Surface Go USB-C Charging

One of Surface Go’s critical features is getting the job done on the go. It is the most portable Surface PC with many capabilities and features as its big brothers. However, one thing that most people aren’t happy about is battery life. As mentioned in our article, the Surface Go won’t last for a typical working day unless you do all our ultimate battery-saving tips.

At SurfaceTip, we have already done two tests for the Surface Go charging topic: the original charger testing and a basic phone charger testing. However, we haven’t yet tested another potential charging method using USB-C with power delivery. Today, we will test not one but three different types of USB-C PD chargers to find out how fast they can charge the Microsoft Surface Go compared to our previous tests.

Can you charge the Surface Go with USB-C?

In short, yes, you can. The USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port on Microsoft Surface Go supports smart charging, data transfer, and video out capability. It supports USB Power Delivery revision 3.0, which supports four different power rules (5v, 9v, 15v, and 20v) with the ability to supply power up to over 45W.

Surface Go USB-C Specs

With that said, you will need a compatible USB-C with Power Delivery rated at a higher wattage to fast charge your Surface Go. Fortunately, as we tested, the Surface Go can also be slowly charged via a standard USB charger. So, if you can’t find a USB-C PD charger, don’t panic; you can use any phone’s USB charger or power bank to continue your work.

How do you charge Surface Go with USB-C?

It’s straightforward to charge your Surface with USB-C. Like the Surface Connect connector, the USB-C connector is reversible, so you don’t have to worry about the wrong side plug-in. Anyway, there are two ways to charge your Surface Go over USB-C, depending on the available charger port:

  1. USB-A to USB-C: You can charge your Surface Go with any standard USB charger or portable power bank with a suitable charging rate (at least 5V/1.5A) by connecting them with the USB-A to USB-C cable.
    Charging Surface Go with Power Bank via USB-A to USB-C cable
  2. USB-C to USB-C: If you have a USB-C PD charger, which is highly recommended, and they use a USB-C port, then you can charge your Surface Go by connecting it with the USB-C to USB-C cable.
    Surface Go USB-C to USB-C Charging

Surface Go USB-C chargers we’ve tested

To find out what USB-C PD chargers work best for Microsoft Surface Go, we tested three different chargers with USB-C PD support. To help you understand more about each charger’s specifications, we have put them together in the table below:

USB-C PD ChargersInterfaceMax WattagePower Rules
Google Pixel 2 chargerUSB-C to USB-C18W
5V/3A 9V/2A
Anker PowerPort Speed PD 30USB-C to USB-C30W
5V/3A 9V/3A 15V/2A 20V/1.5A
5V/3A 9V/3A 12V/3A 15V/3A 20V/2.25A

Pixel, Anker, and ZMI Charger

For better comparison, below are the specifications of the original Surface Go charger and a standard phone charger that we’ve already tested:

Common ChargersInterfaceMax WattagePower Rules
Sony Standard Phone ChargerUSB-A to USB-C7.5W
Surface Go ChargerSurface Connect24W

Now, we have an array of chargers with a power range from 7.5W up to 45W with different charging interfaces. And now, it’s time to test it out. Read on for the actual charging speed of those chargers.

Surface Go USB-C chargers testing result

The following table summarizes each charger’s speed, duration, and charging rate. We have ordered the chargers at the maximum charging rate they can offer.

Note The following results are measured using a particular condition specified in this article’s Experiment Condition section.

Battery Level20%-80%
Total (20%-99%)
Sony Standard Phone Charger
Max 7.5W
4.0W - 3.6W
265 Minutes
3.59 - 3.43W
47 Minutes
3.42W - 2.37W
45 Minutes
4.0W - 2.37W
5 hours 57 Minutes
Google Pixel 2 charger
Max 18W
11.2W - 10.2W
90 Minutes
10W - 8W
16 Minutes
7.8W - 2.5W
31 Minutes
11.2W - 2.5W
2 hours 17 Minutes
Surface Go Charger
Max 24W
16.6W - 14.5W
60 Minutes
14W - 8.2W
15 Minutes
8W - 2.1W
33 Minutes
16.6W - 2.1W
1 hour 48 Minutes
Anker PowerPort Speed PD 30
Max 30W
18.0W - 16.4W
56 Minutes
13W - 9W
13 Minutes
8W - 2.6W
30 Minutes
17.3W - 2.6W
1 hour 39 Minutes
Max 45W
26.3W - 14.9W
46 Minutes
13W - 7W
16 Minutes
7W - 2W
37 Minutes
26.3W - 2W
1 hour 39 Minutes

What we’ve learned from the result

Now we’ve seen the result. Here are some facts that we can see:

  1. Battery below 80%: you can expect to get the peak charging rate of each charger.
  2. Battery between 80% – 90%: the charging rate starts to slow to around 8W.
  3. Battery between 90% – 99%: the charging rate drops dramatically to around 2.5W, which takes twice as long as between 80%-90%.
  4. Battery between 99% – 100%: Our tested Surface Go took about 25 minutes to fully charge from 99%, no matter what chargers we’ve tried.

Experiment Condition

Of course, the actual charging speed depends on your device’s settings and usage. It will be much faster to charge your device when it’s off, and it will be slow as you play games or use any heavy tasks.

Below is the testing condition that we used and think most people would use in the general situation:

  • Turn off the display: Never (Always-on display)
  • Display brightness: 50%
  • Auto brightness: No
  • Bluetooth: On
  • WiFi: On (connected to the internet)

Tracking Tools

Charging Speed Testing Tools

The tool we used to track the battery capacity, speed, and duration of the charging is BatteryInfoView. Besides that, this tool also can display more detailed information about your device’s battery.

We also use our favorite tool, BatteryBar, to view real-time charging stats from the taskbar. You can download both tools for free from the links below:

More Surface Go Resources

Make sure to check out our tips and tricks for Microsoft Surface Go here: