Battery Life

Surface Pro 2 retains the same 42Wh battery and 48W charger as the original Surface Pro. I wasn’t pleased at all with the battery life of the original design, and I had hoped for a significant increase in battery life with Surface Pro 2. Microsoft claims up to a 75% increase in battery life compared to the original. In our 2013 tablet battery life test that turned out to be a 40% advantage – not shabby, but not where it needs to be. Update: Microsoft issued a firmware update that brings Surface Pro 2 up to 8.33 hours of battery life in our web browsing battery life test, or 76% better than the original Surface Pro.

Web Browsing Battery Life (WiFi)

Video Playback Battery Life (720p, 4Mbps HP H.264)

I’m also beginning to think that Haswell’s video decode engine may not be all that power efficient. We did see better results out of OS X, but it’s still nowhere near what’s possible on the best ARM platforms.

Performance: CPU, GPU & Storage Final Words


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  • 074geodude - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Yeah, have fun trying to type up a Word document on the Surface 2 Pro without a keyboard... Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    To be honest, just using the handwriting input for light document mockups is very very nice. It even has substituted some input methods because I already have a pen in hand and not wanting to deploy back the keyboard cover from its folded back position - with a nice method of switching between touch screen keyboards and handwriting input. Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    Of course, handwriting maybe a lost art amongst younger generations, with all of these new fangled devices and all. Reply
  • nikon133 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Higher resolution, and stylus. For those who need one. Not everyone do, but then, not everyone need Thunderbold either.

    It is hard to argue that laptop is better laptop than tablet, but MBA cannot be used as tablet at all, while SP2 can be used as laptop - with occasional compromises, but it can.

    In addition, I believe SP2 has docking station available, which I'm personally finding quite interesting. I can think of number of people for whom this could replace desktop, laptop and tablet - if dock is executed right. I guess you can plug external monitor, keyboard and mouse to MBA (or any other ultrabook), but I'm finding dock much more convenient solution.

    Re OS storage requirements, last time I took part in this argument - it was in one of Appleinsider forum treads - it turned out that Windows 8 takes pretty much the same space as OSX. Has this changed..? Recovery partition can be removed (with recovery media created), so personally I wouldn't consider that.
  • althaz - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    This isn't meant to (and doesn't) compete with notebooks for using on your laptop. It provides a tablet while you are mobile or consuming media/data/whatever and it is comparable to a laptop/desktop when you are at a desk.

    If you have no use for the tablet side of things and want to type in your lap, the Surface Pro (2) is not for you.

    If you want something to consume, be portable and also be productive at a desk, then the Surface Pro (2) remains unmatched by any other device on the market. It's still not perfect yet (thickness is fine, but battery life needs to improve a bit more and weight desperately needs to go down). Better graphics performance would also be welcome, but as is it plays Starcraft 2, Football Manager and Civ5 pretty damn well, so i guess I shouldn't complain.
  • Friendly0Fire - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    If you want to compare the Surface to an ultrabook, you need to include the keyboard, otherwise it just cannot compete. Ultrabooks don't have to have touch screens, but they do need keyboards. Reply
  • xdrol - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Except those that do. (Reference Intel SDPs ftw, but there are a few that follow.) Reply
  • fokka - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    as far as i know the updated ultrabook-spec from intel do require a touchscreen. but when just speaking of form-factors, you're right of course. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    And doesn't the MBA use a Low budget, fairly low-resolution TN display? That's a huge trade-off just to gain a bit extra battery-life. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    The use of acrappy TN panel wasn't to gain battery life. ... it was straightforward profit mongering on apple's part Reply

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