Microsoft has a problem on its hands when it comes to Surface Pro 3 tablets, which have been in circulation for roughly two years. Customers have reported that battery life on some of these tablets has been inexplicably deteriorating in recent months, with no apparent fix in sight.
The Microsoft Community forums have been flooded with complaints from users that have been afflicted by the battery drain problem. One common theme that does appear to be emerging throughout this whole ordeal is that the majority of the Surface Pro 3 tablets that are having issues feature SIMPLO batteries.
To make matters worse, most people with battery problems are outside the device’s warranty period, which means that Microsoft has been hesitant to replace the batteries without charging $200 or more for a replacement.
Microsoft’s Panos Panay was extremely confident in the battery performance of the Surface Pro 3, writing in a reddit AMA shortly after the tablet’s launch:
We’ve built a great battery into the product (The batteries on our Surface products are designed with some of the highest charge cycles for consumer electronic devices. This means that the battery can get charged daily (5 days a week) for over 4.5 years and still maintain 80% capacity.)
With that being said, it appears that Microsoft has finally pinpointed the problem that is affecting the battery performance of the Surface Pro 3. And Panay can at least stand by his original assessment that the batteries would last over 4 years while retaining 80 percent capacity.
Greg, a member from Microsoft’s Surface Support team has reached out to customers to let them know that their batteries aren’t actually defective, and that the fix for the draining issues will be resolved in a future firmware update. His full statement can be read below:
We are aware of some customers reporting a scenario with their Surface Pro 3 batteries in which the system is reporting lower battery capacity than expected. We’ve isolated this to a limited number of customers experiencing this issue.
Based on our investigations we can confirm that it is not an issue with the battery cells, and we believe this is something that can be addressed via software.
We’re working through the details of how we deliver that.
Thank you all for the details you've shared here,
It’s unclear how a software bug is only affecting SIMPLO batteries, but it’s nice to hear that Microsoft has at least been able to pinpoint the problem. The only things that we have to worry about going forward are how long will it take for the fix to be pushed out to consumers and what will Microsoft do to compensate customers that have already paid to have their batteries replaced out of warranty?