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Surface Pro 2 Gets Significant Battery Boost

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the can't-beat-a-trs-80-model-100 dept.

Power 157

SmartAboutThings writes "The original Surface Pro didn't have quite a good battery life and that's why Microsoft tried to fix this with the Surface Pro. After the Surface Pro 2 has hit general availability, Microsoft has silently pushed out a firmware update which, according to some new battery benchmarks run by Anandtech, made significant improvements to the battery life of the Surface Pro 2. After the new web browsing battery life test it was discovered that the Surface Pro 2 now manages better battery life than the ARM Surface 2, which is pretty impressive. With the firmware update, Microsoft was targeting over 8 hours, and AnadTech's benchmarks show Microsoft has succeeded, registering a 25% increase in battery life over the no-firmware version. The unpatched Surface Pro 2 lasted for 6.68 hours while with the firmware update installed, its battery life increased to 8.33 hours. The video playback test involved playing a movie until the battery died, and here, albeit smaller, improvements with the battery life have also been noticed: 7.73 hours compared to 6.65 hours."

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157 comments

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313789)

I like better batteries. Good.

Re:Good (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314009)

I bet all of the 24 Surface Pro 2 customers were really satisfied with the upgrade.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315927)

I bet all of the 24 Surface Pro 2 customers were really satisfied with the upgrade.

Aparently not:

Microsoft Fails to Fix the Surface Pro 2
Microsoft recently unveiled an update to the Surface Pro: The Surface Pro 2 is better, faster and the battery lasts longer. Yet, early reviews have not been kind. It appears Microsoft still has much work to do to beat back Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) .

"It makes you compromise everywhere"

The Verge, in its lengthy review of the Surface Pro 2, ultimately concludes that it's a machine not noticeably different from its predecessor. The tech site awards it a 7.8 (on a 10 point scale), noting that -- despite its versatility -- it still comes with numerous drawbacks.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/10/22/microsoft-fails-to-fix-the-surface-pro-2.aspx [fool.com]

Re:Good (4, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | about 6 months ago | (#45314155)

The battery isn't any better. The operating system is just doing a better job managing its power usage of the battery it has.

Re:Good (1)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 6 months ago | (#45314195)

so then I can expect the same out of my Surface Pro 1 after I upgrade to 8.1? Cool, now I don't have to buy a Pro 2 and ebay this one.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | about 6 months ago | (#45314229)

It's a firmware update -- it's only for an issue on Surface 2 devices and wont install on a Surface 1. This has nothing to do with Win8 vs. 8.1.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314687)

It's a firmware update -- it's only for an issue on Surface 2 devices and wont install on a Surface 1. This has nothing to do with Win8 vs. 8.1.

The Anandtech article does not say anything about the original Surface Pro. It covers only the Surface Pro 2.

Microsoft has a page [microsoft.com] that appears to reference the original Surface Pro and lists an October firmware update that lists "improved Wi-Fi" - this is what Anandtech talked about in their Surface Pro 2 article.

Furthermore, the original Surface Pro has an Oct 5 firmware update available to it if it is running 8.1. Does that firmware contain the Wi-Fi improvements that give better battery life? Somebody will have to find out. Do you know for sure, one way or the other?

What is a Surface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313795)

What is a surface? Isn't that some kind of musical device to make clicking noises during a dance sequence?

Microsoft can give them away for FREE who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313805)

We don't want your stinking locked down tablet, go away.

Re:Microsoft can give them away for FREE who cares (4, Informative)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 6 months ago | (#45314331)

I think you're confusing the Pro with the RT. The Pro and Pro 2 are no more "locked down" than a desktop running Windows because they're running the same OS.

The confusion and ire is understandable as the RT is a useless piece of shit. But they're two entirely different products.

Re:Microsoft can give them away for FREE who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314371)

Are they locked down in terms of bootloader?

Heh, 'deterred' for a capha, kind of like my thoughts on buying a locked down tablet.

