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[Anand] Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Firmware Update Improves Battery Life (25%)

post #1 of 35
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Shortly after general availability of the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft pushed out a firmware update that allowed the Marvell WiFi solution to drive down to even lower power states. I spoke with Microsoft after the update went live and immediately re-ran both of our battery life benchmarks on the Surface Pro 2. The improvement is significant.

I chatted with Microsoft a bit about why Surface Pro 2 can't seem to deliver the same battery life in these tests as a 2013 MacBook Air. They correctly pointed to the litany of sensors included in Surface Pro 2, as well as the higher resolution display, active digitizer and capacitive touch all of which increase power draw over the MBA.



That's a BIG increase for just a firmware update. Glad to see this thing now has 25% more battery than previously. That makes it a contender for me.

Does anyone think that it's absolutely insane that Microsoft was able to power a full 1080p touchscreen PC with a Core i5 and Wacom digitizer for 8 hours with a tablet form factor?
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post #2 of 35
I'd still get the Transformer T100 if I'm going to buy a Windows machine ever again. But that does make the Surface Pro look less ridiculous than the original.

Makes me wonder how much more you could milk out of it by setting the max CPU usage to 50% or less through Windows power management.
     
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post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Makes me wonder how much more you could milk out of it by setting the max CPU usage to 50% or less through Windows power management.
Battery life would probably go down. You save more power by getting to idle as quick as possible.
post #4 of 35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

I'd still get the Transformer T100 if I'm going to buy a Windows machine ever again. But that does make the Surface Pro look less ridiculous than the original.

Bay Trail vs Core i5?

I suppose it depends on your usage case. The i5 is going to straight up murder the Atom at everything you can throw at it. While getting essentially the same battery life.

Though, I guess $349 vs $899 is a pretty big jump, eh? smile.gif
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post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

Bay Trail vs Core i5?

I suppose it depends on your usage case. The i5 is going to straight up murder the Atom at everything you can throw at it. While getting essentially the same battery life.

Though, I guess $349 vs $899 is a pretty big jump, eh? smile.gif

I have T100 and i am surprised on how fast it is. Keep in mind this is a new generation of Atom CPU much much faster then old Atoms.
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post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

Bay Trail vs Core i5?

I suppose it depends on your usage case. The i5 is going to straight up murder the Atom at everything you can throw at it. While getting essentially the same battery life.

Though, I guess $349 vs $899 is a pretty big jump, eh?

Depend on what you are trying to do with it. If we are talking about benchmarking i5-4200U is about 2X better on the CPU side and 4X better on the GPU side than Z3740(which is 20% slower than the top end Silvermont Z3770). Given that the i5 in Surface have at least 2X the TDP and is actively cooled with a fan, a large performance gap is expected. But for most of the things you would buy a Windows notebook for(Browsing+Office Suite work+One Note) The Transformer got more than enough power to provide an good experience.

Plus the price difference is bigger than that, the $349/$399 price of Transformer include a copy of Office & Keyboard, the $899 price for Pro 2 don't include either. Transformer is a entry level hybrid product, Surface Pro is a flagship level product. There will be plenty of people that find the entry level product good enough and don't do that much to warrant the price & extra weight/bulk of the Surface.
Edited by sherlock - 11/2/13 at 10:30am
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post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherlock View Post

Depend on what you are trying to do with it. If we are talking about benchmarking i5-4200U is about 2X better on the CPU side and 4X better on the GPU side than Z3740(which is 20% slower than the top end Silvermont Z3770). Given that the i5 in Surface have at least 2X the TDP and is actively cooled with a fan, a large performance gap is expected. But for most of the things you would buy a Windows notebook for(Browsing+Office Suite work+One Note) The Transformer got more than enough power to provide an good experience.

