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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  • nafhan - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Yes... if you are one of the very small number of people who require (or want) a digitizer. For everyone else, no. Reply
  • nikon133 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Likewise the Thunderbolt on MBA. Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 because that model comes with an anemic 64GB of storage. The 128GB / 4GB and 256 / 8GB configurations of both the 11-inch MacBook Air and Surface Pro 2 are the same price. And I can't believe nobody is screaming "rape" about the price of Microsoft's 512GB option—it's $200 more than Apple's, which numerous posters decried in the comments as being inhumanely overpriced! I guess Apple just makes overpriced toys whereas Microsoft makes productivity tablets priced for enterprise customers.

    You can play the whole, "But you need a Type Cover 2 for $129, or a copy of Windows Pro for $139, or a Wacom tablet for $199, etc..." game, but in the end, I'm not convinced that Microsoft is delivering as much hardware for what is initially the same exact money. I think anyone doing an honest analysis of the BOM costs or relative performance would come to the same conclusion.

    Now if you want a device that can operate in a tablet form factor, the MacBook Air is irrelevant anyway, because it just can't do that.
  • InspectHerGadget - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I find both attractive devices. These days most people have Apple and Windows devices so I don't see the religious divide there. I can have Skydrive on my Mac, iTunes on my PC. The only thing I have on the Mac I can't get on the PC is iMessage. B Reply
  • ADGrant - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    And google calendar access. Reply
  • basroil - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    And keyboard and cover too. Total for ipad is +150 and still no passive mode for wacom Reply
  • rhys216 - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    Would much rather a MBA. This surface just looks so uninspiring in comparison. Reply
  • neosynthesis - Thursday, October 31, 2013 - link

    I agree with scannall, for 90% of the consumers (light text/blog centric contention creation on the go), MBA is usable out of box with a keyboard whereas Surface Pro/2 NEEDS a keyboard, making it more costly than a MBA. Reply
  • Imaginer - Friday, November 01, 2013 - link

    This! The 1024 pressure point Wacom EMR stylus pen digitizer as part of the screen makes the Pro well worth it over any Air. Reply
  • techconc - Thursday, November 14, 2013 - link

    Why? It already has touch pad built in. Reply

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