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Wish the clipboard would recharge from the keyboard battery


There are times when I am mainly using the SB as a clipboard and the keyboard is in my bag fully charged. If the clipboard gets low on juice and I have a break in my work flow I'd love to be able to just dock it back on the keyboard and put it to sleep and have it recharge without having to plug into a wall, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Perhaps dock it backwards in "Creative Canvas" mode and carry both for a while until the screen is fully charged and then lighten it back up by detaching.

Hopefully this is something that could be added with a software/firmware change. At least the computer uses the power in the keyboard preferentially when it is docked, but it would be nice if it could pull enough power to also charge the clipboard - similar to a power-case for your phone. If it is just not possible due to the hardware limits of the keyboard battery then it would be a great thing to add in SB 2.0.

Has anyone gotten this to work with any driver updates or perhaps one of the newer OS builds?


Super Moderator
Staff member
Pretty much the biggest reason I'm not buying one. Such a stupid design. I believe they had a valid reason for doing it like this, I forget the details, but to me that just means they shouldn't have launched the thing. Severely cripples the device. Might as well have just made a good laptop.

Cobalt Wraith

New Member
Eh, I'm not overly frustrated by this. It'll give the batteries more cycles at least, and I can't see myself needing more then 3-4 hours per day in clipboard mode. If you're primarily using the thing as a tablet, I recently heard of this amazing device called a Surface Pro 4 :)


I'm sure they did it on purpose, cause it's not such a smart thing to do. There is energy loss when charging, so charging one battery from another would shorten overall life of both batteries. And them people would be complaining about that. Better to connect it back to the keyboard (forward or backward) and have a longer overall life.


I would suspect that it has more to do with power requirements. The power adapter puts out a decent amount of power to charge both and while the base battery puts out enough to run the system on, it would have to put out more to be able to charge. On the other hand, doing so while off or sleeping wouldn't be as difficult.

If there was a button to enable the charge-back with the caveat that it would reduce overall power then at least it would give the user the option.

Another option which might be nice would be a cord that can connect the tablet to the base to use the base's battery when the keyboard is nearby. There are plenty of times when I'm using it as a tablet for convenience and handling but the keyboard isn't that far away (such as while sitting in my favorite easy chair and surfing while watching TV with the keyboard on the side table or when I'm in a chorus rehearsal and reading my sheet music on the tablet without having to hold the heavy keyboard up to my line of sight and the keyboard is in my bag at my feet). Tethering it for power without having to hold the keyboard would be nice and shouldn't be radically different in terms of battery life compared to actually docking it. In both cases I don't want the keyboard attached (whether for weight savings or because I want to hold it more like a tablet for viewing convenience) but I'm not really running around with it...


Staff member
I use my Surface Pro 3 charger to juice up the Clipboard sometimes.
The Surface Book setup does not bother me.


Staff member
They chose not to do that because doing it that way causes to much battery inefficiencies.

Wayne Orwig

Active Member
They chose not to do that because doing it that way causes to much battery inefficiencies.
I'm sure this is a good part of it. It would take a boost converter in the keyboard, to drive what is likely a buck converter in the Clipboard. The loses are going to start to add up. Even ignoring the battery life loss, those inefficiencies mean heat. Something that is hard enough to manage in a system as packed as it is already.
I have a large external battery pack that I charge my Surface Pro from. Sounds like I can just get a Pro 3 cable to charge my Clipboard from that. Easy enough solution.


Active Member
I was afraid of this and didn't include it in the list of negatives at first.

My first Asus Transformer was capable of this. It's unforgiving that years later they couldn't make this happen.

They have a lot to improve on for gen 2.

Charging from base
Include a low power Atom for tablet mode

Or, just build a proper dock for SP5.