Tracking Battery Life

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by Philtastic, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    If you only read this forum, you'd think that the Surface Pro 4 could only just barely get 4-5 hours of battery life. To convince both myself and you that I'm actually getting closer to 7+ hours, I decided to start intentionally using battery even if I could be plugged in while actively tracking how much battery time I can get out of my SP4. Today, I had a really long day at work so I had lots of time to just keep my device active while I did some work or just surfed the web in between things I had to do. I took my device off charger at 5:00 pm and then mostly did light tasks on it including having 1-5 tabs open in Chrome, editing a Word document, checking email, using Photoshop to save some screenshots, watching Youtube, and listening to music. I have the screen set to 25% adaptive brightness (the "darker" preset), and I'm not using any tweaks. The summary of this day can be found in the following picture where, after 6h11m of on-time, I was down to 32% battery. There was a little over an hour of connected standby time (WiFi enabled) so we can round my on-time to an even 5 hours. This gives a projected total battery life of 7.4 hours.

    While I have your attention, I had a hypothesis about why some people are only getting 4-5 hours on their devices: are any of you using additional anti-virus/malware/spyware scanning programs?

    Edit: Core i5, 8 GB, 256 GB.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    Arachas likes this.
  2. mrfroid

    mrfroid New Member

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    I'm getting 4-5 hours with all the tweaks possible and using only Defender. It's the same even on 25% brightness - with default settings, watching only 720p movie I would get no more than 6-7 hours (9 hours, wru?)
    (i5, 4GB, 128)
     
  3. Cardigan

    Cardigan New Member

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    Hi,
    I am a newbie on the surface4. I wonder how you did this report ? Is thre some special SW needed ?

    Before the update this week, the standby time was quite poor: 4-5 hours. Since the udpate it is much better, but I need to have more trials before I can say how long the standby is

    BR ,Oliver

     
  4. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    If you open up Command Prompt, type "powercfg /batteryreport" (without the quotation marks): this will generate an html file in your user directory that will contain a lot of info about your battery and usage.
     
  5. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    There is a master help guide in the SP4 forum with all the battery report commands.

    I have made quite a few adjustments to the background tasks, live tiles and WiFi use, (off during sleep) but with around 35% brightness, using a blue tooth mouse and Hello on my minimum battery is 5 hours. I frequently get 7 or more. I have learned not to depend very heavily on the native battery meter so all my times are actual usage. I also don't use Chrome or Edge.
     
  6. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    Had a Dungeons & Dragons game today where I was viewing and editing pdfs using Drawboard PDF (character sheet, spell list, Player's Handbook), had Excel open for an initiative list, and was browsing pages using Chrome. My Surface was on battery from 2:04 pm to 9:39 pm with about 2 hours of connected standby (7.5 hours total, ~5.5 hours active). This took the battery from 100% to 17% which would give a projected total battery life of ~6.6 hours active (or 9 hours including standby). I suspect that the extra pen usage I had from constantly editing my character sheet led to a lower battery life compared to the last post I made.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. ptrkhh

    ptrkhh Active Member

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    Can you show the very bottom of the battery report, the "Battery life estimates" and "Battery life estimates based on observed drains"
     
  8. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    Some people have problems with sleep where it seems to drain ~5-8% battery per hour so I have intentionally left mine in sleep mode. You'll see in the following picture that I put it to sleep (connected standby) at 20:25 on the 14th at 76% battery. After 2 hours, it went into suspend (hibernate) having used 3% of the battery (1.5% per hour). I woke it up at 3:43 on the 15th after 5h18m where it burned through an additional 3% (0.6% per hour).
    You'll also see that, for the next ~1.5 hours, I played a game on it which took the battery from 70% to 20% very rapidly :p

    [​IMG]

    You'll find this in the following image. I don't think it's of great use to the point of this thread which is battery life while doing light work (ie. a very low CPU load using pretty standard programs like web browsers and Office so that we can compare) since a lot of the time I'm streaming videos, using Photoshop, drawing on the screen which is moderately CPU-heavy, and possibly playing games. Battery life while using more advanced features of the device is hard to standardize between various people since we all use our devices differently which could lead to wildly different battery lives, thus I am only trying to show situations where I expect to get near maximal battery life. This is also the point that most people complain about - 'Just browsing the web, I can only ever get 4-5 hours'. It's like how Apple claimed that the iPhone 5 had a 10 hour battery life but I would only ever get 6-7 hours of actual screen-on time in a day because I would be doing more than whatever test they did to get that figure.

    So, in the image, you will find what my battery life is like as I use the device with no care for what programs I'm using. In my opinion, it is still quite reasonable given the use cases that I have outlined above. Due to that huge Windows 10 update that basically reinstalled the OS, it has only been tracking my battery life since Nov. 22 even though I've had this particular device since Nov. 2 (I had a previous one that I replaced from Oct. 26 launch day). It estimates that my average battery life is 6h05m.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    I just formed another hypothesis about what's cutting some people's battery lives short: did you guys disable sharing Windows updates to other people over the internet? I did since I don't want to waste bandwidth and power hosting Microsoft's files. Perhaps give this a try!
     
  10. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    With the Feb. 17 update, sleep appears to be definitely fixed now, often draining only 1% over extended periods of time which is awesome. Concerning usage battery life, I've only really tracked one significant battery drain and that was today. Over 2h50m where I was using a Bluetooth mouse and analyzing a DNA sequence using SerialClone and looking up webpages using Chrome (~4 tabs open), it went through 43% battery which would give an expected total battery life of 6.5 hours.

    Not as big of a time sample but, over the 41 minutes it took for me to watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica late last night, it only used 9% battery which would be an expected total battery life of 7.6 hours. I didn't have the keyboard attached so I wonder if there's a significant boost in battery life without the keyboard.
     
  11. coolowl

    coolowl Member

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    I estimate a loss of about 10% per hour reading things on the internet, checking email and looking at spreadsheets. Tonight, while typing a letter I lost almost 20% in an hour and a half. Seems like a fast drain, but I've nothing to compare it to as this is my first laptop.

    I can confirm that overnight I lose only 1-2% in sleep mode.
     
  12. Yillbs

    Yillbs Member

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    5 hours minimum :( Please, share the secret with me
     

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