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Microsoft Surface Book Gives Users Major Headache: Surface Pro 4 Works Better

The Microsoft Surface Book has been described as a game changer. According to Wired, the Surface Book redefines how PCs are made.

“In fact, it’s hard to name another high-end hybrid laptop that’s quite so enticing. That puts everyone who makes Windows laptops—known as original equipment manufacturers, in trade lingo—in a curious position: What do you do when the partner that supplies your product’s brains releases a superior body?”

Unfortunately, for many users, the Surface Book is barely usable. InfoWorld quotes one poster on a Microsoft forum that echoes the concern of other users.

“Just got my Surface Book, i7 512GB. Applied all the updates (including the recent firmware). My screen keeps flickering on/off, whether or not the screen is docked. I’ve tried resetting but the issue still persists. It also seems independent of running apps or focused windows. Adjusting the brightness doesn’t resolve the issue.”

This is an issue that could easily be fixed with a graphics driver update. But, there are some other serious Surface Book issues, such as the whole computer freezing, requiring users to perform a hard reboot. PCWorld has the latest news on this problem.

“A thread on Microsoft’s support forums has begun to gain steam, with users reporting similar symptoms: The notebook just suddenly stops working, and nothing short of power cycling the Book via the power button seems to work.”

Something like this could be a serious problem that has more to do with a faulty graphics chip or a faulty CPU. In fact, the Surface Book users who are reporting this problem the most are the ones who bought one with the discreet NVIDIA graphics chip. Many have reported wanting to exchange their notebooks, only to be told that the version they want isn’t in stock. This is definitely a PR problem for Microsoft, but it’s not a PR disaster — yet. Surface Book users did take to Twitter to express their anger.

There hasn’t been a major notebook released in the past five years that hasn’t caused early problems. Last spring, many users reported overheating problems with Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook. A couple months later, several new MacBook Pro Retina users complained of coating problems with their screens. A website called Staingate was set up to bring attention to the issue. And who can forget all the problems users encountered when buying the very first Surface Pro that came out in February of 2015?

Microsoft luckily hasn’t had as many issues with the Surface Pro 4, though problems do exist.

Surface Pro 4 i5 version
The Surface Pro 4 has some early problems, but at least it is still usable. The i7 version of the Surface Pro 4 still hasn’t been released. [Photo via Daryl Deino]
“When using Edge the screen flickers and changes colors. Some websites consistently make the display driver crash and recover. There are popping noises when viewing some videos. When opening a new window and maximizing it the browser intermittently crashes,” says Windows Central Forum user GSOgymrat.

The screen flickering issue seems to be the Surface Pro 4 issue that has spread the most. Microsoft claims it is aware of the issue and that a fix will be coming soon. Microsoft might have delivered two new beautiful devices, but they certainly need better quality control and must be more aggressive when it comes to the defects of these devices, especially the Surface Book.

[Feature photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]