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The Surface Pro 3 with Windows 10 receives a performance boost via new firmware

Why it matters to you

Owners of the Surface Pro 3 may have a faster-running computer with the latest firmware combined with Windows 10.

Microsoft released a new firmware update on Monday for Surface Pro 3 devices running Windows 10. Listed as version 3.11.2050.0, the update merely improves the overall system performance, providing a more stable, secure Windows 10 experience. The update will be installed automatically unless Surface Pro 3 owners have automatic updates switched off. If that’s the case, the manual route includes going into Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and selecting the “Check for updates” option.

In addition to the new firmware, there are also two new updates for the Surface Pro 3 provided by Intel. Owners will see the Intel HD Graphics Family 20.19.15.4568 update and the Intel Display Audio 6.16.00.3197 update, both of which improve Miracast and docked video performance. Like the new firmware update, customers running Windows 8.1 on the device likely won’t see these updates as an install option.

January’s update for the Surface Pro 3 follows the system update released in November that addressed a specific component of the firmware. The patch fixed an issue that caused the battery’s full charge capacity to be misreported to the device firmware and operating system, preventing the Surface Pro 3 from completely relying on the battery.

“Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank,” Microsoft said. “In this case, if the fuel gauge isn’t working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank — even though the tank is fine.”

The Surface Pro 3 hit store shelves in June 2014 and was replaced by the Surface Pro 4 in October 2015. The company has yet to unveil a fifth-generation model but instead introduced the Surface Studio all-in-one PC and updated Surface Book (with Performance Boost) in October. Microsoft may be waiting to reveal the Surface Pro 5 when Creators Update makes its debut on Windows 10 this spring.

As of this publication, Microsoft has reduced the price of its Surface Pro 4 model packing the Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of system memory, and 128GB of internal storage to $799, down $200 from its original price. Microsoft doesn’t say when the price reduction will end, so now may be a good time for Surface Pro 3 owners to upgrade their aging device.

Here are the specs:

Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Display: 12.3 inches
Resolution: 2,736 x 1,824 (267 ppi)
Processor: Core i5-6300U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
Memory: 4GB
Storage: 128GB
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.0
Battery: Up to 9 hours of video playback
Cameras: 5MP (front)
8MP (back)
Ports: 1x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x Micro SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Cover port
1x Surface Connect port
Size: 11.50 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches
Weight: 1.73 pounds