Re:Microsoft can give them away for FREE who cares (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314475)

No, I dual-boot Ubuntu (which I must sadly admit is a complete piece of crap without an attached keyboard) with mine. You do have to change a 'BIOS' setting, but there's only three options so it isn't hard. You need an OS that supports UEFI (which is why I'm using Ubuntu compared to something else).

The hardware is excellent, but the pressure touch screen is too sensitive. I can't take notes like I wanted because when my hand brushes the screen all the programs think I moved the pen and I end up with stray lines and marks everywhere. I'm not sure if this is an OS level issue or a program issue. It causes more problems on Ubuntu than Win8, though Win8 is smart enough to know it's a pen and not a mouse. Yet the pressure sensitivity works on Ubuntu... When I was working on DIY touch screens/walls the main touch detection libraries had the option of ignoring palm presses if it detected finger presses. What happened to that?

Re:Microsoft can give them away for FREE who cares (1)

Mr. Tom Guycot (1298343) | about 6 months ago | (#45316031)

Out of curiosity do you have a SP1 or 2? and if its SP1, are you still on 8.0 or on 8.1? I'm interested because I use the pen very heavily on my SP2, and so i've been more than amazed at what a nice job the palm rejection does. I've used some other touch/pen enabled tablets with palm rejection and noted the same issue you have, however I've had maybe a grand total of one or 2 slips with touch registering and making a mark somewhere.

Then again I guess we could just hold our pens different.

Re:Microsoft can give them away for FREE who cares (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 6 months ago | (#45316133)

Actually the Surface 2 is a very well built piece of hardware that meets many people's needs. Browsing / email / light gaming. Granted, it should include the keyboard but marketing is where MS always stumbles.

Subjects in comments are stupid (5, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | about 6 months ago | (#45313821)

Ah, Surface. The tablet that "could", but won't.
Not because it can't. No, because the Web 2.0 won't let it. It doesn't matter if it's good. It doesn't matter if its x86 and is able to run your programs. It doesn't matter if it has gobs of RAM and a ton of disk space, and it can do real multitasking. Oh yes, and it's faster than your silly android tablet which is mostly an Angry Birds or Candy Crush machine.

No.

It's microsoft. It's not Android. And it's definitely not Apple.

It's a shame. It's a nice tablet. Too bad its destiny is decided by "geeky" douchebag-hipsters. Just like the Zune, which, regardless of how much the Zune store sucked, it was shot by iFans mostly because it was brown.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#45313999)

I wouldn't mind one if the platform allowed alternative firmware..A stripped down uclibc/uclibc++ linux desktop distro might work nicely with them. It's true I don't like metro, but I also don't like its workalike competitors, iOS and android, either. This isn't the fault of touchscreen nor is the the fault of complex software, it's the attempt at combining the two that is broken. The result ends up being a dumbed down interface that is only marginally useful at best. Touchscreens are great for simplistic, single use devices, but cellphones and tablets push that too far these days, trying to become the desktop replacement. It's a mistake.

Anyway, having a tablet with a keyboard is interesting niche area that would serve me well when I don't need the full bore desktop configuration. I just don't like being tied down to insipid 'app stores' and pointless must-be-online dependencies.

Yes, to hell with hipster douchebags.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314167)

What the hell are you ranting on about? What's stopping you from installing whatever x86 OS you wish?

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1, Informative)

nojayuk (567177) | about 6 months ago | (#45314225)

Windows 8 Pro on the Surface Pro can run up to 4 VMs so anyone who wanted to experiment with, say FreeBSD on this hardware could do so without having to install an alternative OS. I don't know if the touch screen and digitiser is supported by other OSes though.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314657)

Windows 8 Pro can run as many VMs as the hardware will support (4 sounds reasonable for a modern OS, assuming the 8GB version). Touch + digitizer probablywouldn't work inside a VM, but since the digitizer is a standard wacom digitizer, driver support isn't problematic when used natively.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#45314267)

I thought these 'surface' machines were locked..

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (4, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#45314583)

That's the Surface RT. Lots of product line confusion that they didn't see coming.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314675)

Surface Pro is asunlocked as any other x86 machine. Boot into UEFI and tweak secure boot to your liking.

