Surface Book Tip: Master Your Device Charging Options

Posted on November 2, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 0 Comments

Surface Book Tip: Master Your Device Charging Options

You can charge your Surface Book using the power adapter that came with the device, or with Surface Dock. But you can’t use previous Surface Pro chargers, Microsoft says.

This means that users who upgrade to Surface Book from any Surface Pro will be unable to use at least one of their existing accessories. This means you need to be careful—you’d hate to mistakenly bring your Surface Book and an incompatible Surface Pro charger on a trip—and that you may wish to snag a second power adapter if you like to keep one in your travel bag, as I do.

UPDATE: This is mistaken. Actually, you can use the charger from Surface Pro 3 or Pro 4 with Surface Book. If you have a Surface Book with a discrete GPU in the keyboard base, however, those chargers won’t always work. In that case, you can charge reliably when the device is off or asleep. –Paul

To tell the Surface Book power adapter from a previous Pro adapter. you’ll need to look closely. The Surface Book power adapter is just slightly bigger than that for Surface Pro.

Previous Surface Pro adapter (top) and Surface Book adapter (bottom).

Previous Surface Pro adapter (top) and Surface Book adapter (bottom).

And if you look really closely at the impossible-to-read power brick, you can see that the Surface Book adapter is model 1706 and is a 65-watt unit.


(Surface Book’s power adapter is, however, backwards compatible with Pro models, including Surface Pro 4.)

As for charging, Surface Book connects to the power adapter using the magnetically-assisted Surface Connect port that debuted with Surface Pro 3.


Interestingly, there are two Surface Connect ports on Surface Book, however: One on the keyboard base, which charges the batteries in both the base and the screen, and one on the bottom of the screen. This means that, yes, you could charge just the screen if you wanted to. (It’s unclear why anyone would want to do this.)

In my experience Surface Book has been intelligent about charging the batteries, and always leaves juice in the screen-based batteries so that you can use the device in clipboard mode if desired.

Finally, you can of course use Surface Dock to charge your Surface Book, too. This handy accessory uses a single Surface Connect connector to charge the device’s batteries and to connect your Book to whatever peripherals are attached to the Dock. And if you do use Surface Dock, you will arguably not need a second power adapter, as you can leave the one that comes with Surface Book in your travel bag.

Surface Dock comes with a larger Surface Connect connector.

Surface Dock comes with a larger Surface Connect connector.


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