Yesterday, I went to Yorkdale Mall for lunch after getting off work relatively close by. I decided to drop by the Microsoft Store there to see if they had the Power Cover. Last time I went there they did not have it in stock and they wouldn’t tell me when they would be restocking it. Online inventory showed they were sold out of both the English and the French layout. Who buys the French layout anyway? Lol. Luckily, when I went yesterday I was told they had it in stock. So it was sort of a no brainer to ask them to get me one, as I really needed it to extend the battery life of my Surface Pro. I have the original Surface Pro, so the battery life on the device is not that great to begin with. If I’m lucky enough I can get around 3-4 hours of battery life. That’s with no streaming. Just pure browsing with wifi on, brightness set to low.
The Power Cover finally launched a couple months ago after being delayed a couple of times prior to official launch and has been one of those accessories that has been hard to find. They have been sold out on the store since it first came out and I do not know how often the physical store locations receive shipments of these. They are supposedly having trouble manufacturing enough quantity to meet the demand, which is kind of surprising considering they reported they haven’t sold a whole lot of Surface devices during the two years it’s been out. The Power Cover is based on the new Type Cover they released for the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch. I wish they based it on the original Type Cover as they change the look and feel of the trackpad to use their cloth based instead of plastic with physical clickable buttons. This is something I would have to get used to. The Power Cover is also much thicker and heavier than the Type Cover, which comes to no surprise considering it now packs a battery back to help charge the Surface Pro when you’re not close to an outlet. The Power Cover is compatible with the Original Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2. The Surface RT device is the only device in the Surface family that’s not compatible with this accessory in terms of battery. It will still work as a regular keyboard. The reason behind this was the connector was not originally designed to support power accessories but was later modified to support it with the release of the Surface Pro device which came out 3 months after Surface RT.
I’ve only had this device for less than a day and I’ve only just started using this on battery powered since I fully charged it last night. So far it seems like my battery life has been extended by at least 3-4 times the original life I would normally get. Normally the battery indicator would show I have about 2-3 hours of battery life remaining at around the 75% mark. Now it is showing that my Surface Pro is capable of about 10-12 hours of battery life. That brings it in line with the battery life of the Surface RT and 2 device but with the added Windows Programs support. For now I’m going to use it how I would normally use it and report back in about a week on my findings about the accessory. It is not cheap though. The unit set me back $199.00 before applicable taxes but the regular type cover goes for $149.00 so it’s not that much more expensive. It does not feature a back lit keyboard like it does on the Type Cover 2. Since you’re trying to get the most battery life out of your Surface Pro, it wouldn’t make much sense to add lights to the keyboard which would only serve to drain power from your two battery packs.
Update 1: So after approximate 5 hours later the battery on the cover was completely drained of power and it started to drain the internal Surface Pro battery forgot to mention how the Power Cover works.
The Surface Pro uses the battery on the power cover to keep the internal battery power fully charged. So it discharges the Power Cover first before using it’s own internal battery. How it’s suppose to charge is that it will first charge the Surface Pro battery to around 80% then recharge the power cover to 80% then switches back to charging the Surface Pro for the remaining 20% before going back to the Power Cover for the remaining 20%. Not entirely sure how batteries have evolved over the years, but I have always been under the impression that discharging lithium based battery to 0 is not good for the battery itself and shortens the life span of the unit. Hopefully it will at least last a couple of years as I intend to keep using the Surface Pro for at least another year or 2. Hopefully more, but why kid myself. I’ll probably have enough saved up for when the Surface Pro 3 comes out or even the Surface Pro 4. LOL
This post is WIP and will be updated in about a week, if I remember to do so. J