Report: Recent Surface Pro 2 WiFi firmware update greatly boosts battery life

You may remember that Microsoft released a firmware update and driver pack for the Surface Pro 2 tablet soon after its launch in October. The pack included a new version of the firmware for its WiFi antenna. Now a report claims that small download has helped to boost the battery life on the Surface Pro 2 by as much as 25 percent.

Anandtech tested their own Surface Pro 2 with two benchmarks after installing the firmware update. One checked out how the tablet handles an "aggressive" amount of web browsing until the battery dies. Before the update, the Surface Pro 2's battery went down after 6.680 hours. After the update, the battery life lasted 8.330 hours.

The other benchmark showed how it handled running a 720p 4Mbps H.264 movie while the WiFi hardware was turned on. Before the firmware update, the Surface Pro 2 lasted 6.65 hours before the battery died. After the firmware update, the battery kept going over an hour longer until it stopped at 7.73 hours, an increase of 16 percent.

That's a pretty huge boost for the Surface Pro 2 after installing what appears at first to be a simple firmware update. The bad news? There's no such battery optimization download for the Surface 2 tablet.

Thanks to NoClipMode for the tip!

Source: Anandtech | Image via Microsoft

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24 Comments

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Is this the firmware upgrade from around 25th October? I bought my Pro2 on 27th and there was already a firmware update. Do I already have it applied?

Nothing showing in the Windows Update section ... anyone got the FW version number?

EDIT: Just re-read the article, yes it was the one from 25th

Edited by bushbrother, Nov 4 2013, 3:18pm :

>>One checked out how the tablet handles an "aggressive" amount of web browsing until the battery dies. Before the update, the Surface Pro 2's battery went down after 6.680 hours. After the update, the battery life lasted 8.330 hours.

25% increase in battery life on web browsing. awesome!

I get close to 10 hour browsing on my surface pro 2. I kept looking at these benchmarkers, and wondering why they seemed to be deliberately trying to put the device in a negative light, because I knew the benchmarks were bogus,compared to my experience. now it makes sense.

btw anand is a blatant chrome fanboy,and openly calls IE a big pile of shiate. I believe he uses chrome for his benchmarking. if he used IE,which is optimized for the os and device, his numbers would also be greater substantially.

vcfan said,
I get close to 10 hour browsing on my surface pro 2. I kept looking at these benchmarkers, and wondering why they seemed to be deliberately trying to put the device in a negative light, because I knew the benchmarks were bogus,compared to my experience. now it makes sense.

btw anand is a blatant chrome fanboy,and openly calls IE a big pile of shiate. I believe he uses chrome for his benchmarking. if he used IE,which is optimized for the os and device, his numbers would also be greater substantially.

But IE is a big pile of 'shiate'.....

vcfan said,
your tech info is outdated. its 2013, not 2003 anymore.

That has always been the case for Internet Explorer haters - the last time many of them used Internet Explorer was circa Internet Explorer 6 and only started hating it because, "that was what everyone else was doing". Truth be known Chrome is battery power usage heavy on all platforms it runs on due to the heavy nature of it's multi-process model - be it on Windows, OS X or Linux.

Actually he uses IE for the Surface benchmarking. I asked him in the comments. And ALL benchmarks on the net that i've seen show the SP2 getting less than 10 hours. You must spend a lot of time idle while browsing. If anyone is being a fanboy here it's you.

NoClipMode said,
Actually he uses IE for the Surface benchmarking. I asked him in the comments. And ALL benchmarks on the net that i've seen show the SP2 getting less than 10 hours. You must spend a lot of time idle while browsing. If anyone is being a fanboy here it's you.

I actually own the device, you don't. If you look at the reviews, most were done before the firmware update, and according to anands tests, there is a 25% increase to battery life in his results. The verge for example, reviewed the unit on October 20th, much before the update. Their battery life results were 7.5 hours. Extrapolating this 25% from that review brings this up to 9.4 hours, backing up my experience with the device.

Not surprised though. Of course, backers of other primitive platforms are going to hate on the best tablet in the world.

are you guys even reading the article? i dont know why a few of you are talking about RT this is about the Pro which isnt running RT.

Circaflex said,
are you guys even reading the article? i dont know why a few of you are talking about RT this is about the Pro which isnt running RT.

The last line of the article mentions RT.

Good. Since RT has a long way to go and until they stop thinking stupid like Apple by locking it in (as in no desktop apps) it is gonna stink. I could see only allowing modern apps if there were enough now, but even though things are getting better, if you need a productivity tablet hybrid, Surface Pro 2 looks like the best option now. Stop trying to be Apple (I mean that in the bad way of lock-in) and just be Microsoft. Surface Pro 2 is awesome, and now has pretty damn good battery life. I still wish MS, Google, and Apple would prioritize battery life, performance, and bug fixing over pointless new features. We can only go so far with technology (I believe down to the atomic level) and when we are unable to upgrade any more, we'll have a serious problem with bloat. KitKat is supposed to improve battery life as well. Windows and Linux are getting slimmer and slimmer. Don't know about Apple since I don't pay too much attention, sorry. But then there's another problem out of anyone's control. Poorly written applications. If you put something like McAfee or Norton on it, I bet it'd drain in an instant. Microsoft, Google, and the Linux community seem to be doing alright, but problem is buggy third party apps could shoot these efforts down by sucking up battery although the system is efficient.

"article"
That's a pretty huge boost for the Surface Pro 2 after installing what appears at first to be a simple firmware update.

Great!
I believe this is because of radio fetching signals. Your phone's battery suffers when it is in a intermittent area which signal quality is poor, because the phone keeps fetching for coverage.

Seems this was a similar issue, and glad it was addressed.

Early reports were that it wasn't lasting that much longer than the original Surface pro while performing some tasks

The Pro 2 actually now lasts longer than the ARM based Surface 2 for basic wifi web browsing. Look at the Anandtech results.

And yay i'm in the news.

Sraf said,
Early reports were that it wasn't lasting that much longer than the original Surface pro while performing some tasks

Talking about the RT version here.

Sraf said,
Oops, my bad. The article was about the Pro 2, so I thought your comments was as well

I was mostly replying to this inane comment:
The bad news? There's no such battery optimization download for the Surface 2 tablet.

Sraf said,
Early reports were that it wasn't lasting that much longer than the original Surface pro while performing some tasks

never read that, you have a link, sounds like an interesting read.

Not a specific link. Paul Thurrott and I think Mary Jo Foley were mentioning it on Twitter. Check their sites