In a previous post  today, I revealed Microsoft’s Windows 8 Pro Surface tablet will cost $899+. In my commentary, I mentioned the tablet is more of an Ultrabook than a tablet due to four main factors: full Windows (Windows 8 Pro), price ($899+), weight (2 lbs), and thickness (0.53 inches). We can now add another feature to the this-is-an-Ultrabook list — battery life.
If you look at battery life of various ARM-based tablets (e.g. Android tablets and iPad), you will note the top-of-the-line tablets get around 10 hours of battery life, give or take one or two hours. Surface RT, the Windows RT Surface tablet, gets about roughly eight hours. Surface 8 Pro, however, “will have approximately half the batter[y] life of Surface RT” according to an official tweet by Microsoft. That means after four hours of use, Surface 8 Pro tablet will be a really (really) expensive paperweight if you are unable to connect it to an outlet.
Of course, to compare Surface 8 Pro to ARM-based tablets isn’t fair. Surface 8 Pro runs full Windows 8 (not a mobile operating system) and runs on x86-64 architecture (not ARM). That means Surface 8 Pro is more powerful than ARM-based tablets. Combine that with the fact that Surface 8 Pro has a 1080p 1920×1080 display (the more pixels a screen has, the more power it consumes), and it makes sense that Surface 8 Pro has less battery life than other tablets. Still, however, it is hard to categorize four hours of battery life as anything above “average”.
See, I told you it is an Ultrabook.