A new firmware update for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has been released recently. It specifically aims to fix the high-end Windows tablet’s battery-draining issues. But it seems like after installing the latest update, some Surface Pro 3 owners are still experiencing battery problems.
A number of owners of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 — marketed as “the tablet that can replace your laptop” — have been complaining about how quick the tablet runs out of battery power. For instance, instead of getting about nine hours when mainly using the Surface Pro 3 for web browsing, some of the units were barely getting one to two hours before they need to charge it again.
A firmware update was released back in August to fix the alarmingly unusual rate of battery drain for the device. But weeks later, there were again reports of the same battery glitch but from a different batch of Surface Pro 3 units, according to Pocketnow. Although it took the company months to provide an answer, thankfully, the Redmond-based Windows maker steps up with a firmware update that should end the battery issue permanently.
Explaining the cause of the Surface Pro 3’s battery conundrum, Microsoft shared the following via the official Battery FAQ page for the Windows tablet.
“On a limited number of Surface Pro 3 devices, an error condition occurs that causes the full charge capacity of the battery to be misreported to the operating system and device firmware. When this condition occurs, the system no longer charges the battery to its full actual capacity, and the Surface is unable to function on battery power.”
“Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank. In this case, if the fuel gauge isn’t working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank—even though the tank is fine,” it added.
So to resolve this, a firmware update with version number v220.127.116.11 was recently pushed out by Microsoft to correct “the logic in the firmware component that functions as the ‘fuel gauge’ for the Surface Pro 3 battery, so that the actual battery capacity on devices with this particular part is accurately reported.”
Having this update should enable the Surface Pro 3 tablet to again take advantage of the maximum charge capacity of the battery.
“Once this fix is applied to a Surface Pro 3, the reported full charge capacity will self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles,” Microsoft explained.
However, it seems like the battery issues of some Microsoft Surface Pro 3 users were still not resolved by the latest firmware update. Below are some rants online gathered from Twitter and a Surface Pro 3 discussion thread on the Microsoft Community page.
“The 11/7/16 update did not address my LGC battery issue: before the 8/29 update I was getting 5-7 hours of battery life and since then I’m getting 1.5 hours if I’m really lucky,” wrote Waritch.
“On my Surface Pro 3 i5 256GB with LGC LGC Battery. Battery life drops to nothing when I unplug charger and then device turns off since Several months ago. this problem is very uncomfortable,” MohammadJavaheri posted.
“Installed the update yesterday, and there is no improvement over my existing condition. My surface still shuts down instantly when unplugged. Has anyone actually had their issue resolved after installing this?” BelalK commented.
If you are planning to get the Surface Pro 3 update, the firmware should arrive automatically through Windows Update. But if you want to do it manually, you can simply head to the tablet’s Settings menu, look for Update and Security option, and then tap Windows Update. Choose the Check for Updates option for the system to start searching for an available firmware. It there’s an update available, it should install automatically on the Surface Pro 3. The device may prompt for a restart after the firmware gets successfully installed.
Here are other instructions from Microsoft prior to the firmware update installation.
“Before installing this update, ensure that your Surface Pro 3 is plugged directly in to AC power using the standard AC power adapter (do not use the Surface Docking Station), disconnect any USB devices or external monitors, and check that Windows shows a 40% charge or greater when you hover over the icon in the taskbar before you begin.”
Aside from releasing the firmware update, Microsoft has also started offering a refund for the out-of-warranty charges it made for Surface Pro 3 replacement units. So if you are one of the customers affected by this issue and paid for a replacement unit, which according to Neowin, was priced at $450, then you should receive a refund. More details about the refund on the Surface Pro 3’s Battery FAQ page linked in the earlier part of this article.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]