When it comes to saving battery, one of the things that you can do that is effective is to turn off the keyboard backlight of your Surface device. Note that other mobile devices will benefit from this as well, but that they may or may not support functionality to turn off the lighting of the keyboard.
The Surface Pro ships with a sensor built-in that will activate the light on the keyboard to highlight the keys better. This is a useful feature as it helps you identify the keys on the keyboard which may be an issue in low-light environments.
This is not much of an issue if the Surface device is connected to a power outlet, but if it runs on battery, you will notice that the lighting makes the battery drain faster.
The guys over on Linus Tech Tips ran battery saving tests recently which concluded that turning off the keyboard backlight extends battery use before you need to recharge by about 16%.
Other beneficial battery saving tweaks included:
The Surface keyboard backlight turns on and off automatically using the built-in sensor. You have controls however to toggle the backlight manually as well, but it may not be available on older versions of the Surface keyboard.
The first two keys next to the Esc-key on the keyboard above, those with the function keys F1 and F2, control the keyboard backlight on the Surface device. If you just tap on the keys however, you will notice that nothing happens. Or, to be more precise, that you press F1 or F2, and don't toggle the keyboard lighting functionality.
You need to hold down on the Alt-key to access the special keys of the Surface keyboard. So, this is how you turn the backlight of the keyboard on or off:
Activating the special keys increases or decreases the keyboard backlight on the Surface keyboard. You may need to activate the key multiple times to turn it off completely, to make it less bright, or brighter.
If you need to squeeze the maximum battery duration out of your Surface device, you need to consider turning off the backlight keyboard of the Surface. While that may not be an option at all times, for instance in dark environments that make keys hard to identify, it is usually possible to at least turn the brightness of the lights down.
Now You: Do you have other power saving tips for mobile computers?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.