Some Surface Pro 3 users have been suffering through some pretty severe battery depletion issues, especially with a SIMPLO battery, with batteries unable to hold a charge. At first, Microsoft support personnel were advising Surface Pro 3 users to get their batteries replaced, an often out-of-warranty fix that could cost as much as $500 or more, but then Microsoft relayed that the issue was actually with the firmware, and a fix was inbound.
Since then, Microsoft has issued three firmware updates, but this latest one actually addresses the issue. Microsoft issued the firmware earlier today, and has published a Surface Pro 3 Battery FAQ explaining the issue and what users need to do.
Microsoft explains in the FAQ that the problem is with an error condition that "causes the full charge capacity of the battery to be misreported to the operating system and device firmware," and compared it to a car with a faulty fuel gauge:
Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank. In this case, if the fuel gauge isn’t working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank—even though the tank is fine.
The FAQ goes on to describe the resolution to the problem:
An update is now available to correct this issue. This update corrects the logic in the firmware component that functions as the “fuel gauge” for the Surface Pro 3 battery, so that the actual battery capacity on devices with this particular part is accurately reported. This allows the Surface to once again leverage the maximum charge capacity of the battery.
Once this fix is applied to a Surface Pro 3, the reported full charge capacity will self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles. Surface Pro 3 devices that previously experienced the problem can now operate on battery power, and the issue won’t occur on devices that haven't experienced the issue.
To update your Surface Pro 3, go to Windows Updates and check for updates, and you should be offered "System Firmware Update - 8/29/2016." Install the update, reboot (you'll see a black screen with the Surface logo, and a message that the firmware is being applied - this may take a few minutes, just wait). Once the update is applied, reboot your system once again and the new battery logic will be applied.
Have you been having problems with your Surface Pro 3 battery life? Does this firmware update fix your issue? Let us know in the comments below.