Surface Book/Book 2, Surface Pro 3/Pro 4/Pro 2017, Surface Laptop, and docking station power supplies

Many folks on Reddit and SurfaceForums.net were interested in the various power supply options for 2015 and later Surface products. Here is a list of frequently asked questions followed by power supply specs and product links.


Which USB Type-C chargers work with the Surface Book 2?

  • Any charger that is USB Power Delivery 2.x/3.x compliant and provides 60+ watts will work with the Surface Book 2. Here is a list of laptops with readily available USB type-C power supplies.
  • The Apple 87-watt, Dell 90-watt, and BatPower 90-watt models are good options. Various 60-watt+ models and monitors with built-in USB type-C 60-watt+ charging work but may charge slowly. 29-45 watt laptop chargers and 5-29-watt phone/tablet chargers are not recommended and will charge quite slowly or not charge at all.

Which portable battery packs work with Surface devices?

  • Any battery pack that outputs between 11V and 16V at 1.6-5 amps will work with Surface Pro 3 and later devices. Lower current output ought to work too but will charge slowly. Any higher voltage risks ruining the Surface device. All-in-one models like LiZone and BatPower work well. But any battery pack with a barrel connector output will work with a Surface-specific adapter cable:
  • Portable battery packs which only output 5V via USB can be made to work with Surface devices using a separate DC-DC voltage converter, but this approach is not recommended due to durability/reliability concerns.
  • USB type-C battery packs that conform to the USB power deliver 2.x/3.x standard will work with Book 2 models.

Are car chargers available?

  • Instead of 3rd-party car chargers which many not have good performance, we recommend using the OEM AC/mains adapter and a separate universal automotive inverter. One drawback with this approach is that inverters tend to be bulky, however a benefit is that many other devices will work with the inverter. Most automobiles will work fine with 100-300 watt inverters.

Which power supplies are compatible with which devices? What about 12V vs 15V?

  • Power supplies using the proprietary Microsoft Surface Connector intended for Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 2017, Surface Book, Surface Book with performance base, Surface Book 2, and Surface Laptop are all interchangeable.
  • All devices since Surface Pro 3 accept between 11V -> 16V on the proprietary charge port and intelligently limit the current drawn and delivered to the system. Some devices come with 12V power supplies, others come with 15V power supplies.
  • The Surface Book 2 with USB type-C accepts up to 20V via the USB power delivery 2.x/3.x standard.

Will a more powerful (higher wattage) power supply damage my device?

  • No, the Surface tablet device limits the power drawn from the power supply. If a 3rd-party power supply that outputs more than 16V on the Microsoft proprietary connector is used, then it is possible to damage the Surface device. Similarly an uncertified USB type-C charger outputting more than 22V may damage the Surface device.

Will a more powerful (higher wattage) power supply than the OEM-provided supply charge my device faster?

  • Most devices already come close to hitting the battery’s thermal limit when charging so a more powerful supply will typically not be effective in accelerating charging. Be aware that charging Li-ion batteries faster, and under hotter conditions such as when a device is in use generally lowers their overall lifespan due to thermal stresses.
  • In some cases when the device is in use and USB accessories are plugged in or the GPU is under heavy use, you may see an increase in charge speed with a more powerful power supply. The notable exception are devices with Intel Core m3 CPUs. These devices ship with smaller power supplies for cost savings but come with the same size battery as the Core i5 / Core i7 models. Upgrading the power supply can decrease charging times.

Will a less powerful supply work with my more powerful device?

  • Yes, but it may charge slowly. If the device is in use, it is likely that the battery will continue to drain even when plugged in or simply remain at steady-state charge.

Can I get a longer cable for my power supply?

  • You can swap out the mains/wall-plug cable for a longer “figure-8” aka IEC-7 cable like these. Longer cables are not available for the side that plugs into the Surface tablet.
  • Most USB type-C power supplies have interchangeable cables. Replacement cables should be certified for power delivery and meet or exceed the wattage required like these.

Is 90 watts from the OEM MS Dock power supply enough to power the Surface Book with Performance Base or Surface Book 2 Core i7 models that ship with a 102-watt power supply?

  • The 90-watt supply is sufficient for most use cases.  When all ports on the dock are in use, or if the SurfaceBook is running advanced graphics applications, the battery will charge slower than with the 102-watt supply, remain at steady-state charge, or slowly discharge.
  • For gaming workloads, the battery may drain quick enough to affect performance after ~4 hours. Once the battery charge gets low enough, the GPU and CPU will be throttled to reduce power consumption and allow the battery to recover.

I heard that the Surface Book 2 15″ has battery drain issues. Can you explain?

  • Some gaming workloads stress the Intel Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA GPU on these systems at close to 100% peak load with close to 100% duty cycle. Under these conditions, the system uses slightly more power than what the 102-watt power brick delivers so the battery drains gradually over 5-12 hours. Once the battery reaches ~10%, the CPU/GPU performance is throttled limiting game performance. If you are a hardcore gamer, who routinely games for 4+ hours straight, this is not the right laptop for you.
  • Battery drain is typically a non-issue for heavy creative workloads. Tools such as 3DS Max, Fusion 360, SolidWorks, Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, ProTools, etc. come nowhere near 100% duty cycle except for non-interactive batch rendering loads. If you are performing non-interactive batch rendering all day under tight deadlines rather than interacting with the software via trackpad/dial/mouse/keyboard, this is not the right laptop for you.

