UPDATE: Surface Pro 4 firmware update brings a Power-Mode slider
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 / Firmware||Version||Reason|
|Marvell AVASTAR Bluetooth Radio Adapter - Bluetooth||15.68.9114.29||Implements changes to meet EU regulatory requirements|
|Intel(R) Iris(TM) Graphics 540 – Display adapters||22.214.171.12427||Improves DX12 and power performance|
|Surface Embedded Controller Firmware - Firmware||103.1744.256.0||Improves system stability|
|Surface Management Engine - Firmware||126.96.36.1999||Improves system stability|
|Surface UEFI - Firmware||107.1741.768.0||Improves Wi-Fi performance when waking from sleep|
|Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller – Network adapters||15.68.9114.29||Implements changes to meet EU regulatory requirements|
|Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) Audio Controller – System devices||188.8.131.522||Improves video performance in some applications|
|Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) OED – System devices||184.108.40.2062||Improves video performance in some applications|
|Surface Accessory Device – System devices||1.1.507.0||Improves system stability|
|Surface Pen Pairing – System devices||220.127.116.11||Enable Surface Pen simple pairing and features|
|Surface Integration – System devices||18.104.22.168||Enables 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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