Only Windows RT devices are locked.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 6 months ago | (#45314181)

Why can't you just install your own OS on it? Microsoft has said that any computer that is branded to run Windows 8 must allow the user to unlock secure boot. So unlock it and put what you want on it. It's just a compact x86 PC with a touchscreen/digitizer.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#45314271)

How odd. The one thing I don't do with my Nexus 7 is play Angry Birds.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

hjf (703092) | about 6 months ago | (#45315465)

I have a Nexus 7. Well, my dad does. Anyway, the nexus 7 is some "top of the line" tablet. With great spects, well built, etc.

It SUCKS for web browsing. Seriously. Why is android SO DAMN SLOW at browsing? Sure, my desktop is a Core i5 and firefox is really fast in it. But in both my phone (HTC Sensation) and the tablet, browsing is stupidly slow. And I tried Chrome, Firefox, Android Browser, Dolphin, Opera... I'm using to click-page opens. Android drives me crazy, taking 10-20 seconds to open a website (and this is over Wi-Fi, the same WiFI i use with an old Core 2 Duo laptop, which is still faster than the Nexus)

And now I'm reading about a tablet with a Core i5 larger than my desktop's, with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD, running full Windows 8.1? That's got to be at least as fast as my desktop.

Bonus: I'm not tied to Android either.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 6 months ago | (#45315593)

Oh, what do you do on it? Can you draw like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puyMmARTqck [youtube.com]

Oh wait, it even has shitty lag. http://www.geek.com/android/the-nexus-7-lag-dilemma-and-why-theres-no-real-fix-1560784/ [geek.com]

Enjoy your lagfest.

I don't get all the nonsense hate. Comparing a Nexus 7 to a Surface Pro is like comparing a lawn mower with a jet engine. Of course it going to burn more fuel because it can do more. .

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (5, Insightful)

dido (9125) | about 6 months ago | (#45314275)

Its destiny was not decided by "geeky douchebag hipsters" but by Microsoft. Explain the value proposition in paying US$1000 for an x86 tablet when there are ultrabooks with comparable specs that can be had for almost half the price. Honestly, I'd actually consider buying a Surface Pro, if it were priced at maybe $500-600. Microsoft priced themselves out of the market. They are not and will never be Apple, no matter how much Ballmer wishes otherwise. It's like Toyota marketing a sports car under the Toyota name, with Ferrari prices.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314437)

Good observation, Dildo.

Re: Subjects in comments are stupid (0)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 6 months ago | (#45314479)

Don't take buying advice from this guy. Microsoft is not the Toyota of hardware, they have always made good PC hardware, not to mention that Toyota isn't really a low quality brand either, I'd bet you get more miles out of a Toyota sports car than a Ferrari. The pro costs 1000$ because its more useful than the ultrabooks in its spec. class and its more portable. A full desktop OS, keyboard, touchpad, waycom pen and touchscreen than you can carry around easily, there aren't many ultra books that offer that, if any.

Re: Subjects in comments are stupid (3)

dido (9125) | about 6 months ago | (#45314571)

The "waycom pen and touchscreen" is the only thing you listed which I don't get with a $600 ultrabook, and it definitely isn't worth the $400 difference to me. I make no pretense of being some kind of artist, and my pointing device needs are more than served by a $10 mouse or a built-in trackpad thank you very much. And I think it's cute how you missed the whole point of the obligatory car analogy.

Re: Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about 6 months ago | (#45315473)

So you're saying that the product they built doesn't meet your needs, therefore (ignoring the stuff that it has that you don't need) it is overpriced. Isn't that (to go back to cars) like comparing a Silverado to a Civic and saying that since you don't personally tow anything, the Silverado is an overpriced POS?

