How long does the Microsoft Surface battery last?

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How long does the Microsoft Surface battery last?

Could you really use Microsoft's new Surface tablet, running Windows RT, all day? Here's what we found in our test.

Microsoft claims the Surface will deliver about 10 hours of use. We've been using a Surface with Windows RT for a few days now and decided to see if the battery claims stood up in regular every-day use.

The day we decided to test this was a busy day with a couple of commitments in the morning and then a flight from Melbourne to Singapore when we planned to get some work done.

Let's see how long the Surface lasted...

Time

Battery Level

Comments

9:00AM

100%

Charged overnight. Started the day reviewing email, some web browsing and social media updates. After about 20 minutes the battery level has fallen by 3%.

3:30 PM

94%

We’ve been on stand-by for a while as we are flying out for a conference in a couple of hours. So, six hours of inactivity has drained about 3% of the battery. That suggests at least several days of stand-by time until the battery would die. We’ll be watching a movie while waiting in the lounge. Let’s see what that does.

5:45PM

80%

Finally, we’re on the plane in transit. There was about 40 minutes with the Surface on stand-by but before that we checked email, did some web browsing via WiFi and watched the first 20 minutes a movie. This taxed the Surface’s battery a little more.

7:50PM

63%

Our movie is over (Casino Royale if you’re interested) and the battery is doing surprisingly well. The total run time for the movie is 2:18 making us think that the Surface will have no trouble getting through a normal work day.

10:30PM

48%

Over the last couple of hours we’ve been mainly using Word to work on a couple of documents. As we’re on a plane, WiFi is not active as we’re not prepared to pay a small fortune for limited internet access during the flight.

11:30PM

39%

Some more work but we decided to shut down the Surface as it was becoming sluggish.

Next morning

0%

Once the work day finished up we finished up some work on a couple of documents and watched another movie on the Surface. After 90 minutes, the battery was completely dead. After just over an hour on the charger the battery was back to 80% charged.

Based on our observations, we’d suggest that the Surface will get through a full day’s work without needing a trip to the power outlet. And on most workdays it’s unlikely that you’ll watch close to three hours of video, something that taxes the screend and processor.

For email, web browsing and office productivity applications we wouldn’t be surprised if the Surface could stretch into a second workday without needing a recharge.

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