Hardware

New Microsoft Surface Lineup Reportedly Hit By Serious Wi-Fi Problems, Here’s A Workaround

Although Surface Pro 7 was introduced a couple of weeks ago, still the product range has already grabbed eyeballs of the target audience. Some of the major changes bundled in this Surface Pro lineup include important performance improvements.

However, many Surface fans who purchased the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Lap 3 devices reported many issues. Amongst all other problems, WiFi issues are the ones that affected a large number of users. The forum reports [1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ] suggest that their device is either not identifying the internet or it is remarkably slow as soon as the device is resumed from sleep.

Microsoft launched Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7 with an Intel processor instead of the Marvel version. Apparently, the WiFi bug is introduced by the newly added AX201 Wi-Fi chip. Some furious people have already started to claim a refund. One of the Surface Pro 7 users reported the WiFi bug on the Microsoft Community forum:

Have recently purchased a new Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 and have noticed that once the laptop is put to sleep, upon using it again the wifi is really slow. I have also read that other are experiencing the same issues and wanted to know if there is a way to fix this or whether there will be a software update to address this issue.

Considering the impact of this problem, Microsoft needs to release an emergency update to fix the WiFi bug. However, it seems like Microsoft has officially decided to remain tight-lipped on this matter.

Don’t Update Your WiFi Drivers

Notably, the new Surface devices come preinstalled with customized drivers. A Redditor blamed the Intel AX201 adapter to be responsible for the Surface Pro 7 slow WiFi bug after resuming from sleep mode.

The new Intel AX201 adapter has 2×2 MIMO, basically double the antennas for double the speed (if your router supports it). Now in standby Dynamic SMPS disables one antenna and the other antenna goes to a low power state. However the bug is that after waking up the device from standby, the second antenna is not activated and the other antenna remains in the low power state resulting in severely reduced speeds, higher latency.

Microsoft MVP Barb Bowman advised users should not install the generic Intel AX201 drivers” because they are apparently causing other serious problems. An attempt to update the drivers might break your machine and you will no longer be able to restore it.

Solution

At the time of writing this article, many Reddit users came up with a temporary solution to resolve the slow WiFi problem. One of the easiest ways to avoid the problem is hibernating your device instead of using the standby mode. Alternatively, you can follow the below-mentioned steps to change the MIMO settings.

  1. Navigate to the Start menu, right-click on it and select Device Manager > Network adapters. 
  2. Right-click Intel AX201, select Properties > Advanced > MIMO power save mode. 
  3. Click No SMPS from the drop-down menu available on the right.
  4. Now go to the following path: Windows 10 > Settings > System > Power & Sleep. 
  5. Choose  When my PC is asleep and on battery power disconnect from network and click Always when prompted.

Other Issues Still Remain Unfixed

It is worth mentioning that it is not a permanent solution but it does reduce the frequency of the bug. The list of issues seems to be a long one. Some other people claimed that the system is has stopped identifying networks. Unfortunately, a network rest does not resolve the problem.

Another user confirmed that Night Light feature is not working during the scheduled time. Microsoft needs to release a patch as soon as possible to avoid a large number of refund claims.


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