Apple has been leading the way with adaptive refresh rates in its devices in recent years but has only recently brought it to the MacBook Pro line-up. Now, Microsoft is following suit and delivering dynamic refresh rates to the Surface Laptop Studio in its latest Windows 11 update.
That’s great news for anyone who is concerned about the battery life on their Surface Laptop Studio and should result in a much smoother experience whether you’re watching videos or writing emails.
The new feature is contained in two firmware updates for devices enrolled in the Windows Insider Dev or Beta channels. If you want to get this feature, you’ll need to look out for the following updates:
- Surface – Firmware – 10.0.156.0
- Intel Corporation – Display – 184.108.40.2060
Once installed, you will be able to tell your Surface Laptop Studio to switch between 60Hz and 120Hz. Just go to Settings > Display > Advanced Display, then select the dropdown menu under Choose a refresh rate and select Dynamic (60Hz or 120Hz).
Features like this are great news for laptops with high refresh rates. That’s because they dial down to a slower refresh rate when you’re doing less taxing tasks like viewing static images, then ramp up during more demanding workloads such as gaming or video editing, thereby prolonging your battery life. After all, running a display at the full 120Hz all day, even when it’s not needed, can gobble up your battery faster than you realize.
Once the option in Advanced Display settings is enabled, you won’t need to manually change between refresh rates, as Windows 11 will handle that for you. Just select that option and your refresh rate will adapt as required.
While it’s not quite the same as Apple’s ProMotion, Microsoft’s change is a welcome one. ProMotion is something of a secret weapon in the MacBook Pro, and it doesn’t immediately seem like a ground-breaking feature. But put it to use and you’ll see what the fuss is about.
Apple’s implementation is slightly different from what Microsoft is doing. Instead of switching between 60Hz and 120Hz, ProMotion can adopt whatever refresh rate is needed up to 120Hz. That could mean 24Hz or it could mean 100Hz. Still, it’s great to see Microsoft coming on board with this kind of technology. Hopefully it will be expanded to more devices in Microsoft’s Surface range in the future.
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