News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Surface Laptop 3 battery life – an in-the-wild observation

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Surface Laptop 3 battery life – an in-the-wild observation

    This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  ScotchJohn 6 days, 11 hours ago.

    • Author
    • #2012318 Reply

      Da Boss
    • #2012328 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Step 1 for max battery life on any device: Turn the screen brightness down; way down.  I’ve had customers complain about short battery life on their laptops and sure enough, when I check, they have the brightness set at 100%.  The screen doesn’t need to light the entire room, it just needs to be bright enough to view.  🙂


      • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  HarryH3.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2012373 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        Thats true, but whats the point to tell users you can use your device for 11 hours, if its not obviously true? Or should I just look at the nearly dark screen while doing nothing on my device, because everything I do drains the battery? Same with the fuel consumption in cars. Lies upon lies 🙂

        Its best to check power management first to see where you can spare some watts and do not expect too much of it.

        I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
        --- Thomas A. Edison

    • #2012378 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Not sure if this will help, but some of our staff are noticing their Surface batteries tanking as well, and it seems to be related to a special power state on the Surfaces that was enabled which allowed it to still check emails and other sync tasks even while “sleeping”. It’s some kind of not-quite-hibernate state in which you think the Surface is asleep when in reality it is doing tasks the whole time that drain battery. We have not experienced this on our Dell laptops, just the Surfaces.

      I recommend checking the advanced power settings on your device to ensure it is really set to hibernate—or better yet, shut it down completely from the Start menu before throwing it in a bag for the night (which is more of a pain than just closing the lid or hitting the sleep button, but arguably less of a pain than dealing with a sucky battery life).

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2012521 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Microsoft’s ratings are probably only valid under ideal conditions … perfect temperature and humidity (i.e. California) and powered off at all times.

      Byte me!

    • #2012608 Reply

      Da Boss

      Charlie says he’s running at 70 to 80% brightness generally, and 80% specifically for these times, with auto brightness turned off.

    • #2012663 Reply


      “I’ve been travelling in Europe with my new…”

      There you are.  Were you not aware that the EU has turned down the quality of the EU power supply in order to keep the Greens happy???

      Coming to you soon…

    • #2012761 Reply


      What version of the Surface Laptop, as there are different versions(1) with Intel CPUs, and for the first time, AMD’s Ryzen 3000(Zen+ at 12nm) APUs as Surface Laptop options. And the top end surface laptop with the exclusive to Microsoft AMD Ryzen 7 3780U Microsoft Surface Edition APU has Vega 11 graphics which is a little bit more powerful than the Vega 8(Most Laptops), Vega 9(some laptops) and Vega 10(fewer laptops) that have a lot of graphics/compute power relative to Intel’s Pre Gen 11 graphics. Now Intel’s Gen 11 Graphics with the 64 Intel EUs is right up there with AMD’s Vega 8 graphics and even Vega 9 on a few workloads but that Semi-Custom Ryzen 7 3780U that AMD made for Microsoft is going to really use the battery if the laptop’s not plugged in, as is Intel’s top end 64 EUs based top end Gen 11 Iris Pro graphics.

      AMD’s Vega 11 graphics is usually restricted to its desktop APUs and gaming laptop, H series APUs, are Vega 10 mostly . So the Surface Laptop Version 3 laptops with the most powerful and highest clocked integrated graphics will eat up the battery on the Intel(64 EU) and AMD(Vega 11) SKUs with the most graphics horsepower while the Processors with the Intel(32 EU) and AMD(Vega 9) graphics options will eat less battery power but still drain the battery faster on heavy graphics workloads, and some productivity workloads as well.

      I’d look at the Intel U and AMD U series Surface Laptop 3 options with the less powerful graphics like Intel 32 EU option or AMD’s Vega 9 Option. There appears to be no Vega 8 integrated graphics option for the Surface Laptop 3. And reading the Anandtech reviews on the Surface 3 laptops is probably a good thing as well as other reviews from other sources where battery life is tested Independently. Maybe MS should offer some options with dual core Intel Ice Lake and AMD Ryzen 3000 series APUs, the Ryzen 3200U, for folks that want more battery life and do not need the extra CPU/Graphics horsepower.

      Maybe some custom power profile can fix some of the issues but that 46 Watt-Hour battery(Surface 3) has less capacity than the Surface 2 laptop according to Anandtech. that Vega 11 graphics in the Surface has 1971.2 Gigaflops(1.971 Teraflops) of 32 bit FP computational power while the Intel Gen 11 Iris Pro 64 EU is 1.15 Teraflops(See Anandtech) of 32 bit FP computational power, AMD’s Vega 9 offers 1497.6 Gigaflops(1.498 Teraflops of 32 bit FP power). So that’s more power consumed if the GPUs/Integrated graphics are under heavy load on Intel’s and AMD’s top end offerings.

      AMD’s Zen and Intel’s Latest CPU cores are similar in power usage and IPC in the mobile offerings and more productivity applications are making use of the computational power of the Integrated GPUs on modern processors as well. So that’s something to consider if your spreadsheet software begins to make more use of that Integrated GPU’s Floating Point horsepower as well, but all that computational power will drain the battery quicker on some non graphics applications that make use of the integrated GPU to accelerate math workloads.


      “Surface Laptop 3”

    • #2012909 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      “I’ve been travelling in Europe with my new…” There you are. Were you not aware that the EU has turned down the quality of the EU power supply in order to keep the Greens happy??? Coming to you soon…

      There’s a lot of misleading stuff attributed to the EU floating around at present, and this looks to be just that.

      Even though the UK is headed for the exit, its power supply voltage and that of the Continental countries is being brought more closely into alignment.  The UK is nominally on 240 v, the Continent on 220 v.  The tolerated range is now: UK – 240 v +6%/-10% and the Continent – 220 v +10%/-6%.  That gives an acceptable overlap at around 230 v.

      If you want to express that as keeping the Greens happy, you’re welcome to; I think it’s driven by harmonisation.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

      • This reply was modified 6 days, 11 hours ago by  ScotchJohn. Reason: Spelling

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Surface Laptop 3 battery life – an in-the-wild observation

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.