Re: Subjects in comments are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315753)

Wow, the retards are out in force today. Dido is asserting that Microsoft is charging a premium on their hardware that they're not in a position to demand. You may not agree with that assessment, but the analogy is pretty easy to understand.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (3, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 6 months ago | (#45314751)

Its destiny was not decided by "geeky douchebag hipsters" but by Apple. Explain the value proposition in paying US$600 for a iPad tablet when there are tablets with comparable specs that can be had for almost half the price. Honestly, I'd actually consider buying an iPad, if it were priced at maybe $300. Apple priced themselves out of the market

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

dido (9125) | about 6 months ago | (#45314815)

Interestingly, I made exactly that decision when I bought the Asus Transformer I'm writing this on.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | about 6 months ago | (#45315481)

It probably has something to do with the fact that while other tablets outsell the iPad, far more traffic is seen from iPads than from other tablets. Designing something pleasant to use takes more than +1'ing someone else's spec sheet.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315775)

I would say that you've restated his exact point. People buy iPads, even if they are more expensive, because Apple's premium is considered worth it (by some). People don't buy the Surface Pro because (almost) nobody thinks Microsoft's premium is worth it.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1, Interesting)

hawk (1151) | about 6 months ago | (#45315873)

I won a free 7" Galaxy 3 at a conference last week.

It would take a lot more to reach "underwhelmed" by it.

At $500 for an iPad, and $100 for it, I'll take the iPad.

Heck, at $500 iPad, and free tablet, I'll take the ipad.

hawk

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (3, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 6 months ago | (#45314453)

It's a shame. It's a nice tablet

Agreed. I have a Surface Pro. It's my primary computer for everything, whether I'm at my desk at the office, on the train, at an airport or in a hotel room.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#45314569)

I don't know you were modded troll, you only gave an opinion.
But I'll disagree a bit. The first surface had a lot of problems and it came with an unusual UI. It wasn't dinged for being Microsoft but because of what it was. Surface 2 then is inheriting the bad name of Surface 1 (and unfortunately Surface RT, which is where Microsoft should have used a different name).

Zune was a "me too!" product. The market was flooded with mp3 players when Zune came out, not just ipod.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314711)

iFans? Really? I recall a lot of the Fandroids weren't any kinder to it.... I know a lot of Fandroids and Linux goose steppers who have no qualms about speaking shit on products that they claim they never use. How can you have a 6 digit UID and not be honest enough to admit that most condemnation of software/hardware around here is solely based on weather or not it's "teh Opennn Sourcez!!!!1111!!!"
 
But yeah, it's the iFans who are fucks.
 
You're a troll. Pure and simple.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314983)

The price plays a factor too. The cheapest surface pro I found upon googling the term is about $700.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#45315835)

No, because the Web 2.0 won't let it.

No, because it costs $900 at the low end. It's indeed better than a cheap ARM tablet ($150-$400) in many ways. It's even better than an iPad ($500) in many ways. It's also almost impossible to see why many people would drop that kind of cash on what is essentially another touch-screen Windows laptop, if they weren't already in the market for such a device.

Don't get me wrong, I love the cut throat competition in this space and in smartphones... if only PCs enjoyed this sort of variety again... but you are either creating content or you are not. If you are, it's hard to fathom an advantage of a Surface Pro 2 style machine over a more traditional laptop. If you are not, then you can surf the web, play videos, and play games on devices costing half as much money or less. There are probably some people who both create content, need a long battery life, AND want to use the same machine to couch surf. Fair enough. I'm just betting that it isn't a very large market.

Re:Subjects in comments are stupid (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45316099)

surface != surface pro.

that's the problem. if someone read your stuff they would think that surface is x86 and could run your programs.

but it's not. surface pro(2) is.

which gets us to how it's so hard to recommend to anyone novice to go and buy a surface, pro or not. because it takes fifteen minutes to explain to them what it can run depending on which version it is and they'll forget about it in another fifteen minutes.

Slow night? (4, Funny)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about 6 months ago | (#45313833)

I like these things, hell, I bought one. I've often been accused of being a Microsoft shill on these pages, but even I think this is too dull a story for the front page.

Re:Slow night? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#45313883)

I like these things, hell, I bought one. I've often been accused of being a Microsoft shill on these pages, but even I think this is too dull a story for the front page.

Yeah, I got one too, my day job requires windows, and Surface Pro (OG, not 2) will run all the desktop software I need, and run it well.
I wonder why the firmware update wouldn't work on the Original Surface Pro?

