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Battery Life, is this normal?

mattmg

New Member
I recently bought a Surface Pro 4 - i7, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD. Thought this would be the perfect device for me as I work on the road a lot and having one device which can perform for work and play seemed perfect.

It was advertised that battery life can reach up to 9 hours. However, mine is falling WELL short of that. Is the below normal?

At 92% charge and about 33% screen brightness I get about 2 hours 30 minutes, this is browsing the internet using edge only. At 64% it states I have about 1 hour 12 left. Just with light general use, I can't seem to get over 3 hours. Battery saver doesn't seem to help much.

Latest updates etc, all installed.

I tried using it this morning on the train for some light excel with pretty much the same result.

Do I have a dud? Or is this expected? How on earth are they getting 9 hours!

I'm trying to rationalise whether I should speak with Microsoft directly and return it.

Cheers,
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome to the forum mattmg

A manufacturers battery claim will be best case scenario. few users will be able to achieve that based on their own usage.

Having said that, not even being able to get 3 hours is not what one would expect. Mine only gets used on battery while at university, and the only thing that will be going on on such a day is 1 minute in chrome to download lecture material for the day, and then flight mode on, battery saver on, screen set to darker, and nothing but onenote running. I'll happily get 7+ hours with such usage.

How long have you had the surface?
 
OP
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mattmg

New Member
Thanks for the welcome :)

I've had the surface for approx. 2 weeks, switching from OSX - however, it was an eBay purchase. I just spoke to Microsoft who stated it seems abnormal and to uninstall the battery drivers, drain the battery and then charge it up.

After reinstalling the drivers the fan has calmed down - which is good news. So we'll see what happens. They've been very helpful and I hope it's sorted soon, as battery issues notwithstanding this is the best device I've ever owned.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the welcome :)

I've had the surface for approx. 2 weeks, switching from OSX - however, it was an eBay purchase. I just spoke to Microsoft who stated it seems abnormal and to uninstall the battery drivers, drain the battery and then charge it up.

After reinstalling the drivers the fan has calmed down - which is good news. So we'll see what happens. They've been very helpful and I hope it's sorted soon, as battery issues notwithstanding this is the best device I've ever owned.

Fingers crossed.

Just bare in mind that the "time remaining" indicator is pretty much worthless on windows at this point in time. You can be sat there with it stating 10 hours remaining, click the start menu, and now it claims 5 minutes remaining. An exaggeration, but it is far too twitchy to give you any real indication. I always work on %, not time.
 

MaxBuck

Member
I have the exact same machine as the OP, and I get a minimum of 5 hr surfing the net, up to 8 using the Kindle program (not the app), and 4-5 hr using MS Office programs. Got about 5-6 viewing Netflix videos before the trial period ended.

You might want to check the signal strength on your WiFi. Poor signal is obviously a major factor in cell phone battery life, and I wonder whether WiFi strength may have the same impact on the SP.
 

omegafiler

New Member
Probably a background task. Keep an eye on task manager. Could be a rogue task eating up resources. I've had issues with anything from one drive to a glitch due to my wallpaper. Either way, once sorted out, battery has been well within 5 to 6 hours.

Sent from my SM-T817T using Tapatalk
 

mrfroid

New Member
Try to watch 1080p movie with "Movies&TV" app with everything else on default - that's how Microsoft got 9 hours and that's what they advertise (it's 9 hours video playback, not browsing, photoshoping, etc.). If doing this you won't get anywhere close to 9 hours then it's not normal.
 

bluegrass

Well-Known Member
We (this forum) should come up with a standard way to test our machines battery life. This way we could at least be on the same table (with different system configurations of course). None of our systems or the same (even if the have the same hardware & OS after the first minute we configure or systems to our liking. I'm guessing that over 75 % of us never worry about how long our Surface runs on battery because we're mostly plugged in.
 

Philtastic

Active Member
We (this forum) should come up with a standard way to test our machines battery life. This way we could at least be on the same table (with different system configurations of course). None of our systems or the same (even if the have the same hardware & OS after the first minute we configure or systems to our liking. I'm guessing that over 75 % of us never worry about how long our Surface runs on battery because we're mostly plugged in.
This is what I was trying to start doing in my "Tracking Battery Life" thread where I was hoping people would post battery life with a description of what they were doing or had running. Basically, with minimal background programs loaded, no cloud sync programs, and just using Chrome, I regular get anywhere between 6.5-7.5 hours.

Tracking Battery Life
 
This is what I was trying to start doing in my "Tracking Battery Life" thread where I was hoping people would post battery life with a description of what they were doing or had running. Basically, with minimal background programs loaded, no cloud sync programs, and just using Chrome, I regular get anywhere between 6.5-7.5 hours.

Tracking Battery Life

I really liked your post but to be honest the devices are by themselves unique in the way they work. I have spent countless hours reading through this forum and reddit posts and comments about the user's issues, experiences, reports etc. Even the hardware varies in the way it works. Some sp4s handle heat better than others which can impact battery life. Others have weird background processes going on without real reason. For some there are major sleep issues, for some there are minor, and for some there are none!
I believe that MrFroid's post should be the test for each and everyone of us since that is what we are all using as a reference point:
Try to watch 1080p movie with "Movies&TV" app with everything else on default - that's how Microsoft got 9 hours and that's what they advertise (it's 9 hours video playback, not browsing, photoshoping, etc.). If doing this you won't get anywhere close to 9 hours then it's not normal.

Nevetheless, this test should only be conducted on a "new" device that has only the stock apps installed without doing any updating/rendering.. So again it's hard to set a definitive test for all of us unless we all were to factory reset our devices :p

Btw some people have been posting on reddit that the recent updates improved the battery life. If I recall correctly most of them were using the M3 model. I wonder if they actually managed to get the most out of the M3's battery saving capabilities.
Anyone would like to post his/her experience please do because my usage varies all the time so can't really test it..
 
OP
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mattmg

New Member
Just an update.

I spoke to Microsoft directly and they stated for the work I was doing, Google Docs, light web browsing, draining from 100% to 20% in 2 hours 30 minutes, is abnormal. In their words, it seems the 'battery is not up to par'.

I used their advance exchange service to exchange the unit, however, the new Surface they've sent me is broken too, an unrelated issue, but the screen flickers, with strange coloured blocks obscuring the display. I assume this is a refurbished model gone wrong, as there's a slight chip to the casing in the upper left corner of the unit.
 

mva5580

Member
Considering how many people have problems with brand new units (you being one of them,) I don't think there is any reason to just assume the 2nd one you got was a refurbished model. It might be true, it might not, but these things obviously just have problems.
 

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