When it comes to reliability of its hardware, Microsoft previously had a spotless record with the Surface series. However, build quality of the company was called into question when the Surface Pro 4 series began to exhibit a strange series of problems. Dubbed "flickergate" by users, whatever caused it makes the display of the 2-in-1 unexpectedly flash rapidly and sometimes even turn off. It took a while by the company to eventually acknowledge the issue and offer replacements. Now, two generations after, owners complain about the Surface Laptop 3 screens cracking for no reason.
The premium Windows laptop made its debut at the 2019 Surface Event and released a few weeks after. According to ZDNet, users began reporting this odd occurrence shortly after the device launched. Microsoft could have presumed it was due to user error and instructed consumers to pay for the screen replacement since it was not covered by the device's warranty stipulations. This apparently went on for months until the manufacturer realised it could a production quality flaw.
According to users who have posted their complaints on Reddit and on official forums, the cracks are usually found on the corners. Others point out that their units have it across the entire length of the display. Another interesting detail about these reports is that these seem to be isolated to Surface Laptop 3 models with all-aluminium enclosures. Those who own the variants with Alcantara fabric allegedly have not encountered these problems.
While Microsoft is still investigating the cause of the displays cracking, some users noted that it might be the missing gasket between the metal housing and glass panel. "A limited number of Surface Laptop customers have contacted Microsoft and have reported screens that have cracked through no fault of their own. We are evaluating the situation and investigating the root cause of the claims," stated a company spokesperson.
Compared to the 2018 findings related to the Surface Pro 4 flickering reports, the Surface Laptop 3 display crack does not appear to be as widespread. Nevertheless, Microsoft is finally taking action to hopefully address the issue before it becomes another PR nightmare for the company. With a new set of Surface products slated to launch in 2020, the quality might be called into question.