Microsoft crack habit reports: User claims Surface Laptop 3 screen fractured again after repair

Split me once, shame on you. Split me twice, shame on, er, you again?

Screens on Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 have appeared to develop a crack habit, with one of the latest complaints claiming this happened even after repair.

Reports on Twitter noted whinges sprouting on Reddit and Microsoft's own support forums last week about the new hardware appearing to suffer from spontaneously cracked screens.

Users have described hairline cracks on the touchscreens of the Surface Laptop 3, and have insisted that the things weren't dropped, bashed or otherwise interfered with, other than the usual stroking of the glass.

A Microsoft agent in the company's forums told a customer, who had spanked the best part of a years' savings on a 13.5-inch matte black model only to find the fracture shortly after setting the thing up, that: "Physical damage do[es] not happen if there is no external force."

The agent went on to say that a Surface Laptop 3 that is covered by Microsoft Complete (the company's take on insuring its pricey hardware) could be swapped under an accidental damage claim.

Another user who had not paid for the extended warranty was told to be prepared to stump up an eye-watering $700 to get the thing fixed.

To make matters worse, it seems that the replacements may suffer from the same problem. One customer, having had a Surface Laptop 3 swapped for free, found the screen of the new device had cracked again within a mere two weeks.

Nobody's fingers can be that buttery, surely?

At last year's launch of the laptop, Surface supremo Panos Panay told the audience: "There's always a rubber bumper here on any metal laptop you've picked up and the reason is because when you close it you want to protect the screen."

However, Panay went on to say that the "relentless nature in the Surface team to make sure every single detail is thought through" meant that such fripperies weren't required.

Youtube Video

We're sure that relentless nature extended to making sure the screen didn't crack after a few open-and-close events.

Sadly, while the Laptop 3 is one of the most repairable in the Surface line in recent times, the display was still a challenge and the iFixit crew (correctly as it turned out) warned that the display would need to be replaced as an "expensive" complete unit.

We've asked Microsoft for comment on the issue, but have yet to receive a response. Historically, the Surface line has suffered the odd issue or two. For example, battery problems with the Surface Pro 3 and flaky firmware updates leaving Surface Pro 4 devices in a state of FUBAR.

We will update this piece should the Surface vendor respond. ®

Updated at 14:18 on 19 February 2020 to add

The Surface-maker told The Register: "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."

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