Re:Slow night? (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314177)

It only fixes a Wi-Fi bug, it seems. Effectively, a driver update.

The original Surface Pro probably uses a different Wi-Fi adapter (or simply a different revision) and thus has a different driver that wasn't affected.

Re:Slow night? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315859)

It only fixes a Wi-Fi bug, it seems. Effectively, a driver update.

The original Surface Pro probably uses a different Wi-Fi adapter (or simply a different revision) and thus has a different driver that wasn't affected.

The original Surface Pro also got a Wi-Fi firmware update. It was just not mentioned in the linked article. Somebody should run some benchmarks to see if the battery impact is similar to the restested Surface Pro 2.

Re:Slow night? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314317)

There was a time when you could learn new things on Slashdot. But there are better tech sites and Slashdot editors are too slow. Plus the bias here is too slanted toward open source and left wing ideology.

Re:Slow night? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314869)

Fuck you.

I'm sick of the Politics articles. Or articles that could be articles about cool technology/properties and turns into an argument about DA US GOV'T. This is a tech article with some interesting information. Previously you'd see messages about someone going into more technical detail than the article, or discuss the feasibility of better power improvements doing X/Y/Z.

I've been enjoying reading Slashdot less and less, if there was an alternative I'd be gone already. If this continues I'm going to give up on getting my real information reading comments and just read tech news websites instead.

Re:Slow night? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315389)

I've often been accused of being a Microsoft shill

It's a paid meta-Microsoft shill!

a relevant question: (1, Funny)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 6 months ago | (#45313845)

what's the battery life of it if you install Android?

just sayin

Re:a relevant question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313891)

what's the battery life of it if you install Android?

just sayin

That would depend on how well designed the drivers were.

Re:an irrelevant question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313913)

what's the battery life if just running an alarm clock?

just sayin

Re:an irrelevant question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314443)

what's the battery life if ya brick it and use it as a convenient door-stop?

just sayin

Re:a relevant question: (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#45314037)

It depends on whether you are running tablet apps or high-performance desktop applications.

To be fair, you can only compare the former.

Re:a relevant question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314079)

To be fair, the two battery tests mentioned are web browsing and movie playback, which are both "tablet apps"

Re:a relevant question: (1, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314125)

Why the hell would you install Android on x86 hardware? Are you that blinded by fanboyism?

Re:a relevant question: (-1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#45314281)

I was going to ask the same about buying a Windows tablet. Why the fuck would anyone want one? So you can see how hideously awkward your standard Win32 or .Net app will be to use without a keyboard and mouse?

Re:a relevant question: (1)

Alomex (148003) | about 6 months ago | (#45314515)

Except that the Surface Pro is not a tablet. I hate the thing (I have a company provided one), but a regardless of my dislike for the thing a Surface Pro is a laplet, that is, a laptop/tablet hybrid not tablet.

Re:a relevant question: (5, Informative)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314771)

a) The digitizer stylus replaces the mouse in nearly all win32 applications that are hard to work with using touch.

b) OneNote. It's the killer app - handwriting directly into OneNote without a seperate drawing tablet is a surprisingly good experience. For those who are into such stuff, the same applies to graphics software like Photoshop.Compatibility with most 32 and 64 bit Win32 applications ever made is an added bonus, as is compatibility with hardware.

c) Replacing a full laptop in situations where one isn't absolutely needed - we are talking about Ultrabook performance, so the keyboard and a bluetooth mouse turn it into a laptop when it's not being used as a tablet.

d) You can install any x86 OS you want on it. Sick of Windows? Try some Linux distro, it should have drivers for everything.

Clearly, if you believe an iPad or equivalent device is enough for you, you are clearly not the target audience. This isn't a stupid fashion statement/gimmick like an iPad - it has real uses and those who have a use for it knew it the moment they saw it. No single product is ideal for anyone - it's a matter of choosing what you need.

Re:a relevant question: (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 6 months ago | (#45315107)

The Surface Pro would be more interesting to me if...

