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09/20/14 Surface Pro 3 update (after replacement by Microsoft)

My original Surface Pro 3, was having major issues with the battery and a full charge.  Several times, I would power off, (via Shut down) the Pro 3 with 35% of the battery remaining, only to power it back on the day and find it totally drained.

I had also found that when my original Surface Pro 3 was running at less than 20% of battery remaining, many times it would just shut down and not give me any warning.  Having owned many different laptops over the years, this pointed to me that something was wrong on my Surface 3.

I contacted Microsoft Surface Support.  They had me run a “battery report”, which showed a few abnormalities, but nothing glaring.  After this, Microsoft support asked that I reload the OS on the Surface back to the original load.  This is an easy process, which I did.  The battery issues remained after this and if anything they got worse.

Microsoft then agreed to send me a replacement unit.  I choose the option where Microsoft can place a soft hold on my credit card so that a new unit can ship immediately.  The replacement arrived in about 3 days via Federal Express Ground.  I was a bit shocked at how it was packed,  in that the unit was just placed in a padded envelop then in the box, with no extra padding.   The new unit came up fine, with no apparent issues, so I kept it and returned my first Pro 3.

I have been using the new machine now for 2 full weeks, and can report that it runs much better than the first one.  I was having temperature spikes also with the first unit.  My machine is the 256GB i5 with 8GB of ram, probably the most common of the Pro 3 units shipped.

I have since taken the new unit down to under 2% on the battery and it was worked fine.  I did receive a warning telling me that my battery was getting low when I reache3d 10% and then again at 5%.  I have shut down the replacement Pro 3 at least 20 times now with the battery level at 30% or lower and each time the machine has powered up the next day with no drain.

I feel that it’s clear that my first machine had some form of a full time power drain going on.  This replacement unit also seems to run cooler.  I have had instances where the fan does come on but when it does it’s not as loud.  The only time I have found where you can get the fan to run on full is when the unit is installing updates and attached to the AC adapter.  If you install updates on the battery, (something I will do if my charge is over 50%), the fan is not an issue and the unit does not get hot.  During updates with the AC adapter plugged in, back of the Pro on the upper right gets pretty warm to the touch, which implies to me that is where the processor is installed.

So far the the replacement Surface 3 has been a much more reliable PC and I am starting to regain confidence in it as much as I had with my Surface Pro 2.  This is just another example of not running out to be the first in line to purchase a new technology as there tend to be quite a few bugs that have to be ironed out.

I also wanted to add that so far I have been impressed with the phone support for both the Surface Pro 2 and 3.  Microsoft has stepped up to a very good level of support.  Every time I have called in my issue has been resolved on the first call.  I will also state that the tech support individual has had a very good technical understanding of the Surface product line.