As a Community Moderator on the Microsoft Surface Forums, it’s pretty easy for me to pick up trending hot issues (unlike the paid Forum staff who do not triage or correlate). I regularly forward these on to a contact inside Microsoft. At the end of June, I saw an increasing number of reports about a sudden and dramatic decrease in Surface Pro 3 battery capacity. I’ve been forwarding these along every since, asking that Microsoft at minimum state that “we are investigating reports”, but no official MS rep has even posted that they are reading and investigating.
Sadly, once out of warranty, it costs $99 to even contact official support. And the scripted answer is “we will replace your device with a refurb for $450” (etc.). Many folks have gone this route.
I’ve been scraping the forum and doing my own analysis. The folks who know how to run a battery report (admin cmd prompt, then powercfg /batteryreport) have been posting screen shots or cut and paste text outputs. Based on the sampling, I see only SIMPLO batteries and no LGC batteries. This is disturbing.
I’ve been begging MS to respond to afflicted users. The silence is deafening.
Below is a sampling of what I am scraping from the Forum. If you have a Surface Pro3 and are seeing diminished capacity, PLEASE post in https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surfpro3-surfhardware/surface-pro-3-battery-degradation/783f6a00-19ba-4dcf-a828-0ad87751e15a. Please include a screenshot/capture of the capacity history and the manufacturer of the battery.
You read the title correctly. I’ve added a fingerprint reader to my Surface 3. (And you can do this with any Windows 10 device that has a USB port). Windows Hello is a wonderful feature that provides an extra level of protection from prying eyes while traveling. While I’m not necessarily paranoid, I don’t want strangers seeing my password or PIN while I’m lunching and computing. I feel more secure.
While you can purchase a typecover for the Surface Pro 4 (that also works with Surface Pro 3, but this combo has some power management issues), there is no similar option to purchase a typecover with a fingerprint reader for a Surface 3.
Luckily, there’s a way to do this (if you don’t mind using the single USB port on the Surface 3 and tying it up at least while you log in; you can remove and attach this peripheral while Windows is running so for me it is no big deal).
Amazon sells this super tiny add-on fingerprint reader from “Eikon” at a good price. It’s made by Authentech, who made many of the built in fingerprint readers for nearly all the big computer vendors (they were purchased by Apple in 2012).
I was a victim of (yet another) bad Microsoft Windows Update for Surface that wreaked havoc with wireless connectivity, cellular, and bluetooth. In addition to the inappropriate Surface Pen driver forced on unsuspecting SP3 users. Surface 3 LTE users also received a nasty surprise.
Symptoms were coming back from hibernate, etc. I’d lose connectivity, WiFi would disappear, cellular would disappear, Bluetooth would disappear. Device manager would cycle through some weird messages when I checked the properties of the modem adapter and the wifi adapter, ending with Code 38. Bluetooth would be missing. Here’s what the cellular modem driver looked like in Device Manager.
This post provides the steps to activate an unlocked Surface 3 LTE for consumer/retail/soho customers who have Verizon as a carrier who are not eligible for a business package from Verizon. The unlocked Surface LTE is only available to business customers with a 5 line minimum commitment and two year contract. This article shows you how to activate a single unlocked Surface 3 LTE.
Ever since I first heard about the Surface 3 with LTE, I was chomping at the bit to replace my Nokia Lumia 2520 with a better Windows tablet that included cellular capabilities. When I heard that the first devices would be AT&T only, and then T-Mobile I was disappointed. Then I heard about an unlocked version. When that unlocked SKU became available in mid September, I asked about Verizon. I couldn’t get an authoritative answer, but was told that a VZW specific model was coming. So I waited.
On November 12, I saw an announcement that Verizon was finally selling a VZW Surface 3 SKU. http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2015/11/microsoft-surface-3-with-verizon-4g-lte-now-available-for-business-professionals.html. I tried to order online, but found that it was business customers only. Five lines, five devices. I called and was told the same thing. As a consumer, no chance. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.
I decided LTE was LTE and that just had to be a way to get an unlocked Surface 3 LTE working on the VZW network. And I followed my instincts.
I wrote about how Microsoft broke Miracast for Surface Pro original users when Windows 8.1 was released https://digitalmediaphile.com/index.php/2013/10/26/how-to-make-miracast-work-on-surface-pro/ and surprise, surprise, they’ve done it again with TH2 Build 10586. The supplied driver for the Marvell Wireless is not Miracast enabled. I don’t know why, as the chip is the same as the Surface Pro 2.
Here’s an unsupported way to get Miracast to work on your SP original with 10586.
Go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49042 and download Surface Pro 2\SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0.zip. Open the archive and copy the WiFi folder from SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0.zip\SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0\Drivers\Network\WiFi to your desktop or other place where you can easily find it. Then follow these instructions:
- Type Device Manager in the Cortana/Search box and open it.
- Find Network adapters, expand it, right-click on Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller, and then select Update Driver Software.
- Select Browse my computer for driver software.
- Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
- Click Have Disk.
- Click Browse.
- Navigate to the Wifi folder (it has the INF file for the wifi driver), then click Open.
Go to the Action center, select Connect and your Miracast device should be discovered. Connect and enjoy!
Above shows a successful Miracast streaming session with my Surface Pro original happily connected to a Microsoft Display Adapter.