  - it had a daylight viewable display (I use my Fujitsu Stylistic as a map reader when travelling)
  - one could install Mac OS X Snow Leopard on it (I like AppleScript and haven't found a TeX environment as nice as TeXshop for Windows)

But it's currently the machine most likely to replace my Stylistic if/when it dies.

Re:a relevant question: (0, Troll)

Pulzar (81031) | about 6 months ago | (#45315525)

Clearly, if you believe an iPad or equivalent device is enough for you, you are clearly not the target audience. This isn't a stupid fashion statement/gimmick like an iPad - it has real uses and those who have a use for it knew it the moment they saw it. No single product is ideal for anyone - it's a matter of choosing what you need.

Ok, why do you have to throw that bit in? It's about choosing what you need, but if you choose an iPad then you're choosing a stupid gimmick. Way to believe in the rest of your words.

iPad has plenty of uses, they may not be "real" for you, but it's been selling too well and for too long to consider it a useless fad. People don't keep upgrading things they don't have a use for.

Re:a relevant question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314861)

You really are too stupid to see what question is really being asked there, weren't you?
 
Mindless goose stepping bitches... this place is loaded with them.

Re:a relevant question: (4, Funny)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#45314185)

Several weeks, maybe even months. Mostly because you won't be able to turn it on.

The bad news (-1, Troll)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 6 months ago | (#45313847)

The good news is that there's a significant increase in battery life. The bad new is that it's still running Windows.

Re:The bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313911)

It's more or less a standard x86-machine though, so you should be able to install Linux, no? Actually, if that's confirmed possible, I might be quite interested in one...

Re:The bad news (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314159)

It's more than possible. Just reboot into UEFI and disable secure boot (or add your shiny new OS) - and you might want to keep a keyboard handy.

Re:The bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315019)

Well, there's the issue of driver compatibility. For instance, does the touch screen work as expected? The stylus? Camera and mic? Could be really neat to run Plasma Active if all that works, then have it switch to the regular shell if you connect a keyboard.

Re:The bad news (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 6 months ago | (#45314137)

The good news is that there's a significant increase in battery life. The bad new is that it's still running Windows.

You can install whatever operating system you want on the "Pro" version.

I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313989)

If only because it's a heck of a lot cheaper than Wacom's offerings. Holy crap! $2k for what is essentially a 13" surface pro?

How? wheres the downside? (3, Insightful)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 6 months ago | (#45314041)

Pointless article, no offence.

News = "You now get more chicken in the supermarket for less £££"
Actual Facts (what this needs) = "Chicken now contains added water to make it look bigger"

So whats the downside?:
- Are they lowering the clock rates from advertised?
- Have they actually optimized/fixed the OS code (wishful thinking)
- Are they dropping rendering frames from a video?

Who knows!, clearly not this article lol.

Re:How? wheres the downside? (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about 6 months ago | (#45314077)

The "downside" is that even though battery life is improved, it's still terrible [codinghorror.com] .

Re:How? wheres the downside? (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about 6 months ago | (#45314135)

Pfft. Disregard this, obviously I didn't read the full summary.

But in other news, "middling" is the new "good".

Re:How? wheres the downside? (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#45314297)

In Microsoft Newspeak, sitting on shelves collecting dust which is only disturbed by people with new Android and iPads walking by is a sign of fantastic sales. Tune in next week when dumping a million units in a hole in the Mojave Desert is signified by "Microsoft announces a million Surface tablets moved in the last quarter!"

Re:How? wheres the downside? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 6 months ago | (#45314439)

They're enabling a lower power state on the WiFi chip. So if it's not being used, it can drop to a power state lower than the one it was using previously. All this would do is add extra wakeup time when you suddenly start network activity, and I can't imagine it would be enough extra time to be noticeable.

Bring back my old Nokia (2)

netcruiser (1645001) | about 6 months ago | (#45314095)

I remember when I would go 8 days without charging my mobile. Now people get excited about 8 hours.

