Microsoft Surface Pro: Half the Battery Life

Dennis Faas's picture

On paper, Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro tablet computer is a whole lot more enticing than the version of the Surface currently available in stores: it boasts more processing power, memory, and storage.

It also runs the full version of Windows 8, whereas the current Surface uses only the less-impressive Windows RT operating system (OS).

Up until recently, the only problem with the Surface Pro appeared to be its price: $899 and up. The current Surface sells for $499 and up.

Twice the Price, Half the Battery Life

But now there's another reason to worry about the Surface Pro's viability in the competitive tablet computing market: its battery will last only half as long as the Surface running Windows RT.

The Surface equipped with Windows RT can last between eight and ten hours before requiring plug-in power. By comparison, the new Surface Pro will need a battery re-charge after approximately four and a half hours. (Source:

It's a surprising revelation, particularly given Microsoft's previous announcement that the Surface Pro will automatically disconnect from the Internet while in hibernate mode, thereby preserving the battery's charge.

Some observers hoped this would help Microsoft establish a battery life for the Surface Pro comparable to that of the Surface currently available in stores.

Steep Hardware Specs Reduce Battery Life

Given the Surface Pro's impressive hardware specifications, however, the short battery life is probably to be expected.

The device ships with either 64GB or 128GB of storage capacity, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, and a 10.6-inch display boasting a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Of course, there's also the demanding Windows 8 operating system.

With that kind of hardware and software on board, the device's battery must strain to keep things powered up.

Some critics seem unimpressed with the news of the new Surface's relatively short battery life.

PC World's Daniel Ionescu, for example, points out that Asus, Vizio, Acer, and Dell ultrabook laptop computers with even more power-hungry hardware specifications have established battery endurance longer than five hours. (Source:

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