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UPDATE: Surface Pro 4 firmware update brings a Power-Mode slider

The Power-Mode slider allows users to select from four preset power modes for battery life or performance. (Source: Own)
The Power-Mode slider allows users to select from four preset power modes for battery life or performance. (Source: Own)
The latest firmware update for the Surface Pro 4 has enabled the Power-Mode slider, which was previously only available on the new Surface Pro 2017 and the Surface Book. The slider provides users with a quick and effortless way to adjust power settings on the fly.

A new firmware was released on the 21st of July by Microsoft for the Surface Pro 4. A Surface Pro 4 owned by one of our news editors received the update this morning, and they were surprised to find that the update had enabled the Power-Mode battery slider. This feature had previously only been available on the new Surface Pro 2017 and Surface laptop.

The slider can be accessed by clicking on the battery icon in the task bar, along with the brightness settings that had previously been accessible in this way. There are four options to choose from; Battery Saver, Recommended, Better Performance, and Best Performance. Logically, the Battery Saver option is hidden when the mains power is connected.

This slider provides a quick and effortless way to adjust power settings without having to go into the control panel, although it isn't clear whether these presets have the same effect as careful customization of your power plan settings. Battery saver has obvious effects on the user experience such as forcing a lower screen brightness, however the performance options don't show any obvious changes. This indicates that they are having an impact on settings such as how aggressively the CPU will increase and decrease the clock speed to meet demand.

UPDATE: Neowin have now posted a change log from Microsoft:

Driver / FirmwareVersionReason
Marvell AVASTAR Bluetooth Radio Adapter - Bluetooth15.68.9114.29Implements changes to meet EU regulatory requirements
Intel(R) Iris(TM) Graphics 540 – Display adapters21.20.16.4627Improves DX12 and power performance
Surface Embedded Controller Firmware - Firmware103.1744.256.0Improves system stability
Surface Management Engine - Firmware11.6.25.1229Improves system stability
Surface UEFI - Firmware107.1741.768.0Improves Wi-Fi performance when waking from sleep
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller – Network adapters15.68.9114.29Implements changes to meet EU regulatory requirements
Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) Audio Controller – System devices9.21.0.2102Improves video performance in some applications
Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) OED – System devices9.21.0.2102Improves video performance in some applications
Surface Accessory Device – System devices1.1.507.0Improves system stability
Surface Pen Pairing – System devices3.0.0.1Enable Surface Pen simple pairing and features
Surface Integration – System devices1.0.153.0Enables Power Slider feature improving battery life, and improving adaptive brightness feature

That is four updates for performance, three for connectivity, three for stability, and one for battery life.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 07 > UPDATE: Surface Pro 4 firmware update brings a Power-Mode slider
Craig Ward, 2017-07-25 (Update: 2017-07-25)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.