With this week’s surprise reveal of the Surface Book, Microsoft almost seemed to be channeling Apple: we thought we had seen it all, and then there was that “one more thing” as the laptop’s screen popped off to offer a tablet mode. At first glance, it seemed like the best of both worlds, offering users power and flexibility all in one package. However, the Surface Book’s tablet might not end up replacing your surface for one very important reason: battery life. Just what kind of usage can you get away with on Microsoft’s convertible tablet?
Hit up Microsoft’s official Surface Book specs, and you’ll see a twelve-hour battery life figure thrown around a lot – one Microsoft measured with continuous video playback. And while that’s well and good, that’s for the fully assembled Surface Book; what about just the tablet?
While reports have varied slightly, we’re looking at a situation where Microsoft has placed the Surface Book’s main battery in the keyboard base, with a smaller battery living in the tablet screen – and the ratio between them is about 3:1. That means you can expect roughly three hours of battery life when using the fully detached screen.
Compared to the Surface Pro 4’s nine hours, that doesn’t sound like much, but we have to keep in mind the intended use cases here; while users may pop off the Surface Book’s screen to share content or curl up on the couch, the vast majority of the time it’s likely going to be securely docked to its keyboard – and enjoying the benefits of the extra battery power within.
Does news of this limited tablet battery life temper your enthusiasm towards the Surface Book any, or is three hours more than enough for your uses?