Microsoft might have just fixed our biggest complaint with the new Surface Laptop 3. The software giant today released an update to the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 (via Thurrott) that is supposed to improve battery life, among other things.
In our Surface Laptop 3 review, we noted that the newly-debuted 15-inch model lasted only 8 hours on a charge. That's not a poor result, but it falls short of the premium laptop average and several competitors, like the Dell XPS 15. The firmware update Microsoft is pushing out to the Surface Laptop 3 (and Surface Pro 7) should lengthen that runtime, although we haven't yet been able to test that claim.
Along with improvements to battery life, the firmware updates fix a ‘Surface Hot Plug – System devices’ issue and a ‘Surface Hid Mini Driver’ problem in the Surface Laptop 3 and improves the Realtek High Definition Audio drivers for better Cortana speech recognition in the Surface Pro 7.
It's not uncommon for a product to receive a day-1 update, in the same sort of way that video games get launch-day patches. Unfortunately, in this case, Microsoft is improving its products after many reviewers already tested them. The Surface Pro 7 firmware update was pushed out yesterday while the Surface Laptop 3's update will arrive today. Once they're available on our review units, we'll download them and rerun our battery test to see if there is any marked improvement. If so, we'll update our reviews accordingly.
If you purchased a Surface Pro 7 or Surface Laptop 3, the firmware update should push through onto your device automatically. To check, open "Settings" by typing it into the Windows 10 search bar. From there, select the Update & Security icon. On the left pane, make sure "Windows Update" is pressed then click "Check for Update."
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.