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Microsoft's Surface Pro's battery life half that of the Surface RT

November 30, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet has finally been announced, but a major letdown is its battery life.
The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet has finally been announced, but a major… (Microsoft )

Microsoft finally unveiled the pricing and availability of its Surface with Windows Pro 8 earlier this week, but another revelation is how little battery life the souped-up tablet has compared with its sibling Surface with Windows RT.

It turns out Surface with Windows Pro 8 has about half the life of the Surface with Windows RT, which gets about 10 hours.

One of the key differences between the Surface Pro and Surface RT are the types of processors they run on.

The Surface RT uses a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM processor, which was built specifically for tablets and allows the Surface RT to get sufficient power while not costing as much nor hog up as much battery power as the processors used on laptops and desktops.

The Surface Pro, on the other hand, uses an Intel Core i5 processor, which you will also find on laptops and other computers. That allows the Surface Pro to work harder and do more things than the Surface RT, such as run apps available outside of the Windows Store. An example of that would be Adobe Photoshop or iTunes.

But the power of the Intel Core i5 processor comes at the expense of battery life, and Microsoft has already confirmed on Twitter that the Surface Pro has just half the battery life of the Surface RT, as pointed out by ZDNet.

So what does that mean? Well, most estimates for the Surface RT put its battery time around 10 hours, though this, of course, varies depending on the tasks you're doing. But at that estimate, that means the Surface Pro has about five hours of battery life.

To put it in context, the iPad, for example, gets 10 hours of battery life as well. And at around five hours, the Surface Pro still gets less battery life than do most laptops, which typically get around 6 hours of battery life.

The battery issue is especially annoying when you compare it with the cost of the Surface RT. With a base price of $899 for a 64 GB model, the Surface Pro starts at $400 more than the base price of the Surface RT and at $200 more than the most expensive version of the Surface RT.

For that much more money, you can't blame people for expecting more substantial battery life.

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