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USB charger

bosamar

Well-Known Member
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...
 
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J515OP

Super Moderator
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
 
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OP
bosamar

bosamar

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Stevesm

New Member
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.
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Welll,,,

Yeh, mS did make this decision BUT'

why no car charger? For that matter there are a number of compact 12v sources that could charge the surface if MS made a car cable available.
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).
 
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oldjeep

New Member
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.
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.
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
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.
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.
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Or for the win, just buy a car like my Ram that has an AC plug in the dash already ;)
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 ;)
 
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