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

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


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

  • Any charger that is USB Power Delivery 2.x/3.x compliant and provides 60 watts or more will work well the Surface Book 2. A list of preferred chargers that supply more than 60 watts is available in a separate USB power supply post.
  • Various monitors with built-in USB type-C 60-watt charging work well
  • 29-45-watt laptop chargers will also work but will charge slowly.
  • 5-29-watt phone/tablet chargers are not recommended and may not charge the device at all.

Which portable battery packs work with Surface devices?

  • Any battery pack that outputs between 11V and 16V at >1.5 amps will work with Surface Pro 3 and later devices. 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 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. Most readily available USB-C power banks only output 30-watts and will charge the Book 2 quite slowly. However a few are available that supply 60-watts or more.

Are car chargers available?

  • Instead of 3rd-party car chargers which may not perform well and may not have high quality power system filtering, I recommend using the OEM AC/mains adapter and a universal automotive inverter. A benefit of this approach is that many other devices can use the inverter too. One drawback is that inverters tend to be bulky. Most automobiles will work fine with 100-300 watt inverters and the standard interior 12v jack.

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 or shorter cable for my power supply?

  • You can swap out the mains/wall-plug cable for a longer “figure-8” aka IEC C7 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.
  • To shorten the mains/wall-plug cable you can get an IEC C7 adapter.
  • The YGJ brand power supply is a single cable design and may be more convenient for some users.

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?

  • Only ~60 watts is supplied from the Dock to the Surface with the remaining power reserved for the Dock electronics and USB ports. 60-watts is sufficient for most use cases however the battery will charge slower than with the dedicated 102-watt supply. When in use, the battery may 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 and 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 cable 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 or plug the cellphone into the Surface.

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.

Why does the 102 watt power supply stop working when plugged into an airplane outlet?

  • Most aircraft outlets are limited to ~75watts. Get the 65-watt charger instead.
  • More details.

MS Surface power supply specs and product links:

102 Watt P/S:

  • 15V@6.33amps (95 watts) + 5V@1.5amp
  • Model: 1798
  • Connectors: proprietary Surface Connector and USB A
  • Intended for:
    • Surface Book 1 with Performance Base
    • Surface Book 2 Core i7 models (13.5″ and 15″)
    • Other models will work OK but are unlikely to charge much faster
  • MS retail store link
  • Amazon purchase link

90 Watt Dock P/S:

  • 15V@6amps
  • Model: 1749
  • Connectors: barrel connector
  • Intended for:
    • 2nd-gen Surface Dock (brick style for Surface Pro 2017, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface Book 1, Surface Book 2, Surface Laptop)
  • Notes
    • Genuine OEM part not available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
    • The Dock only supplies ~60 watts to the Surface device with ~30 watts reserved for the dock electronics and USB port power.
    • Devices that shipped with the 102 watt power supply may experience battery drain while in use since the dock may not be able to supply enough power to keep the battery charged AND run the system at full load.
    • 3rd-party Optimum Orbis brand has low-voltage cable that is ~8″ longer than the OEM cable.
  • Amazon purchase link

65 Watt P/S:

44 Watt P/S:

  • 15V@2.58amps (~39 watts) + 5V@1amp
  • Model: 1800
  • Connectors: proprietary Surface Connector and USB A
  • Intended for:
    • 2017 Surface Pro (all models except Core m3)
    • 2017 Surface Laptop (all models except Core m3)
    • Surface Book 2 Core i5 model
  • 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:

24 Watt P/S:

  • 15V@1.6amps
  • Model: 1735/1736
  • Connectors: proprietary Surface Connector
  • Intended for:
    • Surface Pro 4 Core m3 model
    • Surface Pro 2017 Core m3 model
    • Surface Laptop Core m3 model
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part not available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
  • Amazon purchase link

Discontinued Surface Power supplies

48 Watt Dock P/S:

  • 12V@4amps
  • Model: 1627
  • Connectors: barrel connector
  • Intended for:
    • clamp style Surface Docking Stations for Surface Pro 1, Pro 2, and Pro 3
  • Notes
    • Genuine OEM part not available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
    • The Dock only supplies ~31 watts to the Surface device with ~17 watts reserved for the dock electronics and USB port power.
    • Not applicable to the Surface 3 (non-pro) docking station which has a built-in power supply
  • Amazon purchase link

48 Watt P/S:

  • 12V@4amps
  • Model: 1512/1516
  • Connectors: proprietary 5-pin Surface connector
  • Intended for:
    • Surface Pro 1 and Surface Pro 2
    • Surface RT and Surface 2 will work OK but will not charge any faster
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part no longer available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
  • Amazon purchase link

24 Watt P/S:

  • 12V@2amps
  • Model: 1536
  • Connectors: proprietary 5-pin Surface connector
  • Intended for:
    • Surface RT and Surface 2
    • Surface Pro 1 and Surface Pro 2 will work OK but may charge slowly
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part no longer available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
  • Amazon purchase link

13 Watt P/S:

  • 5.2V@2.5amps
  • Model 1623/1625/1645
  • Connectors: micro USB
  • Intended for:
    • Surface 3
  • Notes: Genuine OEM part no longer available from MS store – only available via warranty replacement or via 3rd-parties
  • Amazon purchase link

 

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