When I reviewed the Surface Book, there were a lot of bugs with the software. Some of them have been pretty minor, and Microsoft has been updating the firmware and drivers on it since before it was launched. Most of the issues have been sorted out, but there was still one issue which seemed to be elusive to the teams at Intel and Microsoft. The Surface Book would not always sleep, or, I should say, when it went to sleep it would actually use much more energy than when it was being used. Often times I would close the lid on the Surface Book and after a minute or two I’d hear the fans kick in, and the device would get very hot to the touch. This was an even bigger issue if you closed it and put it in a bag, since the bag would just trap all that heat.

This bug was so severe that I could not recommend the Surface Book at the time of the review. Apparently this bug can also strike the Surface Pro 4, but the two review units that I had never suffered from the same sleep bug issue as the Surface Book.

Today there is good news, or at least the chance of good news. Microsoft has released a firmware update which directly tackles the sleep issue. Normally firmware updates get released with little fanfare, but head of Microsoft’s hardware division, Panos Panay, has written a blog post letting everyone know that there is a firmware update. It’s not too often that the head of a division steps up and writes release notes, so clearly he felt that this issue was a big enough one to make a statement, and to be clear it is that big of an issue.

Whether or not this fixes the issue will remain to be seen, but I’m updating the Surface Book at the moment and will report back in time, but hopefully this solves it. As I said in the review, the Surface Book is solid hardware that was let down by software, and assuming this update does fix the major issue with the latest Surface models, it will be much easier to recommend it to others.

Here is everything listed in the release notes for today’s update:

  • System Hardware Update – 2/17/2016
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface UEFI
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface Management Engine
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface System Aggregator Firmware

 

  • Surface Management Engine update (v11.0.0.1202) improves system stability.
  • Surface System Aggregator Firmware update (v88.1081.257.0) improves accuracy of battery status and battery life during sleep.
  • Surface UEFI update (v104.1085.768.0) improves battery life and improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® Precise Touch Device driver update (v1.1.0.226) improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® HD Graphics 520 driver update (v20.19.15.4364) improves display stability, system stability and battery life.
  • Intel® Display Audio driver update (v8.20.0.745) supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.
  • Realtek High Definition Audio(SST) driver update (v6.0.1.7734) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) Audio Controller driver update (v8.20.0.877) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) OED driver update (v8.20.0.877) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Management Engine Interface driver update (v11.0.0.1176) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Serial IO GPIO Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation reliability when tablet mode is turned off.
  • Intel® Serial IO I2C Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation reliability when tablet mode is turned off.
  • Surface Book Base Firmware driver update (v1.2.0.0) improves battery life during sleep.

If anyone owns the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4, I would highly recommend installing this. According to Microsoft the update is being rolled out right now, so if you don't see it in your region just check back soon.

Source: Microsoft Devices Blog

POST A COMMENT

40 Comments

View All Comments

  • Wolfpup - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Actually it has 1GB it looks like. I don't know for sure how reasonable that is or not. 2GB ain't bad. I've got 2GB on my Geforce GTX 680m circa 2012, which is a more powerful GPU than the one in the Surface Book, and it's not being held back from 2GB that I'm aware of (not that I've played every game). Reply
  • SaolDan - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    1% drain for 3.5 hours off sleep. Im really happy about that Reply
  • SaolDan - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    All green on sleepstudy Reply
  • xthetenth - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    Yep, It's sleeping great and coming back up from sleep nice and consistently. Seems to have gotten the bug. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    I've had sleep issues with every single Windows 10 install I have, even from a clean install with nothing else on there. The most common issue is it ignores my sleep time settings if I put it to sleep and wake it up-just starts going to sleep after five minutes from that point forward unless I reboot.

    I see that and other weird behavior on all Windows 10 systems I use.

    Obviously that's severe, but I don't actually use sleep mode, so it doesn't really affect me, and otherwise I love 10.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    I mean to say I see that and other weird behavior regarding SLEEP mode on all the Windows 10 systems I use. Other than the sleep weirdness, which isn't particularly relevant to me as I don't really use or need sleep mode, I've really liked Windows 10.

    Heck, just found out it's got Hyper-V built in. I didn't even know that...don't even need third party software for that now! (It's in the Pro version that is.)
    Reply
  • nikon133 - Thursday, February 18, 2016 - link

    I'm shutting down my desktop and laptop - with W10 and SSD, boot time is really non-issue for me. I do keep my Surface Pro 3 in sleep all the time, and cannot recall any sleep issues but this one: when I put tablet to sleep and connect it to dock (for charging), it wakes up - and stays waked up. It should go back to sleep if I don't swipe or interact with it within a few seconds; it doesn't, so I have to press power button again to put it back to sleep.

    Silly but not show stopping, much as I am concerned.

    On a side note: I could understand grudge toward Microsoft... if others don't have same issues all over the place. But they do, so this is nothing less than a norm when new tech is being released. My wife's iPhone 5s had fair share of stability and battery drain problems on release, which got ironed - mostly, and then she upgraded it to iOS8 and had much more issues. Even now, over 3 years after release, her phone will require soft reset every few months. My mother's iPad Mini drops wifi like RAID drops flies, on same wireless access point that works like a charm with everything else - including her old original iPad. And I can remember my Apple-loving friends having their fair share of problems with both new machines and new OSX releases.
    Reply
  • Daneshbod - Saturday, February 20, 2016 - link

    I have a SP4, after this update, I'm not able to connect to my Sony Bravia TV by WiDi, does anyone else have face the same problem? Reply
  • Daneshbod - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    I deleted all paired devices on the TV, now mirroring is working again. Reply
  • Azurael - Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - link

    Something MS did to Windows 10 shortly after releasing 1511 (suspiciously around the time of the SP4/SB's release to distribution) totally broke suspend on my Dell Venue 7130. Most of the time it just locks up and drains the batter(y/ies) and also has a tendency to BSOD whenever I pull it out of the keyboard dock.

    Looks like this is a bunch of firmware patches to fix a similar issue with the SP4/SB itself, I'm kinda sad it's not a software update because it sounds like my issue might be related. TBH, my solution was just to stick Android-x86 on my tablet, sine it's basically unusable in Windows at the moment unless I want to go back to 8.1 or 10 RTM (10240) and somehow kill Windows Update.

    It's kinda frustrating because everything but the three 'Windows' tablets in my household run Windows 10 brilliantly, but it seems to have big issues with what they used to call 'connected standby' - Windows 8.1 was perfectly stable on the same hardware.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now