Surface Pro 4 batteries and TypeCovers are dropping like flies

It’s more than screen flickers, folks. Surface Pro 4 batteries are dying in droves, in many cases shortly after the warranty expires. So, too, are TypeCovers.

surface book surface pro 4 resize2
Microsoft

Many Surface Pro 4 customers are angry as hell. Not only are their screens getting the shakes; their batteries are dying prematurely and, in some cases, their TypeCovers turn into boat anchors.

Surface Pro 4 screen flicker problems persist. Per the Flickergate website:

We are customers of Microsoft who have invested $1500+ on new Surface Pro devices which have developed screen flickering, rendering the devices unusable. The flickering normally occurs 1 year after purchase when the warranty is already expired. This means that owners are forced to pay $800 for an out-of-warranty exchange from Microsoft. However, many users experience the same flickering on their refurbished Surface Pro replacements.   2000+ customers have complained on Microsoft’s support forums and this number is growing by the day.  However, Microsoft has not acknowledged the issue.   We recommend potential buyers to AVOID surface pro devices until Microsoft has fixed this problem because there is a high chance that your device will become unusable within a year.

The first notice about SP4 flicker that I’ve seen appeared more than a year ago. We’ve covered Microsoft’s (lack of) response to the flicker problem here at Computerworld four times: April 2017, Aug. 2017, and twice in Nov. 2017. If there’s been an official acknowledgment or offer to solve the problem, I sure haven’t seen it.

But wait. There’s now a growing number of complaints about dying batteries in the Microsoft Answers forum. For example, poster Joe Carv said a couple of weeks ago:

MS Surface Pro 4 - Dead prior to 2 years of existence, unacceptable

After owning Surface Pro 4 less than two years I was informed by the local Microsoft store that there is nothing that they can do. The unit does not power up. In other words, dead. Read all the nightmare stories currently going in web including legal law suits for Surface Pro 3. Consumer reports puts all Surface units in worst pad to purchase at 25% failure and yet Microsoft is refusing to acknowledging responsibility - unacceptable behavior.  

I see similar complaints from KatherineIronside, HomeSmartMichael, arda17 and many others.

Microsoft has a triage post in KB 4023539, but most nontrivial paths through the troubleshooter end up with placing a support call to Microsoft – not good news if your machine's out of warranty.

Meanwhile, the problems with dead TypeCovers I discussed in August and again last November haven’t been resolved. The original Answers Forum post about bricked TypeCovers is now up to 29 pages of complaints, the latest coming last week. It appears as if some TypeCover driver changes last year caused problems, but these complaints persist in spite of all the latest driver updates.

Again, Microsoft has a troubleshooter posted at KB 4023473 , but the reports I hear are that these straightforward steps frequently don’t work.

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