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Microsoft firmware improves Surface 2 family's Cover performance

If you own a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 or Surface 2, good news: A number of Microsoft updates should improve how your tablet interacts with its Surface keyboard covers.

There’s just one catch: If that tablet is running Windows 8.1, you’ll need to install the Windows 8.1 Update (or “spring update”) before you can upgrade the tablet. Otherwise, tap the Windows key to get to the Start menu, swipe left from the right edge to access the Charms, and tap the Settings icon. Tap Change PC settings at the bottom, then tap Update and recovery. Finally, tap the Check now button for the most recent updates.

The new updates for the Surface Pro 2, released Monday, are as follows. Many of them smooth the transitions in and out of a low-power “sleep state”. But the final version also improves the stability of the tablet’s Miracast wireless display capability.

  • The Surface Pro UEFI (v2.4.950.0) and Surface Pro Embedded Controller Firmware (v24.1.50.0) updates enhance system stability with microSD products, improve compatibility with the Power Cover, and increases the reliability of sleep state transitions. Surface Pro UEFI update also provides support for PXE boot with the new Surface ethernet Adapter.
  • The Surface Pro System Aggregator Firmware (v2.4.350.0) update improves sleep state transitions when a Surface Cover is attached.
  • The Surface Accessory Device (v2.0.287.0) update improves sleep state transitions when a Surface Cover is attached.
  • The Surface Power Cover Firmware Update (v2.0.288.0) improves reliability when the Power Cover is attached to Surface and folded behind Surface.
  • HD Graphics Family (v10.18.10.3496) update improves Miracast wireless display experience and enhances display stability.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s upgrades to the Surface 2 should increase the tablet’s battery life—which, as you’ll recall from our Surface 2 review, was already outstanding at over 12 hours. 

  • The Surface 2 UEFI (v4.21.500.0) update enhances overall system stability, including boot and reboot scenarios, compatibility with Surface Power Cover, and increased battery life when Surface 2 is not in use.
  • The System Aggregator Firmware (v1.0.50500.0) update enhances the charging behavior of the Power Cover.
  • The Surface Power Cover Firmware Update (v2.0.595.0) update improves battery life when using the Power Cover with Surface 2.
  • The Surface Platform Power Driver (v2.0.557.0) update improves battery life when used with the Surface Power Cover.
  • Microsoft's Audio Driver Set (v 9.17.13.2819) and Display Driver Set (v 9.17.13.2818) update provides enhanced support for external displays, improves the Miracast experience, and enhances the overall system stability while reducing power consumption in many scenarios.
  • The Surface Accessory Device (v2.0.583.0) update enhances the experience when using a Surface Cover.

If you're the type of person who is paranoid about bugs and system stability, you might want to wait a few days to see if any bugs are reported. Otherwise, go get it. Your second-generation Surface should undoubtedly benefit.

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