 hours of continuous use with a monitor and a BT mouse attached. Something to think - youmight want to uninstall Chrome entirely. I'll report back if this battery life holds up over the next few days.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 4
    03-28-2014 09:02 AM
  7. freestaterocker's Avatar
    Sorry I forgot to update this thread but after changing from Chrome to IE my battery life has doubled. Shows how inefficient Chrome can be sometimes :P
    Yeah, between Chrome, earlier versions of Android and a few other notable bits of software, I would say Google is kinda infamous for lazy, inefficient coding. There's a reason the MS software division is still making billions annually even though Google offers a "free-to-use" solution in virtually every segment where MS competes.
    03-28-2014 09:18 AM
  8. Nimdock's Avatar
    I've been using my surface for 5 hours without plugin in to power. The battery estimate claims I still have 43% left.

    I have been doing browsing (Firefox), ssh connections (KiTTY), OpenVPN intermittently, Sublime Text, SQLyog, WinSCP, Miranda IM, and Thunderbird.
    03-28-2014 02:06 PM
  9. andy roddy's Avatar
    I've been using my surface for 5 hours without plugin in to power. The battery estimate claims I still have 43% left.

    I have been doing browsing (Firefox), ssh connections (KiTTY), OpenVPN intermittently, Sublime Text, SQLyog, WinSCP, Miranda IM, and Thunderbird.
    I'll have to look through other programs to see if something else (other than Chrome) might be draining the battery.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 4
    03-28-2014 08:59 PM
  10. yeewiz's Avatar
    Probably a good idea that needs repeating, turn off as many live tiles as you can.

    Just got my SP2 yesterday and I'm loving it. Will be monitoring battery life compared to my RT.
    03-29-2014 02:09 PM
  11. jojoe42's Avatar
    Probably a good idea that needs repeating, turn off as many live tiles as you can.

    Just got my SP2 yesterday and I'm loving it. Will be monitoring battery life compared to my RT.
    Of course expect the RT to be significantly more efficient - x86 processors are more powerful and guzzle more power as a result
    03-29-2014 04:39 PM
  12. yeewiz's Avatar
    Sure, expect SP2 to be worse, but how much worse is what I'm curious about
    03-30-2014 04:53 AM

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