Surface Pro 3 users have been noticing significant battery issues as the devices’ warranty is beginning to expire. Users have been seeing a decline in charge capacity to one or two hours, primarily in the units using SIMPLO batteries.
LG batteries seem to be unaffected by the issue, and it’s unclear where the problems are coming from in the SIMPLO line. A firmware update could be responsible, or the batteries themselves could be faulty.
The complaints began to surface in May, and Microsoft has finally issued a statement to The Verge on the matter:
“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. This is a top priority for our team, and we are working quickly to understand the root cause. If you are experiencing this scenario, please contact Microsoft customer support.”
Many will not be satisfied with this answer. Previously, Microsoft’s response was to offer a replacement for $500, over half the price of the unit. The company has not budged on this and is still not offering to pay for the fixes.
Li-ion batteries typically suffer from capacity degradation as charge cycles increase over its repeated use. In this case, it’s happening in a one-year period. Such short time span cannot account for the reported level of charge capacity degradation.
While Microsoft investigates the root of the issue, Surface Pro 3 users will still have to deal with major problems. Contacting support will offer standard auto-analysis, which provides little relief.
With hope, the issue will soon be resolved by a simple firmware update. If that fails, Microsoft will probably have to recall or replace the units for free, which would be costly and embarrassing.