Surface Laptop 3 firmware promises better battery life — but don't get too excited

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Microsoft rolled out a new firmware update for the Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch), which claims to help the device last longer on a charge. Being that we are Laptop Mag, we tested the update to determine the results.

When we initially reviewed the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, we were underwhelmed by its 8-hour battery life. After installing the firmware update, the Microsoft device lasted for an additional 35 minutes, which is alright, so-so and other adjectives that best describe a mediocre result. We'll just go with "meh."

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Before Firmware UpdateAfter Firmware UpdatePremium laptop average
Surface Laptop 3 battery life8:008:358:39

Sure, that's definitely better than the original time, but it still falls just short of 8 hours and 39 minutes, which is the average battery runtime for other premium laptops.

For now, the firmware update is only for AMD-powered models. But those with the better Intel-equipped Surface Laptop 3 shouldn't feel left out. The March update should be available for the Intel-powered Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7 "in the coming days," MSPowerUser notes. 

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 was the first model in the series to be available in a 15-inch iteration. The Redmond-based tech giant chose AMD Ryzen CPUs for the consumer version while keeping Intel processors for the 13.5-inch configuration and the 15-inch business model. 

You can snag Microsoft's firmware update from the Windows Update settings page. Just head to Update & Security and under Settings click Check for Updates. If you'd like to install the firmware update manually, you can click here

Speaking of Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft is planning to launch a core i5 variant with 16GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. Priced at $1,500, the laptop will only be available for US business customers later this year.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!