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USB Power Hell


New Member
I am using a Surface Pro 2, used a first generation Surface as my travel computer from the day it was released. Until now I never even considered looking back. I purchased the MB168B+ USB monitor to overcome, what I thought, was the only problem with the Surface. Namely, eye fatigue working on a small screen all day long while on the road. After installing the monitor on the Surface I turned up the brightness to full. It ran just fine for a minute or two, then just kept disconnecting.

Thinking this was a driver or software issue I spent the day updating, researching an reinstalling. After hours on the phone with Microsoft, I went for the nuclear option, a complete system restore. To my horror, this did not correct the problem. I eventual reloaded all of the drivers. Thinking there might be a problem with the monitor switches, I started playing with them. Once the brightness was lowered to around 70%, the monitor began working again.

So in summary the monitor, great. The Surface Pro 2 can not handle USB devices that consume power at a level that virtually ever other device I tested can handle. Since in the real world I will need to use the monitor at full brightness and may even need to run another device at the same time, I will begrudgingly relinquish my Surface Pro 2 for something with a heartier backbone.


New Member
C'mon.. dat's a Tablet... >_>
It's actually a wonder that it's even theoretically possible that it can power a bright Full HD 15 inch screen o_O

Maybe try the HD-only version of that screen? Or reduce its brightness?

EDIT: As I'm just reading: The (max) consumption of that screen is 5.5W. That means exactly 1.1A needed from the 5V uSB. That's even above the specification of 1A for USB 3...
A Tablet simply isn't the right device to power such a thing. Not to mention that you'd quite quickly drain the SP 2's battery even if it would work. Better get a battery driven screen.. or a 15" Notebook...
Last edited:


Active Member
Powered USB hub. Problem solved...especially since you said you'll need to connect other devices as well.
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