I have previously reported (complained) that because the Surface RT keeps WiFi enabled when sleeping, you won’t get more than 2-3 days out of your device, even without touching it. Well, I found a setting that may help.
If you go to Settings > Change PC Settings > Personalize > Lock Screen and scroll down a bit you will find the apps that run in the background and show quick status and notifications. When I checked this the first time on my Surface RT, all seven slots were active with a bunch of different apps, much like my Desktop setting as you can see below.
From left to right you are looking at: Messaging, Mail, Calendar, Package Tracker, Yahoo Mail, Skype and Traffic Camera. While I don’t really care what is active on my desktop, which is plugged into a wall, I do care what is active on my “always on, battery draining” Surface RT”. This wouldn’t be a problem for a typical laptop, as WiFi will (should) go to sleep when the machine does.
I am using my Surface RT for more things lately, but I already have a phone that gives me notifications for mail, messaging, etc., so I don’t need two devices binging each time I get a new message. I have disabled all but Calendar and Package Tracker for now, and after three days my Surface RT battery went from 100% down to 66%. In the past I would have been between 25% and 0% in the same amount of time.
I don’t get a popup notification when a new message arrives, but the Live Tile does update immediately. And again, if my phone tingles and I am using my Surface RT, what’s the problem. I would prefer that WiFi could be set to go to sleep (like every Windows Phone does as a default) when you close the Surface RT touch cover, but this is a good workaround, at least for me. Maybe it will be for you as well.