How to Fix the Battery “Problem” on the Surface Pro 4

In an earlier post I covered the two items I “hated” about my Microsoft Surface Pro 4.  The first was a lack of built-in LTE which I solved with an LTE hotspot which works great.

The second problem was the lack of battery life; not that it doesn’t have a decent battery but if you want to use it with all the settings turned up (sleep time, screen brightness, etc) it runs down pretty quickly.  As I said, even an hour of Candy Crush on Facebook will mostly kill the battery.

Since I don’t like to compromise the performance settings, I began looking for ways of extending the battery.  A quick trip down a side road – we were recently at a restaurant in Orlando and for the first time I saw phone charger battery packs you could borrow while you ate to keep your phone charged.

What a great world – I remember only a few years ago seeing every square foot of floor on airport concourses taken up by people fighting over the few outlets spaced along the wall.  Today, even all the concourse chairs have built in USB ports.

So a battery pack isn’t the issue; the issue is that the Surface Pro 4 WON’T charge via USB!  This to me is a problem since a long airplane flight would quickly leave me without power.  I finally found a solution – again, not perfect but it works!

I bought a ChargeTech Portable AC power supply.  It’s the size of a large paperback book, has fast USB ports AND an AC outlet.  Perfect!  I have tested the ChargeTech on several occasions and I have yet to begin to completely discharge it.  I think the longest I used it was a 3 hour stretch at Starbucks. And the internal battery on the Surface Pro never budged.

What’s the down side?  The sucker is heavy; probably weighs about a pound.  Not much you say but when I added it to my sling backpack it was very noticeable.  I also wrote the company about how the TSA reacted to it and they reassured me that it would pass inspection and it has.

So if you need portable AC power, I can unreservedly recommend the ChargeTech.  It won’t run your hairdryer or your TV, but it will allow you to add hours of life to your laptop or tablet.

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