Surface Book 2 drains battery while gaming even when plugged in

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Basically, the Surface Book 2 is not a gaming laptop and some of the trade-offs Microsoft made when designing it can be revealed under gaming loads.

We're still carrying out additional tests to update our Surface Book 2 review, but it's clear that the device is not created to be a gaming laptop. As it seems, graphic-intensive applications drain power much faster than the device can charge, so the Surface Book 2 is losing power even while plugged in with the official charger. The power derived from the battery is used in "some intense, prolonged gaming scenarios" to make the maximise the utilisation of the available resources, The Verge reports citing a statement provided by a Microsoft spokesperson. We're still carrying out additional tests on a new Surface Book 2 unit after a defective power supply caused additional issues on our review unit.

It's worth pointing out that the Surface Book 2 doesn't have battery drain issues at all times, just during heavy GPU usage or gaming. Microsoft has confirmed the issue and explained why this occurs. Put simply, the charger simply can't provide enough power to the laptop to run it in max performance mode.

The Surface Book 2 comes with a Power Mode Slider that once set to the "best performance" option enables the machine to consume battery even when connected to the power supply.

Nevertheless, Microsoft says that despite the power draining even while charging, the Surface Book 2 will never drain completely. The notebook has two separate battery packs - one is in the screen and another one is within the keyboard base - that both gain power through a 102-watt charger that supplies 95 watts of current to the hardware.

The problem is that the GTX 1060 draws between 70 and 80 watts, while the Surface 2's processor can reach 35 watts in high power mode.

Consequently, the charger delivers less power than the device needs to work at peak performance, during heavy gaming sessions or other tasks that weigh heavily on the GPU.

Users of the 15-inch Surface Book 2 have been noticing that the Surface Book's battery still drains even when plugged in, though this only happens when using the device for gaming. The company suggests throttling the hardware during gaming to "better performance" or "best battery" settings.

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