I love everything about my Surface Pro 2 – except the battery life. The Pro 2 is a lot better than my original Surface Pro; I get a good two hours of additional work time, but it’s not so great in comparison to the RT version and other (admittedly much less powerful) tablets.
So I was thrilled when Microsoft issued a firmware patch earlier this month, along with Patch Tuesday security updates, that they said would improve that battery life. The problem is that it didn’t have the intended effect. I was disappointed when I saw no real difference, but it turns out I was one of the lucky ones.
Many Surface owners had a problem right from the beginning. They got an error message when they tried to install the patch. I didn’t; mine installed smoothly. But some of those others who did get the update installed got an unpleasant surprise: their batteries drained even more quickly than before and/or wouldn’t charge completely. There were also reports that the update changed the way the device’s sleep feature worked, shutting it off when the lid was closed rather than just putting it to sleep.
Consequently, Microsoft has pulled the patch, removing it from Windows update. According to a report from Mary Jo Foley, they are planning to “release an alternative update package after the holidays.” That’s not entirely good news to those owners of a shiny new Surface Pro 2 who were hoping to use their tablets over the holidays on airplanes and in other locations away from power outlets.