Plus the price difference is bigger than that, the $349/$399 price of Transformer include a copy of Office & Keyboard, the $899 price for Pro 2 don't include either. Transformer is a entry level hybrid product, Surface Pro is a flagship level product. There will be plenty of people that find the entry level product good enough and don't do that much to warrant the price & extra weight/bulk of the Surface.

Surface Pro 2 is fantastic product. There is still room for improvement though. Knowing we will get Pro 3 next year its hard to spend $900 on it unless you are 100% sure it will fulfill all your needs.
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post #8 of 35
Wow, that's impressive. Though the price is still too high for me personally.
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post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZealotKi11er View Post

Surface Pro 2 is fantastic product. There is still room for improvement though. Knowing we will get Pro 3 next year its hard to spend $900 on it unless you are 100% sure it will fulfill all your needs.


Internal Hardware is only part of it, I personally don't like 10" hybrid devices in the $1000+ range(Surface Pro+Type Cover) when the alternate can be a 13" ultrabook+a 7-8" Tablet. A small tablet will be easier to hold one handed for reading/taking notes & use with stylus if needed( Dell Venue 8 Pro or Samsung Note 8), while a 13.3" notebook offers bigger screen, bigger keyboard & bigger touchpad for a better office work platform(especially on lap top, clamshell is still far more stable than Surface Pro 2). If it is a $< 500ish Baytrail device(T100 with 1080p for that price would be great) that is price competitive with ARM tablets then that's different.

I rather spend more for two devices that fills their roles perfectly than pay slightly less for 1 hybrid that fills both roles with considerable compromises both ways. The same reason I opted for Phone+Tablet over a single Phablet.
Edited by sherlock - 11/2/13 at 3:27pm
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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherlock View Post

Internal Hardware is only part of it, I personally don't like 10" hybrid devices in the $1000+ range(Surface Pro+Type Cover) when the alternate can be a 13" ultrabook+a 7-8" Tablet. A small tablet will be easier to hold one handed for reading/taking notes & use with stylus if needed( Dell Venue 8 Pro or Samsung Note 8), while a 13.3" notebook offers bigger screen, bigger keyboard & bigger touchpad for a better office work platform(especially on lap top, clamshell is still far more stable than Surface Pro 2). If it is a $< 500ish Baytrail device(T100 with 1080p for that price would be great) that is price competitive with ARM tablets then that's different.

I rather spend more for two devices that fills their roles perfectly than pay slightly less for 1 hybrid that fills both roles with considerable compromises both ways. The same reason I opted for Phone+Tablet over a single Phablet.

The day i by one of them is when it can replace my PC too. Its true for normal Windows Space 10" is a bit small. As a Tab is perfect.
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Sony XB950BT 
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AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 4.2GHz ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB @ 1200/1500 2x 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
OCZ Agility 3 60GB WD Caviar Green 1.5TB 2 x Seagate Barracuda 2TB XSPC Raystorm 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
EK-FC7970 XSPC RS360 Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Corsair TX750 
Case
NZXT Switch 810  
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Ishimura
(21 items)
 
Silent Knight
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3770K @ 4.6GHz ASRock Z77E-ITX eVGA GTX 1080 Ti Hybrid AMD Radeon R9 16GB DDR3-2400MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
SanDisk Ultra II 960GB Toshiba X300 5TB Corsair H100i GTX eVGA Hybrid Water Cooler  
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
4x GentleTyphoon AP-15 Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC 4K Razer BlackWidow Chroma  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
eVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3 Define Nano S Logitech G502 Proteus Core PECHAM Gaming Mouse Pad XX-Large 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Audioengine D1 DAC Mackie CR Series CR3 Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Sennheiser HD 598 
Audio
Sony XB950BT 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 4.2GHz ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB @ 1200/1500 2x 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
OCZ Agility 3 60GB WD Caviar Green 1.5TB 2 x Seagate Barracuda 2TB XSPC Raystorm 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
EK-FC7970 XSPC RS360 Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Corsair TX750 
Case
NZXT Switch 810  
  hide details  
Reply
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