Upgraded processors in Surface Pro 2 deliver more power with no battery life drawbacksWritten by Mark Wilson on January 03, 2014 - 03:47PM @MarkWilsonWords
Much has been made in recent days about the stealth upgrading of Surface Pro 2 processors by Microsoft. First of all it turned out that users who sent their Surface 2 Pro in for repair received a surprised upgrade, and this was quickly followed by the news that it will also be possible to buy the faster devices through the usual channels.
Ordinarily, sending your computer back for repair means the inconvenience of being without it for a few days. This is no different in the case of Surface Pro 2 repairs, but the inconvenience is rather easier to shoulder when there is a free hardware upgrade to sweeten the deal.
It is often said that nothing comes for free. What could be a downside to a Surface Pro 2 with a faster processor is the greater power consumption and resultant shortening of battery life. Or so you might think. Tests carried out by cpuboss on the two CPUs in question -- the Intel Core i5 4300U running at 1.9GHz and the Intel Core i5 4200U running at 1.6GHz.
Unsurprisingly, benchmarks showed that the newer processor performed better than its predecessor -- it would be odd if Microsoft had decided to pop a slower CPU in! The performance boost is not exactly earth-shattering: the Intel Core i5 4200U receives a rating of 6.6, while the Intel Core i5 4300U scores 6.9. But extra GHz all add up!
What is really interesting about cpuboss' benchmarks is that it shows that the two processors have precisely the same power consumption. Exactly. The. Same. It's extra power, completely free of charge! Who's going to turn that down?!
There is one slight downside. Anyone who invested in a Surface Pro 2 between launch and now technically got a worse deal. How do you feel about it? Were you unlucky enough to need to send your beloved device back for repair? Did you treat yourself to a new Surface Pro 2 as a "little" present and are now kicking yourself for not holding out another few weeks?
It's difficult to complain about getting something for free, but at the same time it is understandable that those who have missed out will feel badly done by. Share your thoughts.