When I reviewed the Surface Book, there were a lot of bugs with the software. Some of them have been pretty minor, and Microsoft has been updating the firmware and drivers on it since before it was launched. Most of the issues have been sorted out, but there was still one issue which seemed to be elusive to the teams at Intel and Microsoft. The Surface Book would not always sleep, or, I should say, when it went to sleep it would actually use much more energy than when it was being used. Often times I would close the lid on the Surface Book and after a minute or two I’d hear the fans kick in, and the device would get very hot to the touch. This was an even bigger issue if you closed it and put it in a bag, since the bag would just trap all that heat.

This bug was so severe that I could not recommend the Surface Book at the time of the review. Apparently this bug can also strike the Surface Pro 4, but the two review units that I had never suffered from the same sleep bug issue as the Surface Book.

Today there is good news, or at least the chance of good news. Microsoft has released a firmware update which directly tackles the sleep issue. Normally firmware updates get released with little fanfare, but head of Microsoft’s hardware division, Panos Panay, has written a blog post letting everyone know that there is a firmware update. It’s not too often that the head of a division steps up and writes release notes, so clearly he felt that this issue was a big enough one to make a statement, and to be clear it is that big of an issue.

Whether or not this fixes the issue will remain to be seen, but I’m updating the Surface Book at the moment and will report back in time, but hopefully this solves it. As I said in the review, the Surface Book is solid hardware that was let down by software, and assuming this update does fix the major issue with the latest Surface models, it will be much easier to recommend it to others.

Here is everything listed in the release notes for today’s update:

  • System Hardware Update – 2/17/2016
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface UEFI
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface Management Engine
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface System Aggregator Firmware

 

  • Surface Management Engine update (v11.0.0.1202) improves system stability.
  • Surface System Aggregator Firmware update (v88.1081.257.0) improves accuracy of battery status and battery life during sleep.
  • Surface UEFI update (v104.1085.768.0) improves battery life and improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® Precise Touch Device driver update (v1.1.0.226) improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® HD Graphics 520 driver update (v20.19.15.4364) improves display stability, system stability and battery life.
  • Intel® Display Audio driver update (v8.20.0.745) supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.
  • Realtek High Definition Audio(SST) driver update (v6.0.1.7734) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) Audio Controller driver update (v8.20.0.877) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) OED driver update (v8.20.0.877) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Management Engine Interface driver update (v11.0.0.1176) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Serial IO GPIO Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation reliability when tablet mode is turned off.
  • Intel® Serial IO I2C Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation reliability when tablet mode is turned off.
  • Surface Book Base Firmware driver update (v1.2.0.0) improves battery life during sleep.

If anyone owns the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4, I would highly recommend installing this. According to Microsoft the update is being rolled out right now, so if you don't see it in your region just check back soon.

Source: Microsoft Devices Blog

POST A COMMENT

40 Comments

View All Comments

  • WorldWithoutMadness - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - link

    Typical MS, always got held back by their software.

    3-4 months after release, this might be the time reference on when to get their devices after release.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - link

    Software is hard.. Its not something you can throw more money or people at and get it done faster. This was strictly a computer science problem. These are cutting edge devices with a lot of new technology incorporated in uncommon ways. Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    It's not like I have no experience with MS, they make good hardware, I like them but dang their software always have messy start or just a mess till its death (OSes).

    Cutting edge? SB, yeah, but SP4?

    I know dang things happens especially due to MS try to support almost everything making it more complex. Hence the warning, waiting for couple of months to avoid headache and waste of time.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Easy there cowboy. The problem isn't "software", the problem isn't Windows, it was firmware and drivers. It's evident just looking at the release notes.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.
    Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Wow, a genius.
    Sorry to interupt your very brilliant thinking.
    Can you tell me since when firmware and drivers aren't software?
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Lol, I'm sure you didn't mean firmware and drivers when you claimed that "Microsoft's software was messy". You specifically talked about the OS.
    In context, I stand uncorrected.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Did you read his original post? "Typical MS, always got held back by their software."

    You stand corrected, buddy.
    Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    @Spunjji: "Did you read his original post? "Typical MS, always got held back by their software."

    You stand corrected, buddy."

    Given that for most of the company's history, Microsoft didn't make a whole lot in the way of hardware (and the associated firmware/drivers), I can see where lilmoe might have gotten confused and assumed the original statement was about their OS, Office Suite, or other software.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Thanks for the clarification attempt, but when you read lots of comments on the internet, you know when someone is just trying to undermine a platform as a whole. Some people go completely dramatic without contributing anything to solve/diagnose said problems.

    The problems associated with Surface Book/Pro4 aren't exclusive to these devices. Internet forums are flooded with user complaints for various PCs that Microsoft clearly don't design nor support. These are driver issues mostly from Intel graphics and chipsets, WiFi modules, audio and biometrics. These issues are understandable since Windows 10 comes with a new driver stack.

    I own a Haswell HP Probook and I'm also facing the same sleep and display driver issues, and the occasional failing WiFi. Display driver issues are much more frequent when my PC resumes from sleep. I've disabled sleep and will wait for stable drivers.

    That being said, Microsoft DID have problems with the detaching mechanism for their Surface Book, but that was fixed promptly in less than 2 weeks after launch.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Do you always blame the OS when your Intel drivers need an update? In particular on a cutting edge system? I find it stunning that you can read an article (snicker, we all know you didn't read it) and after seeing that 90% of the update is third-party, you can still say "Typical MS, always got held back by their software." Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now