Microsoft has been faced with a “battery-gate” issue in the wake of reports that some Surface Pro 3 batteries are severely degraded and can barely hold a charge. Microsoft believes it has found the root cause, though, and a fix is on the way.
I have used laptops of some form or another as my primary computing device for more than 10 years. The one thing I dislike most about laptops is that the battery never lives up to the promised endurance out of the box, and often quickly degrades over time. I have replaced the battery in my old Dell XPS M1330 laptop four or five times at this point.
Unfortunately for Surface Pro 3 owners, swapping out a battery isn’t quite as simple on a tablet. Fortunately for Surface Pro 3 owners, Microsoft has determined that this is a software issue and you don’t actually need a new battery.
The Surface Pro 3 is an awesome device, but recently some Surface Pro 3 users reported severely degraded battery life. It seems that some Surface Pro 3 models using Simplo batteries are failing to hold a charge after only about a year of use. As more users claimed to be seeing the same issue, this quickly became a “battery-gate” controversy for Microsoft.
A report a few weeks ago on WinSupersite explained that there were two battery suppliers for the Surface Pro 3: LG and Simplo. The LG batteries seem fine, but Surface Pro 3 owners with Simplo batteries claim to get only one or two hours of battery life at this point.
There was apparently some confusion or mis-information about how Microsoft was addressing the issue, or what the costs would be—if any—to the Surface Pro 3 owners facing this problem. There were reports that Microsoft was charging $450 to replace the defective Surface Pro 3s entirely, but Trent pointed out in the WinSupersite post that Microsoft’s Panos Panay and the Surface team had already stated on Reddit that Microsoft support could replace the battery for $200.
Faced with a dying or defective Surface Pro 3, $200 is certainly better than $450, but the reality is that the Surface Pro 3 owner really shouldn’t have to pay anything. The customer was not given a choice between models with LG batteries and models with Simplo batteries, and it doesn’t make any sense to penalize the buyers unfortunate enough to end up with the short end of that proverbial stick.
See the full story on Forbes: Microsoft Tells Surface Pro 3 ‘Battery-Gate’ Victims A Fix Is Coming.