USB charger

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Accessories' started by bosamar, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. bosamar
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    bosamar New Member

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    I'd like to see a USB cord charger for Surface. I've got USB power sockets in several wall sockets.... is it possible? Just to make it clear I'm talking about a USB cord with the RT magnetic charger adapter on the end...
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  2. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Nope, there is no such charger and it is unlikely there will be one. MS decided to go with the proprietary charger because it charges very quickly. A USB charger won't be able to provide enough power to charge the Surface. USB is a standard so the only way to do it would be to have a specific power brick that the USB cable plugs into for charging (Apple and Android devices do this). At the end of the day you are back to the same issue that you have to use a proprietary solution (the brick) to actually charge.

    Using a USB cable only makes this more confusing since then people would think any USB port or power brick would work and then would freak out when their Surface had been plugged in for 10 hours and had a dead battery. In this case MS actually did their homework and decided quick charging would be better than universal but slower charging. For some this will be the right solution but not for all. Either way MS went some people would prefer the other but their strategy was to give you the most possible battery in the shortest amount of time. So if you are in the airport and running low on juice, a 10 minute charge will fill your battery significantly more than using a standard (or semi standard high power 2A) USB charger.

    JP
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  3. bosamar
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    bosamar New Member

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    Guess I will have to buy a second charger. The USB charge cords for my HTC WinPhone7 cost about $3.50 each on Amazon. I have five of them and its very convenient to have them in different locations.
  4. Stevesm
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    Stevesm New Member

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    Welll,,,

    Yeh, mS did make this decision BUT'

    why no car charger? For that matter there are a number of compact 12v sources that cld charge the surface if MS made a car cable available.
  5. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    I agree and can only assume a car charger is coming. This does seem to be an oversight rather than a design decision. You can always use an inverter in the car but generally they are expensive, large and noisy, which makes them far from the best solution. For cars, a 12V charger at 2A would give the necessary power however more info is necessary (see EDIT below) since the standard for electronics seems to be 5V which would need 4.8A of current to charge the Surface, or more than double a standard high power USB charger.

    Other than listing the output as 24W there isn't much else in the way of specs on the charger. However, doing some quick calculations (thanks Google) here is a quick comparison of other chargers. EDIT: I finally checked the fine print on the charger and got the Surface charger power specs below.

    Surface RT 12V @ 2A = 24W of charging power.

    Standard USB 5V @ .5A = 2.5W of charging power.
    Standard USB 5V @ 1A = 5W of charging power (these are what most USB ports output).

    High power USB 5V @ ~2A = 10W of charging power (specialty bricks included with newer Android and iOS tablets are ~2A).
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  6. oldjeep
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    oldjeep New Member

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    Huh? Unless you are looking at stuff that is sized to run a circular saw, the majority of them are about the size of a paperback book, cost under $50 and make no sound at all.
  7. bosamar
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    bosamar New Member

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    I bet another vendor creates a cheaper alternative....
  8. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    It's all relative. A paperback book is about 3-4 times larger than a lighter adapter and $50 (though you can find then for $25 or so) is at least 3-4 times more expensive than a typical lighter USB port which can usually be had for $12 or less. Inverters often whine and/or have fans to cool them as well. Of course there are different varieties but generally speaking a usb lighter adapter is smaller, cheaper and less noisy than an inverter.

    Speaking of inverters this looks like it may be what MS wants you to use for $69.99 and looks very nice actually. Kensington Auto/Air Power Inverter with USB Ports - Microsoft Store Online
    en-US_Kensington_AutoAir_Power_Inverter_DHF-00214.jpg

    vs.

    Universal Mini Car Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter with USB Black - Tmart.com
    Universal-Mini-Car-Cigarette-Lighter-Power-Adapter-with-USB-Black_1_320x320.jpg

    This one is about the size of half the tip of the one above and costs $1.66.
  9. oldjeep
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    oldjeep New Member

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    Or for the win, just buy a car like my Ram that has an AC plug in the dash already ;)
    1 person likes this.
  10. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Honestly I wish they did away with cigarette lighters and just offered usb ports and outlets. For those that smoke you are going to have a lighter or matches already, not to mention they already did away with the ash trays and the lighter itself is an extra option that you have to purchase on most cars now. In this day and age using 1950's technology is ridiculous for "power ports" (car companies don't even call them lighters).

    /rant

    JP ;)
  11. bosamar
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    bosamar New Member

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    My Dodge Dart has a USB port in the center arm rest console...
  12. oldjeep
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    oldjeep New Member

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    My wifes Optima has the same thing, but no AC outlet. My truck doesn't have a fancy enough stereo to get the usb port.
  13. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Neither is as ideal as it could be. 2 or 3 ports could have been fit into the space of one 12V power socket and a standard outlet in the other. The actual KIA USB port has an 8GB usb stick in it with music that feeds into the stereo, while a bluetooh connection covers the rest of the media needs.

    Optima:
    IMAG0253.jpg

    Ridgeline:
    IMAG0255.jpg
  14. oldjeep
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    oldjeep New Member

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    Jeeze, what in the world are you plugging into that car? 5 usb ports is about 5 more than I need in a vehicle ;)
  15. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    No, no it's only two in each vehicle (well 3 in the Kia but it can't be used to charge and play music). That is not much and you'd be surprised how quickly two ports gets used up on a long road trip: 2 phones, a phone and a tablet or a phone and a GPS, a tablet and a portable speaker, a phone and a bluetooth headset, etc. I also use the USB ports to charge up helmet cams when dirt bike riding. I'm not saying they have to put excessive ports in a vehicle but three plus an A/C outlet would be nice instead of the two 12V outlets and wouldn't take up any more space than they have already allocated. Even just having two A/C outlets would be nice since you could always plug in a standard multi-port USB charger at that point and charge whatever you need from that.

    Heck just traveling over the holidays I had two tablets (Nexus 7 w/3G and Surface), two phones (iPhone 4 for work and HTC One X personal) and a laptop (which I would like to have replaced with the Surface but I couldn't get it to log in through Citrix before the trip). Now I could have done without the Surface entirely but since I had just got it there was no way I was leaving my new toy behind ;) I did leave my bluetooth behind though which would have been an extra thing to charge.

    It all just adds up. :shocked:

    JP
  16. Vasculata
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    Vasculata New Member

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    You all sund like fanboys!

    The idea of using an inverter AND an extra MS 12v brick is odeous.

    MS/Balmer has about as much idea of marketing as I do of running the Vatican. The Surface is a neat machine and the 12v ought to be a PLUS .. they make it a minus by overcharging for a spare brick and not coming out with a simple car charger (or bundling it!).

    Sam for the stylus. After a lot of work I found sme great styli(?) from China .. Rollerball on one end! Well built. Why didn't MS find this and put amgent on an edge so it would be easy to cary with the SURFACE?

    BTW .. has anyone but I seen the Office Dept ad for Tablets? The machine in the ad is a Surface. Show Win8 interface. There is no mention of MS or SURFACE. The text and voice come up ... for iPADS!!!

    Seems to me that Mr. Balmer needs to hire a LOT better ad agency!
  17. bosamar
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    bosamar New Member

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    You figured me out! lol :big smile:
  18. ehuffaker
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    ehuffaker New Member

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    That Kensington adapter looks like the ideal solution even if a car charger comes out at a later date. USB and A/C all in one, road warrior dream...

    E

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