Dead or just sleeping?

by Rob Poulter


Sleep wake on laptops is terrible.

But why is it terrible? We've had close to a decade of smart phones, and on every phone and tablet I've owned, sleep and wake have been great: you push the button, the device wakes up and is responsive. In that decade of smart phones, every laptop I've had (both Apple and otherwise) has had some aspect of sleep/wake be unsatisfactory.

My Apple laptops have been by far the best of the bunch, but even they tend to be fairly unresponsive waking from sleep, with keyboard input being glitchy in the first few seconds after the display wakes (i.e. when I'm trying to type in a password).

More recently I've been using a Surface Pro at work. You'd think that, similar to Apple's gear, that a Microsoft OS on Microsoft hardware should work pretty well. But they tend to be heavy sleepers, occasionally refusing to wake up at all and forcing a shutdown seems to be the only way to recover. On a good day it just takes a few hopeful stabs at the keyboard and then maybe a couple of taps of the power button. I'd say this was an isolated tendency, but it happens all too often on both Surface Pro 3 and 4 with a number of staff and students.

So why can't we get this right after all these years?