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Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 power management fixes are still in the works

Microsoft released firmware updates this week for the Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet. However, the company is still working to fix other issues on both products, particularly some highly reported issues with power management.

As we have reported before, many owners of those products have reported they have experienced a lot of battery drain issues even when the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 are set in a standby mode. In a post on Microsoft's support forums, a company representative offered this update:

"Yesterday our engineering team published some updates for Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. These updates offer refinements to improve battery charging and thermal tuning, wireless and Bluetooth performance, and to the detach-reattach experience on Surface Book. We know some of you are still experiencing issues, including issues related to power management, and we are working to address those as quickly as possible. We'll publish additional updates as soon as they are ready. In the meantime, the Surface customer forums and the Surface support site remain the best resources if you have questions about your Surface."

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

76 Comments
  • Still getting too hot....
  • Open the window
  • Here the temp is 3 degrees... More heat means better.. :p
  • Last night I used my laptop fans as a little portable heater lol, just have to turn on max performance and open a couple of VMs.
  • for the first time in months, my SB is now solid. The firmware update this week literally solved everything for me. Video driver crashing was fixed on the last update.    
  • It's not perfect. I read about all the issue before taking the leap. When I set up my SB, I immediately configured it to not sleep but hibernate instead. I've yet to experience battery drain. I've had the SB for 7 days and have experienced 2 screen freezes and once where the cursor disappeared. I still am using my company suppled X1 Carbon as the primary but will slowly transition the SB as the primary for all personal work.
  • I'm still getting off battery drains and the graphics driver is still unstable - love my sp4 and sb though, just wish msft had better q&a before release!
  • Cue all the stupid 'Coming soon' comments.
  • Yes, yes, yes, this whole s%$t doesn't work well together. But is hyped and mega expensive. I've Dell XPS 15 and SP4 and I feel like when I got iPhone 4 - perfectly designed and manufactured but completely usless device. OK, they are not usless, but they are not reliable at all. As somebody said - never buy the first edition.
  • Except the Surface Pro is the 4th edition. Freakin' Intel man and their botched Broadwell and Skylake launches.
  • It's hard to call it botched. There are plenty of other rock solid skylake computers, like the XPS 13. This bug is at least >50% on Microsoft.
  • Agreed - we have an xps13 and 15 and an alien ware with zero issues - and del has released a bios for that math fix. MSFT have a part in this!
  • Of course they are.. D'oh !
  • Has the graphic driver crashing issue with Skylake been addressed?
  • Nope, mine froze for a few seconds and then popped up the familiar message
  • Agreed. Disappointed.
  • Yes, for the most part. Haven't gotten any recently.
  • Everything Microsoft releases is half baked.
  • I see what you did there! 
  • Apple released the first iphone without cut and paste Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So? Look at 'em now?
  • They're tanking? Posted via the Windows Central App for Nexus 5x
  • They just reported their best quarter ever. Finacial analysts say they're going to tank, but they've been saying that every quarter for decades.
  • If wall street were long jump judges: Last year's world champion jumped 28 feet for a new record.  This year judges estimate he will jump 30 feet.  He jumps 29 feet, another new record.  ---- Judges declare if a fail becuse it was not 30 ft...and stock goes crashing down.  Problem?  Expectations are off, however performance still the best and still imporving.   
  • So did MS with WP7... years later.
  • soooooooon!!!
  • I expect, like Belfiore, Panos use a Macbook 
  • Yes Panos used Macs to wipe his ass with it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Talk about "filthy rich" jk
  • I bought two SB's a month ago. One for me and one for the wife. I set both to hibernate from day one and we haven't had any issues on either of the two. Not even a blue screen. I do get an occasional few seconds freeze on the Bluetooth mouse from time to time, but I had the same on my Zotac all the time so I have put that down to the Bluetooth chip and its driver. We are both VERY happy SB users. Best computer I ever had and I have had many. My first was an Apple IIc.
  • I've got no problem with my Surface Pro 4, though if they somehow manage to increase the battery life it would be better of course
  • I've been using it on battery saver mode until they fix things.
  • "highly reported issues with power management" How do things like this escape the QA/QC process, particularly on "premium" devices?? Completely unsat. This is how not to lure the high-end market away from Apple.
  • Can they please fix the corrupt files found in all surface pro 4's?
  • ?? None on our two SP4s.
  • Seriously?? I've been having the worst experience! I even sent my surface to MS and the one they sent back STILL has corrupt files. So ridiculous. OpenGL doesn't work in Krita either. It all went south after the November update. Do a sfc/scannow to check if yours is corrupt
  • http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-hardware/105... http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-performance/... And so on. Run this on your SP4 and it will report errors. sfc /scannow
  • No corrupt files on my SP4 either...
  • None on mine either, pls swap out your device, sounds you got a defective device. Happened to me on my SP3 with audio/mic/skype.
  • Why would they send me a second corrupt device though?
  • Did I see the SOON word in the article? :D Kick your a** ASAP Microsoft! Customers are still waiting and complaining on these quite expensive devices...
  • Premium devices with premium bugs. It makes sense
  • and premium price :) It's a BETA device and OS for Fans. Professionals buy Surface 3 Pro with Windows 8.1 to get stuff done. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I haven't had a BSOD in maybe 6 weeks. It's defineitely better than it was the first week of the launch. I'm hoping someday it will be perfect or as perfect as tech can get. But I won't be surprised if I trade in the two Surface Books in and get two Surface Book 2s when they come out though. This is defineitly a gen 1 device. But there is just too much flexibility with this device for me to switch to anything else. I can play Fallout 4 with decent graphic settings and still have a fantastic note taking experience. To me, that's amazing.
  • How many of the people posting complaints here actually own a SP4 or SB? Hands up please. As I personally don't have any problems I am sincerely trying to guage how much of the negative press is just noise and how much is real. As for the work they are doing on sleep mode, I have no problems waiting for a fix longer since hibernate works just fine.
  • i am writing from my SP4. I shut down everytime since sleep is broken and my Surface still refuses to boot up every couple days (I have to hold the power button or hit it multiple times... don't know why it eventually works). Try ising your surface at lower brightness settings in a darker room: i bet your screen flickers like mine. This is my 4th SP4 and ALL have had tons of problems. I havent even mentioned display driver crashes, touchscreen failures, dead pixels, serious light bleed, etc. The complaints are very real.
  • no offense, but wondering if it isn't something you are doing. as i have had my sp4 for more than two months, and never seen any screen flickering ( i watch high res movies every night with it in the dark), never heard any sound popping, never had it crash on me, or any of the other long list some people report. but when i first got it, i wiped it clean, and did a fresh install of win 10, and reloaded all the drivers myself. then i did some research in all the forums to see what others were doing, because i did experience the "won't wake up from sleep" thing. but after putting the intel drivers for graphics on it, directly from intel's site, i had much better luck with it. although every now and then it would still do the sleep thing. but since i manually put the lasted firmware update on it, i haven't had a single problem with sleep, and it waking up. it wakes up every time very quickly. i've also never had a problem with windows hello. used it from the beginning.  so there is something to be said for doing a clean fresh load of win 10 pro, and not just accepting what came on it. give it a try. hope this helps. 
  • I have both, after the recent firmware update I have at least 2 SBs with WiFi issue. Just installing the firmware alone caused an issue, on reboot the WiFi nic was disabled and airplane mode enabled. After another reboot it was back to normal. One SB required the "remove wifi adapter from device manager" trick.
  • Anyone else experiencing a lot of Blue Screens since the firmware update this week? Getting a Kernel Security blue screen every hour or so on my Surface Book.
  • I've had a couple, not as frequent.
  • Reading around on forums it sounds like it might be due to the Nvidia Graphics Driver. I wonder if the latest update forced a new driver. If so I hope they fix it, getting extremely frustrating.
  • I actually HAVE a SP4.
    I actually USE my SP4.
    And it's simply outstanding. Is it flawless? Nope. But I'll be darned if I'm gonna deny myself the joy of these amazing devices by endless worry over them when they aren't being used. But that's just me. Lol
  • Agreed - when in use the sb and sp4 are both epic - provided they don't crash, lock up or experience heating and battery drain. When they work they work well - soon I'm sure they'll be stabilised, the three sp3 still has issues. Still, prefer these to many other devices.
  • had my sp4 for over two months now, and it has NEVER locked up on me, never crashed or had any heating problems. when i first got it, the fans came on more than i liked, but there were fixes for that in the forums on tabletreview.com. since i manually put the latest firmware update on my sp4, it is almost perfect. it wakes up from sleep every time with in a few sec's, almost never turns the fans on anymore, and yet is very cool to the touch, and the battery lasts me up to nine hours sometimes, but more often around 7.5 hours on more aggressive things.  this is the best tablet on the planet. do some research, there are answers out there. 
  • PLEASE call Microsoft and get an update on a  fixes for the boot from sleep (SP4) and boot from hibernate (SBook)!!!    
  • My friends S Book takes A FULL SIX MINUTES to boot om start-up. My SP4 does not wake from sleep "instantly". Sometimes I have a to wait a minute. Using pen for notes reall hurts when you have an idea.    
  • if you manually load the newest firmware update, you will not have anymore problems with waking from sleep or power management problems. mine wakes up every time now, within about two to four sec's. 
  • While the problem are on a Microsoft device, I blame Intel and NVidia. I have experienced the issues on other Intel/NVidia (Optima) devices and the problems never really go away.
