Microsoft’s presentations for the Surface RT and Pro computers were all beaming with pride over their VaporMg casing, a material that was lighter and stronger than aluminum with a textured coating that keeps fingerprints away. While all of that is true, it turns out that in some cases this VaporMg also conducts electricity better than it should, to the point that the Surface Pro is shocking some users as they grip the system while it’s charging.
It’s not unusual to experience a static discharge when picking up a metal-wrapped tablet, but it’s fairly unusual for the experience to be constant and only happening when the tablet is charging. Several users have now reported a range of experiences, from a tingling sensation in their fingers to a biting shock. This seems to be happening then they touch the bottom right hand corner of the Surface Pro while it is charging.
The power adapter for the Surface Pro is no slouch, charging the tablet PC with 12 volts at 3.6 amps with a unique magnetic adapter that connects at five different points to ensure a good connection. It’s not something that Microsoft cut corners on, though nor was the Surface for that matter. Microsoft has touted the design — both on the exterior and interior — since the pair of tablets was first announced.
The easiest way to see if your Surface Pro is affected by this is to drag your wrist across the bottom right hand corner of the front and back of the tablet. You can also lift the kickstand and run your fingers along the inside wall of the Surface to feel the shock.
Several Surface Pro owners have found that this will quickly show whether or not the tablet is sharing some electricity with the molten magnesium alloy case. If your Surface Pro is affected, you’ll feel the result immediately, regardless of whether or not you have a cover attached.
Affected users — we have spoken to one to confirm the issue — will find Microsoft willing to help you fix this problem with a new Surface. The company has offered no explanation as to why this is happening or whether you will have the same problem with a replacement Surface Pro, but you can either call or use the Microsoft support website to have a new Surface shipped to you immediately. Once you’ve received the new Surface, just ship them back the faulty unit, and you’ll be good to go.
It’s unclear yet as to how many users are actually affected by this, but Microsoft’s rapid replacement response is a clue that they know about the issue and are addressing it as quickly, and as quietly, as possible.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro may only have been released last week, but iFixit has already torn it apart. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you don’t wanna think about repairing or upgrading this thing, period.
iFixit counted a whole 90 screws that had to be removed to open the Surface Pro up completely as well as a whole bunch of adhesive to boot, eventually forcing it to award the device just 1 out of 10 for repairability. Once within it, they discovered upgrading would be fraught with danger—the SSD, for instance, is perilously close to a number of vital cables which could be easily damaged.
Other than being a tinkerer’s nightmare, there are few surprises lurking within—though, intriguingly for a tablet, two fans are present to cool its guts. So, the main take-home is that even though the Surface Pro masquerades as a tablet-come-laptop, it’s rather more of a tablet when it comes to repairability. Take it apart at your peril. [iFixit via Verge]
A handsome man pulls out a Microsoft Surface Pro from his bag. He’s wearing a well-cut suit (he’s at work). He’s a hipster, but a serious one. While putting the Surface Pro on the table, two attractive women stop their conversation to look at this unknown and remarkable computer. Or is it a tablet? Either way, they’re ready to dance.
But let’s focus on the man’s hand for a second. He takes a stylus from the side of the Surface Pro and stretches out his arm. Then everything goes crazy. It turns out that everyone had a Surface Pro, starting with the two women who were wondering what the Surface Pro was a few seconds before. They’re hooked. Everyone just took ketamine and they’re ready to roll.
Everybody starts dancing around the conference-room table. They all circle a chart on an Excel spreadsheet using the stylus. Is the meeting over? Because everyone is standing up now. Apparently it’s not over, because in the next shot, everybody is still sitting. Doesn’t matter. Got Excel.
Oh, but the main character is now dancing on his knees in the middle of the table, Surface Pro in hand. But wait, two new characters enter the conference room! It’s the sourpuss boss. What in tarnation? Are his employees insane? No, man, he’s here to drop the break. More dancing, more drawing on an Excel spreadsheet.
The main character is back, still dancing with the Surface Pro on the conference table. Now he’s using it over his head. Maybe he has a Wi-Fi-coverage or screen-glare issue.
We finally jump back to the first shot. The handsome man is sitting at his chair in front of his Surface Pro, ready for the hypothetical meeting that we just experienced. “Introducing Surface Pro.”
Once again, Microsoft produced a TV ad that doesn’t show much of the product or its intended uses, which is very reminiscent of the Surface RT ad. Sure, it’s full of energy and Excel spreadsheets, but the Surface Pro is a newcomer. You have to educate the viewers, show them what they can achieve with a Surface Pro. Circling Excel spreadsheets and plugging in a microphone are not enough. And what was with the beat-boxing?
Doesn’t matter, had dubstep.
You can’t buy one just yet, but if you mosey on over to your neighborhood Microsoft store, there’s a chance you might be able to put your greasy paws all over a Microsoft Surface Pro, what the Surface should have been from the get-go.
According to reports by Engadget, the new devices are already being displayed as demo units at some stores, ahead of the February 9th launch date, but there’s no reliable way to index which stores or what ones it’ll be coming to early. It’ll be sold at Best Buy and Staples and Microsoft Stores at launch though, so any of those are fair game. [Engadget]