What is the Microsoft Surface’s battery life like in the real world?

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Estimated battery life ratings from manufacturers are all well and good, but nothing beats usage in the real world. I’ve been using my Surface with Windows RT tablet fairly heavily since I got it just under a month ago, and the battery life has been great. I’m usually able to get through an entire day with a decent amount of power left over on the medium screen brightness setting.

On an average day, I’ll catch up on the news for about 15-20 minutes before my first class, then switch over to OneNote (either the Windows Store app or the included desktop application) to take notes during the 75-minute lecture. This is followed by a fairly long break – three hours and 15 minutes – during which I’ll write articles for Pocketables, Anythingbutiphone, and Anythingbutipad; play games like Angry Birds Star Wars; watch a movie or TV shows; or read a book – all on my Surface. Then it’s two back-to-back 75-minute classes, with the first one once again consisting of heavy note-taking. When it’s all said and done, I usually have about 25%-40% of my battery life remaining at the end of the day, plenty for use during the evening.

I wouldn’t call the Surface’s battery life extraordinarily long, but in the real world, it’s enough for me.

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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/ Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.

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3 thoughts on “What is the Microsoft Surface’s battery life like in the real world?

  • Avatar of Patrick

    Compared with my ipad 2 it seems to drain alot more in standby. I say probably 5-7 hours out of it. Havn’t really done any work on it. Been playing around with windows rt. Brought it with me one day and it had 20% and got about an hour before it died.

    • Avatar of William Devereux

      Wow, really? I’m surprised to hear that. I seem to get, at minimum, one hour for every 10% of power.

      • Avatar of Patrick

        Never mind. That was in heavy use when I first got it. Charged it Thursday and have about 30-40% with playing a game for a couple hours Thursday and minor usage for other days.


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