Is four hours enough? Surface Pro has half RT's battery life

Four and a half hour battery life doesn't compare well to laptops or tablets

Stewart Mitchell
30 Nov 2012

Microsoft has said battery life for its Surface with Windows 8 Pro tablet will be half that of the Surface RT - around four and a half hours.

The Windows 8 Pro version of the Microsoft tablets were always expected to have a shorter battery life, as they run more power-hungry chips from Intel rather than the RT models, which run ARM's energy efficient mobile chips.

After the prices for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro were revealed last night, Microsoft revealed just how large the gap would be. The company confirmed the battery life issue in a tweet spotted by ZDNet, with a Microsoft employee saying "Surface Pro will have approximately half the battery life of Surface RT".

In our rolling video battery test the Surface RT lasted for a bit less than nine hours, putting time away from a power point at four and a half hours for the Pro model.

Power struggle

However, with the Surface Pro touted as a high-end business machine, comparisons with the Surface RT are perhaps less relevant than those to the Windows 8 laptops and Apple iPads it will be competing against.

By comparison, the latest iPad lasted almost ten hours in our tests, and although that again is an ARM-based device, the Intel-powered 13in Retina MacBook also approached nine hours in our labs.

Sony's Windows 8 Sony VAIO Duo 11 convertible tablet also clocked up just over seven hours in our light battery test.

Other competitors will be general-purpose Ultrabooks, with many now passing the seven-hour mark. The recently reviewed Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, for example, clocked 7hrs 43min in our light-use test.

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