  • Is the windows Hello camera not turning off fixed yet? I haven't used mine because I know that was a problem, and I need my SP4 to last as long as possible for notes in classes throughout the day. But if it's fixed, I'd love to use the feature. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • been using win hello the entire time i've had my sp4, and never gave me a problem. just make sure all drivers are up to date. and use the intel graphic driver, not the windows one. i still get between 7,5 and 9 hours of use, and win hello is on the entire time. hope this helps...
  • Off topic, I still dont get why win laptops have a lot worse battery than mac given they use partially the same hardware parts, just different on screen. Ms should have a list of combo hardware reference list that are optimized for win 10..
  • I don't know how true this is anymore, but I know that historically, Apple would fill all available empty space with battery, as opposed to the typical PC scandard of a removable battery of a fixed size. This meant that Apple laptops had larger batteries than PC ones. I do not believe that this is as much as issue now with the rise of ultrabooks without removable batteries, but it may still be a contributing factor. I believe another factor is that Apple has much tighter control over the integration of parts, so they can get a more optimal power management when they only have half a dozen models to support, versus Windows' need to support basically everything. It sounds like the Surface Book and SP4's problem lies with Skylake issues more than anythinng else. Has Apple shipped a Skylake model macbook yet? I don't care eough to check. :)
  • because win laptops can do a lot more things than the mac's can. i used to use mac's, but got sick of being a slave to crApple's **** regime of "you can only get it from us"!!!! i hated the fact i could never give or recieve anything from anyone, except the app store. screw crApple. 
  • I am more interested in a proper solution for that flickering
    (SP4)
  • don't know what you are talking about with the flickering, as i have a sp4 also, and i have never witnessed any flickering of video, or popping of sound as some have said in some forums. if all of your drivers are up to date, and you are still having problems, it is probably hardware fault, and an exchange should be your best bet. the only problem i ever experienced on my sp4, was the whole using the type cover to put it to sleep, and it not wanting to wake back up. but since i tried a few things from the forums, and the recent update, i don't have that problem any longer. it runs almost perfectly now. i run a very intensive flight simulator on it, do a lot of video rendering and photo work, and use the m$ wireless adaptor to do presentations or stream a movie to the tv. during all of that, it doesn't miss a beat. loving it. 
  • Coming soon guys! Windows 10 seem to be the issue on my Surface Pro 3. On Windows 8.1 my device is totally fine.
  • Win 10 not a problem on my SP3. Very solid and I use it many hours per day. Only problem is that every once in a while my wi-fi does not auto connect after sleep. But this is rare ... one in 50 times.
  • I do not understand why these issues are linked only to the surface line... I have a dell 7000 series, and i am facing the same problems that are reported as surface specific, specially the HotBag issue.   I think its something wider than microsoft and/ or the media thinks.
  • Haven't ever had a BSOD on my SP4. My only issue is the fan kicking in about once a week when its under minimal loading. And rather loud when it does.
  • Yeah, my fan seems very random sometimes Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'd love to own the Surface Book, but that's just too many problems with something costing that much.
  • What problems?
  • This article is a good start, don't you think? If I am going to spend thousands on something, I expect it to be near flawless or with only minor hiccups. According to this article they still do not know the origin of the problem, they are just guessing. Not good enough for me, I'll probably wait for SB 2.
  • just a quick note about this tablet, even when the power management was off a bit, this tablet is still the absolute best tablet experience on the market worldwide today. there is nothing that can really compete with the surface pro line. it is one of the top two lightest tablets at it's size, with the absolutely best screen, sound system and kickstand of any other in the industry. it is by far the most powerful tablet in the world, running full-on windows 10 pro, and the app store is getting better all the time. but you don't have to use the app store, as this is windows, so you can download damn near any program on the planet to run on it. so for build quality, versatility, power and speed this is the most useful tablet in the world today. there's very little it can't do. the biggest drawback is battery life, but with a few tweaks i got off the forums, i get between 7.5 and 9 hours of use out of it almost every time. so while that is not the ten or eleven hours you can get on a ipad, there are tons of things the ipad can not do, since it is not a full computer, only an entertainment device. so really there isn't a true drawback, because very few tablets get better battery life than that, and no laptops do. so do what you think is best, but just thought i would chime in, as there's really no logical reason to have to wait. 
  • I have Surface 3 Pro, best purchase ever, I'd say. Currently I have no laptop and I thought I would splash out on the Surface Book, but the reports about problems make me hesitant. I had XPS 13 which I gave away to my niece, because her laptop had broken down. I was happy with it, maybe I'll get one again instead of SB.
  • since the updates, my sp4 works almost perfectly. it wakes up from sleep every time, and i almost never hear the fans anymore. and when i do, it is only for a moment or two. i will welcome any update which pushes performance in the near futiure, but i am much more happy with my sp4 right now.