Can I plug in a USB-type-C charger along with the MS charger to charge the Surface Book 2 faster?

  • No. You can physically plug in both, but the MS charger will take precedence and the USB charger will be ignored.

Can I use my MS Dock without a power supply? Can the Surface power the Dock?

  • No. You need to use the dock’s power brick to use the dock.

Where can I buy an OEM 44-watt or 24-watt power supply?

  • Unfortunately, Microsoft does not make these power supplies readily available except as original equipment with the Surface device. Product links for 3rd-party power supplies are provided below. Different size OEM power supplies such as the 36-watt or 65-watt will work just fine on devices that came with 24-watt or 44-watt power supplies.

Why are Microsoft OEM power supplies expensive?

  • There is certainly a high profit margin on accessories like power supplies. The Microsoft OEM power supplies do have some advanced features not typical in generic designs including the proprietary zero-insertion force Surface connector, output stage filtering optimized for the touch/pen digitizer, and an arc suppression feedback loop to ramp up the current delivery on initial connection. These features help performance and long-term durability and may not be present on 3rd-party designs.

My power supply cable frayed…

  • Cables don’t last forever. Some customers feel that Surface power supply cables are particularly fragile and end up fraying without much use. Other customers’ power supplies last 4+ years. To ensure a long-lasting power supply cable, do not wrap the cable too tightly around the power brick and don’t kink the cable. When placing the power brick in a backpack or luggage, it is best to place it inside its own bag or sleeve to prevent the cables snagging on anything.
  • Several open-source 3D-printed designs can be used to optimize the process of wrapping the cables around the brick.

I heard about a power supply recall from Microsoft…

My charger or tablet charge port stopped working…

  • Inspect the tablet charge port with a magnifying glass to see if any debris is lodged between the pins or if any pins are bent. Flush out the port with compressed air and/or carefully clean with an alcohol wipe. If the tablet still won’t charge, try an alternate power supply. Conversely, you can try using the supposedly broken power supply on another tablet to isolate the issue.

USB port on power brick may not charge larger cellphones

  • On many Surface power supplies, there is a built-in USB port that provides 5V@1amp. Many low-power USB devices will charge OK with this port, however some customers have reported issues charging larger cell phones that are capable of quick-charging. Typical symptoms are the phone not charging at all, charging intermittently, or the LED on the power supply cable flashing indicating a fault. Swapping to a different USB charge cable may help but it is better to use a different charger for a large cellphone.

Why do I sometimes feel a slight tingling when my device is plugged into AC/mains?

  • Reversing the AC/mains cable 180 degrees may reduce the effect but likely won’t eliminate it. This is typically a side effect of the EMI suppression capacitors in 2-prong (Class 2) switching power supply designs which effectively couple the input side of the power supply to the output side.
  • To meet UL and IEC 60950 safety regulations there is a 250 micro-amp leakage current limit so you’re not going to get electrocuted. Rest assured that the Surface OEM supplies meet the regulations but under certain conditions customers may still notice this small leakage current.
  • Switching power supply designs with three prongs (Class 1) typically don’t have this effect, but they tend to be bulkier.
  • More info on stackexchange.

MS Surface power supply specs and product links:

102 Watt P/S:

  • 15V@6.33amps (95 watts) + 5V@1.5amp
  • Model: 1798
  • Intended for:
    • Surface Book with Performance Base
    • Surface Book 2 Core i7
    • Other models will work OK but are unlikely to charge much faster
  • MS info link
  • Amazon purchase link

90 Watt Dock P/S:

  • 15V@6amps
  • Model: 1749
  • Intended for:
    • 2nd-gen Surface Dock (brick style for Surface Pro 2017, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface Book, Surface Book 2, Surface Laptop)
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part not available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
  • Amazon purchase link

65 Watt P/S:

48 Watt Dock P/S:

  • 12V@4amps
  • Model: 1627
  • Intended for:
    • 1st-gen Surface Docking Stations (clamp-style for Surface Pro 3)
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part not available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
  • Amazon purchase link

44 Watt P/S:

  • 15V@2.58amps + 5V@1amp
  • Model: 1800
  • Intended for:
    • 2017 Surface Pro (all models except Core m3)
    • 2017 Surface Laptop (all models except Core m3)
    • Surface Book 2 (except Core i7)
    • Other models will work OK
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part not available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties.
  • Amazon purchase link

36 Watt P/S:

  • 12V@2.58amps + 5V@1amp
  • Model: 1625
  • Intended for:
    • Surface Book (without NVIDIA dGPU)
    • Surface Pro 4 (all models except Core m3)
    • Surface Pro 3 (all models)
    • Other models will work OK
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part not available  from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd parties
  • Amazon purchase link

24 Watt P/S:

  • 15V@1.6amps
  • Model: 1735/1736
  • Intended for:
    • Surface Pro 4 Core m3 model
    • Surface Pro 2017 Core m3 model
    • Surface Laptop Core m3 model
    • Other models will work OK but may charge slowly
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part not available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
  • Amazon purchase link

This list does not include discontinued power supplies for Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro 1, Surface Pro 2, or Surface 3.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: