Microsoft Exec Explains Why The Surface Pro Tablet Has Terrible Battery Life

microsoft surface pro

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

In our review of Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablet, we mentioned the device’s terrible battery life. In most cases, it only lasted about four hours on a charge. That’s pretty bad compared to most laptops the Surface Pro is competing with. 

Microsoft’s Panos Panay is doing a Q&A session on Reddit today about how the Surface Pro was built. Here’s what Panay said when asked about battery life:

The product was designed to take full advantage of Windows 8 coupled with the Ivy Bridge core processor from Intel. We created a product that did not compromise speed, performance in any way. With that, we wanted to be the best notebook/laptop product in its class, but still deliver you the tablet form factor. This product is optimised in every way to take advantage of the full third generation core i5 it runs, yet give the best battery life. If you compare it to say a MacBook Air, you will quickly see that pound for pound in battery size vs battery life, you will find optimizations that puts Surface best in its class. That said we picked a smaller battery to be sure we were able to give you the same performance and to keep it thin. This kept the weight under 2lbs, and still kept it thin enough to take advantage of our great Windows work for inking and give you a great inking experience (like pressure sensitive inking, ability to do kanji, great sketching). While these tradeoffs are challenges as much as they are opportunities, we think given the performance and experience you will be getting, it is an exciting product.

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