Surface Book 2 power issues under heavy load working as intended, Microsoft says

The Surface Book 2.
The Surface Book 2. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Shortly after the Surface Book 2 started arriving in people's hands, an issue arose with how the 15-inch model handles power draw during heavy gaming. While operating on its highest performance mode, the system can draw more power than the included charger can supply while running particularly intense games under heavy load, leading to a situation where the battery is drained even when plugged in.

In a statement to The Verge, which spotted the problem with Destiny 2, Microsoft says that this behavior is intended. Says Microsoft:

Surface Book 2 was designed to deliver unmatched power and performance for anyone who needs a powerful machine to work and create, making it a great option for STEM professionals (designers, developers, engineers). The Surface Book 2 Power Mode Slider is provided as a means to give the user control over the range of performance and battery life. In some intense, prolonged gaming scenarios with Power Mode Slider set to 'best performance' the battery may discharge while connected to the power supply provided in-box with Surface Book 2. However, through power management design, the battery will never drain entirely, ensuring that users are able to keep working, creating or gaming.

With a Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics, the Surface Book 2 is a powerful machine for its size. And while that enables it to power some high-end games at top quality, that also comes with considerable power draw; too much, as it turns out, for its included charger to supply. For anyone experiencing the issue, it's reassuring to know that it isn't the result of any defects, but it's still limiting.

Keep in mind that this appears to apply only to the 15-inch model, and under very heavy load. You can avoid battery drain with intensive games by stepping your resolution down or opting for lower graphics settings.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl