One of the main criticisms leveled at the original Surface Pro was the below average battery life. So how does the Surface Pro 2 shape up?
When the original Surface Pro was released, one of the criticisms from some reviewers was that it lasted four hours or less when running on battery.
Microsoft claims a 75% increase in battery life with the Surface Pro 2 so we were interested to see what sort of battery life we could get while having a play with a test unit.
In our experience Microsoft’s claims aren't too far off the mark. Our Surface Pro 2 lasted around seven hours on battery.
Of course, the battery life you'll get will depend on what settings you use, and what you're doing while you use it. We had the Power options set to the default “balanced mode” and screen brightness set to 50%, and Bluetooth off and Wi-Fi on. The keyboard (called theType Cover) was connected but the keyboard backlight was turned off during the entire time we used it.
What were we doing while using it? We spend a lot of time typing documents in Word, browsing the web, 20 minutes watching Flash video, as well as emailing. Of course running more demanding applications such as Photoshop, CAD or other video editing software will have a more significant impact on battery life.
It’s also worth noting that when we first ran the battery test, we we noticed significant battery drain whenever the device went into sleep mode. Sleep mode is activated automatically when the keyboard cover is closed, or when you press the power button once on top of the device, or leave the Surface Pro 2 unused for more than 10 minutes. Late last week Microsoft released a firmware update that rectified this issue and we haven’t experienced any noticeable battery drain in sleep mode since. If you’re an owner of the Surface Pro 2, we would definitely recommend updating the firmware via Windows update.
This isn't a labs test, and we'll wait to see what reviewers think before making any final conclusions. Still, seven hours of battery life is good for a Windows computer, although it still falls short when compared with something like the 11-inch Macbook Air. We've managed to get around 11 hours using one. Both the Macbook Air (11-inch) and Surface Pro 2 come with a similar Intel Core i5 processor but of course the Surface Pro 2 has the unique ability to be used as a tablet and also comes with a higher resolution 1080P display.