Re:Bring back my old Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314141)

Nobody's stopping you from going back to your old Nokia. You can even pick up a new, more modern quad-band dumbphone and pay next-to-nothing for it:

http://www.amazon.com/BLU-Aria-T174-Unlocked-Phone/dp/B00CJFZLNK/

Re:Bring back my old Nokia (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#45314147)

When did computer batteries ever last 8 days? Never.

When I thought that comparing Apples to Oranges was annoying (puny iPad-like tablets vs. Surface Pro and similar), you decide on a Grapes to Oranges comparison (Phones vs. Surface Pro and similar).

Re:Bring back my old Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314235)

more like a rasin to oranges

Re:Bring back my old Nokia (1)

Kierthos (225954) | about 6 months ago | (#45315491)

One of the reasons I don't have a smart phone is that I don't have to charge my current phone every day. It's more like once a week. (Another of the reasons I don't have a smart phone is that I still have a 'dumb' phone that works fine. If/when it breaks, I'll think about moving to a smart phone, but I don't jump at getting new tech just because it comes out.)

Re:Bring back my old Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315295)

I remember when I would go 8 days without charging my mobile. Now people get excited about 8 hours.

If you switch off the cellular data network of an iPhone, and just use it like your old mobile (i.e. only for calls, about 30 mins a day, not play any games on it), then your iPhone can last 8 days without charging. I have done that while traveling abroad. What's your point?

People get excited about 8 hours of frequent or continuous use of a computing device, which is something most laptops and notebook cannot do, even today.

How do you run a surface tablet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314111)

....with no firmware?

Stupid bug (5, Informative)

edxwelch (600979) | about 6 months ago | (#45314133)

Apparently, the origonal version they programmed the Marvell Wifi chip wrong, so it didn't go into power save mode and now they fixed it

Re:Stupid bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315213)

How could something so seriously battery limiting make it pass any level of internal QA. Mysteries of Microsoft...

But, Slashdot said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314139)

Re:But, Slashdot said... (4, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 6 months ago | (#45314219)

Let me see if I can explain this to you. It's reasonable based upon your post to assume that you have an IQ score between 50 and 70. This means that you can have an increase of 25% in your IQ and still be less than average. So when people say you are inferior you can have an increase of 25% and still be inferior. See how that works? Of course you don't ;-)

Re:But, Slashdot said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314847)

But according to the summary and the chart in his post, the Surface Pro now has a very average battery life despite running a full desktop OS.

Thus, your metaphor doesn't work because the Pro's battery life is no longer inferior.

Re:But, Slashdot said... (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 6 months ago | (#45314933)

You must be the original AC or have a similar IQ since you clearly can't understand this [anandtech.com] .

How about a relevant test? (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#45314261)

Movie playback exercises the GPU acceleration, not the CPU core.

How about trying the tests while actually using the device for something? After all, one of Microsoft's biggest pushes for the Surface line is that they're for work, not play.

Oh, I forgot. You can't do real work without a keyboard.

Re:How about a relevant test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314511)

Good for taking notes and drawing. Not good for document creation. Good for all 'lower' tablet and mobile device usage. I've watched a movie on mine. It's easier to prop on your leg while in bed than holding a larger and hotter laptop.

How much power is wasted due to poor firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45314991)

Would love for someone to calculate this.

Each time a manufacturer releases an update that gives greater battery life what they are really doing is lowering power consumption.

If the firmware was released in its most efficient guise, how many millions of tonnes of CO2 would be saved for every electronic device out there?

Behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315085)

Still a bit behind you know whom and what. Still, i think i like teh s2 pro. Expensive, but a good idea from ms. Not much of a threat to the Apple franchise, but a good effort for the win crowd that wants a power portable. I consider it a laptop more than a tablet, and the price suggests that, too.

I'd be more worried about... (1)

mindwhip (894744) | about 6 months ago | (#45315517)

I'd be more worried about... "Secret" updates that could be doing anything to my system more than a small boost to my battery life...

25% is NOT significant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45315809)

It's 1/4! Who the fuck care about whether their tablet can last 4 or 5 hours?

Now if they only add a zero - to 250%, that would be a significant improvement, at least easily noticeable.

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