Some Surface Pro 3 Tablets Still Experiencing Battery Issues

Last month's firmware update failed to solve the battery drain issue for some Surface Pro 3 owners, who are still getting barely an hour or two between charges.

Surface Pro 3

Despite a recent firmware update from Microsoft, battery problems continue to plague some Surface Pro 3 devices.

For months, owners have been flooding Microsoft's online support forums with complaints about the tablet's poor battery performance. Instead of lasting several hours between charges—up to 9 hours if used primarily for web browsing—some users could barely make it an hour or two before having to seek out a power outlet.

Late last month, Microsoft finally acknowledged the battery-draining issue and released a firmware update. Unfortunately for some users, the update failed to solve the problem.

After the Aug. 29 update, some users returned to the company's support forums to report that their batteries are still draining at an alarming rate. The previous fix appears to have worked on devices with batteries from Simplo, a Taiwanese mobile battery maker. However, users whose tablets are powered by cells sourced from LG are still reporting poor battery life.

Today, a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK that the company is investigating the issue.

"We are aware of a battery issue that is affecting a limited number of Surface Pro 3 users. We can confirm that the issue affecting these customers was not caused by the software updates issued on August 29th," said the spokesperson in an email statement. "Our team is actively looking in to the issue to determine the cause and identify a fix. We will post an update as soon as we have more information to share."

Of course, Microsoft isn't the only device maker to struggle with battery-related woes lately.

Last week, following multiple reports of fires and explosions caused by faulty batteries in Samsung's new Galaxy Note7 smartphone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) formally issued a recall of the device. "Since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk, if you own a Galaxy Note7, it is extremely important to stop using your device, power it down and immediately exchange it using our U.S. Note7 Exchange Program," urged Samsung in a Sept. 15 statement.

In the United States, Samsung received 92 reports of batteries overheating, 55 of which involved property damage. The company also received 26 accounts of burns.

On Sept. 8, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a brief statement warning air travelers about flying with the device. "In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage," said the advisory.

Last Friday, following the formal recall, the FAA reminded airlines that "U.S. hazardous material regulations prohibit air cargo shipments of recalled or defective lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered devices, and passengers may not turn on or charge the devices when they carry them on board a plane." Following new safety requirements issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Delta, United and other airlines prohibited the use of affected Note7 smartphones on their flights.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...