Microsoft hints at future battery add-on for Surface Pro

Microsoft's Surface team, lead by Panos Panay, have held a Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit today to talk mostly about the upcoming Surface Pro tablet. During the session, they referred to some future accessories for the Surface that tie into some new connections found on the bottom of the Surface Pro.

When answering a question from a Reddit user who asked what these mysterious connections are for, The Surface team replied:

Wow - I'm pumped you caught that - we haven't announced what they are for but they aren't an accident! At launch we talked about the "accessory spine" and hinted at future peripherals that can click in and do more. Those connectors look like can carry more current than the pogo pins, don't they?

This would seem to suggest that Microsoft might offer future add-ons such as a true laptop dock that would maybe add more ports to the tablet. It might also be used for attaching an extra battery pack which could extend the battery life of the Surface Pro, which currently lasts for about half as long as the Surface RT tablet.

Indeed, another Reddit user asked if Microsoft has any plans either an external battery or a keyboard that has an extended battery. The Surface team responded with this big hint:

That would require extending the design of the accessory spine to include some way to transfer higher current between the peripheral and the main battery. Which we did...

So far the only accessories for the Surface Pro are the Touch and Type covers, the included stylus and a limited edition Surface Wedge mouse.

Source: Reddit

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techbeck said,

In the business world, it is not enough. Where I work, there are several buildings in the campus. We have users that use laptops and are constantly walking between buildings and do not get back to their desks until the end of the day. 5hrs is not enough for them so we end up getting them extended batteries. Yea, some can argue to carry a portable charger, but a lot of times people are working around equipment where loose cables are not allowed.

5hrs is probably good for most personal/home users...but corporations may need more.

I agree. My laptop at work only gets 3 hours tops. A co-worker recently received a pretty decked out business class DELL. At first I thought it looked like an absolute brick of a machine, but looking up close it is pretty pimp. A lot of the thickness comes from a pretty thick aluminum frame... Way tough. My main thing I'm jealous of is the battery life. He says he gets about 8.5 hours.

We do a lot of all-day inspection type field work. Must be awesome for him. I'm usually tethered to a wall.

If the release a cover with a battery in it at the cost of thickness then it would be more of a laptop hybrid. In this case it would also work better in your lap I bet.

I cant believe most of the bozos that reviewed the surface didn't test it in metro mode only. I bet it gets way better battery life (maybe 7-8 hours), but they don't want that information out.

Why would anyone buy the Pro for metro only mode, that's stupid. If you want a metro only mode tablet, the RT is the better choice.

who's saying youre using it exclusively in metro mode all the time? it is a tablet too. one day I may want to do some photoshop,another day I may be travelling and want to use metro apps only. id like to know how much battery I get if im using it as a tablet. if it gets similar battery life to other tablets then it puts it in a whole new light. but the reviewers are going in to make it look bad.

vcfan said,
if it gets similar battery life to other tablets then it puts it in a whole new light. but the reviewers are going in to make it look bad.

Anand Lal Shimpi claims 5-6 hours in light, tablet usage. Pretty good, but obviously far below dedicated tablets.

If it needs a battery add on then its a FAIL.

I have been reading some reviews and batter life is mostly described as terrible. This thing is meant to be a tablet. Its heavy, it has crap battery life. Its a FAIL.

derekaw said,
If it needs a battery add on then its a FAIL.

I have been reading some reviews and batter life is mostly described as terrible. This thing is meant to be a tablet. Its heavy, it has crap battery life. Its a FAIL.

Seems with power consumption of hardware components being less and less, that battery life would be better. I am waiting on someone to come out with a better battery for tablets/phones/laptops.... Seems everything else is advancing but battery tech.

Might as well make a device with everything built in instead of having addons for certain things, huh? If it needs any important add on then its a FAIL. The iPad has crap peripheral support because you need an addon to add any space to it. Its a FAIL.

derekaw said,
If it needs a battery add on then its a FAIL.

I have been reading some reviews and batter life is mostly described as terrible. This thing is meant to be a tablet. Its heavy, it has crap battery life. Its a FAIL.

I completely disagree, lets say they make a touch cover (So this means its a keyboard as well as a battery) that adds another 6 - 8 hours of battery life.......so in total lets say it can last around 12 hours.....is it still a fail?????

techbeck said,

Seems with power consumption of hardware components being less and less, that battery life would be better. I am waiting on someone to come out with a better battery for tablets/phones/laptops.... Seems everything else is advancing but battery tech.

But tablets/phones/laptops have been advancing as an iterative process... There has to be a discovery to push new battery technology. Then they have to test the **** out of it to make sure it is safe. Much slower process.

Well it seems that they were aware of the battery before releasing it and have an unannounced solution, hopefully its a nice dock with more connectors. A type cover with a battery would be a cool too, if they can still keep it thin and portable.

So I don't think this a reaction to reviews that were posted TODAY, see the extra pins in the. As to why it won't be available on Saturday is a mystery to me. A dock for professionals is a no-brainer, which is something I hope they've planned for.

Nice, had a few misgivings but with this info I'm definitely getting one on Saturday and chucking this craptastic Asus Vivo Tab. Give me more powaa!!!!!

Bitching about battery life, that is getting over 5hrs on average with non-light usage, on an i5 class computer is just stupid.

Most everyone here complaining has an Duo2/i5/i7 notebook that gets 'maybe' 2hrs of usage, and this tiny Tablet getting 5hrs is somehow a 'fail'...

Really?

For any type of serious use, one first needs to add a keyboard. Now, one needs to add a battery pack. Are these two of what will probably be several add-ons in a vain attempt of having a table mimic a laptop. Why not just buy a legitimate laptop (or desktop) and avoid the hassle?

Somehow the idea of tablet PC that boot up close enough speed as iPad but its actually a full windows that can install window 7 compatible program failed to wow the reader.

Imagine if iPad can run full program like ios leopard, elephant. I better hope no one says apple just reach a milestone.

imagine if android nexus can run full compatibility program like windows such as full office, acrobat, PhotoShop, Nero, DVD fab, vuze.

what a joke ppl.

The problem is that no one wants this device, it is a flop.

Who wants a tablet that needs to run anti virus?
Has poor battery life?
Has a fan?
Is really heavy?
Cant be used while held in one hand because its too heavy?
Cant be used in portrait mode because its too heavy?
Cant be used on your lap with either keyboard that MS sells for it
Who wants a tablet with a pen that falls off when you pick up the device?
Who wants this very expensive ultra book like device apart from some people here reading this now?

Surface and Surface RT is a mess and a mistake.

derekaw said,
The problem is that no one wants this device, it is a flop.

Who wants a tablet that needs to run anti virus?
Has poor battery life?
Has a fan?
Is really heavy?
Cant be used while held in one hand because its too heavy?
Cant be used in portrait mode because its too heavy?
Cant be used on your lap with either keyboard that MS sells for it
Who wants a tablet with a pen that falls off when you pick up the device?
Who wants this very expensive ultra book like device apart from some people here reading this now?

Surface and Surface RT is a mess and a mistake.


Most OS'es now has virus and yup including MAC and Android

Poor Battery life compared to what? RT run straight 9 hours, my laptop on 3 hours and it's a core duo.

again heavy compared to iPAD? You must be Apple fan

the rest are mumbo jumbo uttered from your childish mouth

Oh another thing when you said no one wants this device, you forgot that I want it.

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