Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) Review: Still Setting The Bar For 2-In-1s

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Microsoft Surface Pro (2017): Battery Life And Acoustics

Battery Life - How We Test:

In the following benchmarks we employ two very different battery life tests: Battery Eater Pro and a custom 1080p HD video loop test, to prove out battery life with our test group of machines. In all tests, Windows 10 Quiet Hours have been enabled and the displays are calibrated with lux meters on pure white screens to as close to 115 lux as possible. For the average notebook this is somewhere between a 45 - 60% brightness setting. Since notebook displays significantly affect power consumption and battery life, it's important to ensure a level playing field with respect to brightness of the display for battery testing. However, since many notebook displays vary in brightness at each respective brightness setting in Windows, this calibration with the meter is critical to ensure all displays are set to as near identical brightness as possible before testing.

Our custom HotHardware video loop test takes a 1080p HD video with a 16Kbps bit rate and loops it repeatedly, with 1 minute break intervals in between. A timer log file increments minutes of uptime every minute and a final minutes total recorded before system shutdown is stored in the log. This is a lighter duty test that is still a bit more strenuous than say many office productivity tasks but it's not nearly the strain that Battery Eater puts on a system.

Microsoft Surface Pro HotHardware Video Battery Test

In our 1080p video loop rundown test, the Surface Pro climbs its way to the top section of our graph by staying awake for nearly 400 minutes (a little over 6 and a half hours). This is better than the majority of laptops and 2-in-1 devices we have tested, including Samsung's recently launched Galaxy Book 12.

Battery Eater Pro wears systems down quickly with a heavy load on all subsystems, including processor, graphics, memory and even storage. This is truly a worst-case test that will give you a sense of how a machine will hold up under heavy strain, when gaming or under heavy-duty continuous content creation workloads, for example.

Microsoft Surface Pro Battery Eater Pro

We saw the same thing in Battery Eater Pro—the Surface Pro was among the longest lasting of all laptops and 2-in-1 devices, staying awake for 2 hours and 44 minutes. Bear in mind that Batter Eater Pro is a worst case scenario, hence why these times are much lower than our video test. It is also worth pointing out that the Surface Pro lasts considerably longer than the Galaxy Book 12, which petered out after just an hour and 54 minutes.

Surface Pro Acoustics (Or Lack Thereof) 

If you hear anything coming from the Surface Pro configured with up to a Core i5 processor, you should consider consulting an exorcist immediately. Though our model is rocking a Core i5-7300U chip inside, Microsoft figured out a way to cool the 2-in-1 without using a fan. As such, this is a completely silent setup, and that includes the lack of coil whine that can sometimes be heard from certain components.

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