Microsoft has just released a rather substantial update to its Surface Pro line, spanning all generations of the Windows 8 toting tablet hybrids. While a good number of the updates bring improvements across the board, the brunt of the focus is lavished on the graphics and networking hardware of the Surface Pros in an attempt to improve the overall experience of the tablets and, consequently, the appeal of the devices to a still unbelieving market.
For graphics, Microsoft has updated the drivers for the Intel HD GPUs inside the tablets, fixing some annoying and sometimes showstopping bugs. Primary perhaps is the rather ironic battery drain that happens when the tablet is in Connected Standby mode, which is supposed to save battery life. The update also improves or adds support for external displays and adapters like the Samsung U28D590D and Dell 2713Hb monitors and Panasonic and Actiontec Miracast adapters.
The Marvell WiFi and Bluetooth drivers have also been updated, and again the theme of fixing misbehaving hardware is present. Power management is tweaked so that the wireless adapter functions even when Hyper-V virtualization mode is enabled. The driver now also complies with a new European Union requirement for better power management. For power users, a feature to switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands has been added.
Other update highlights include updating the Home Button driver to better integrate with the new Smart Hub app that allows Surface Pro 3 users to fine tune the stylus. Integration with Microsoft’s own Docking Station was fixed so that sound now comes out when no external speakers are connected.
These updates have started rolling out to the Surface Pro 3, the Surface Pro 2, and even the first Surface Pro, though the extent of new features and fixes varies from device to device, depending on the actual hardware inside.