Microsoft will replace your Surface Pro 4 if it was affected by ‘Flickergate’

Microsoft’s Surface line of hardware has created entirely new categories of PCs, such as the detachable tablet 2-in-1 that’s spawned a market of copycats, as well as the Surface Book with its tear-off display. Users love the machines for their performance, innovation, and overall designs — but many have suffered a host of issues surrounding battery life, sleep, and lately, flickering screens.

The company has worked hard to fix Surface issues, and even went so far as to apologize for some of the problems with a promise to do better. But was it sufficient? Consumer Reports thought Microsoft wasn’t doing enough, and the publication refused to endorse the Surface line last fall as a result. More recently, a group of Surface Pro 4 users banded together to get Microsoft’s attention over a specific issue, namely display flicker,  creating a site dubbed Flickergate.com to highlight the problem.

Flickergate has done its job.

Microsoft announced on Friday that it will offer replacement Surface Pro 4s to anyone whose device is affected by screen flickering. Users will have three years from the original purchase date to exchange their Surface Pro 4. Microsoft said it should take five to eight business days for customers to receive their new devices. For more information, here’s how to reach the company’s customer service department.

If you head over to the Flickergate site, you’ll find numerous accounts of users whose Surface Pro 4 displays have exhibited the same problem. Visit the Reddit Surface subgroup and you’ll find more threads on the subject. Apparently, when the displays reach a certain high temperature, they start to flicker and become unusable. There are a number of videos demonstrating the problem, and we’ve included just one of them at the top of this story.

Adding insult to injury, the issue apparently often occurs after the original manufacturer’s warranty has ended, and Microsoft’s charge for replacing these machines is a hefty $800. Even worse, whether a machine is replaced within the warranty period or after the fee is paid, the replacement units eventually start suffering the same problem.

We reached out to Microsoft for a statement, and received the following statement from a spokesperson:

“We are aware that some customers have experienced a screen flicker on Surface Pro 4 and are monitoring the situation closely. Customers impacted by this should contact Microsoft support.”

So far, thousands of users have apparently complained of the issue. According to Flickergate.com, that number has now exceeded 2,000. If you’d like to lend your voice to the cause, you can click on the “Help us in raising our voice” button on the site to send a message of support and provide details of your similar issue.

Updated on May 12: Added information regarding Microsoft’s replacement program.

Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?
Computing

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Everything you need to know

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, this is a small update. If you've been eyeing a Surface Pro, you may want to wait…
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Computing

These are the worst passwords of 2018. Is yours on this list?

Do you use a bad password that makes your online accounts easy to break into? SplashData has compiled a list of the top 100 worst passwords for 2018 and there are quite a few listings that were carryovers from prior lists.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Microsoft could split up search and Cortana in the next Windows 10 release

In the latest Insider preview build, Microsoft is exploring ways to split up Cortana and search on Windows 10. If Microsoft moves ahead with this change, we could see separate search and Cortana options in the Spring 2019 Update.
Computing

Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Mining cryptocurrency for Razer Silver isn’t worth your computing power

Gaming peripheral maker Razer launched a cryptocurrency mining scheme called SoftMiner. You use its software to mine and in return, you get Razer Silver which you can use to buy Razer gear.
Computing

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering changing up your mouse for something ergonomic. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Computing

Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier module is designed to give robots better brains

Nvidia's pricey Jetson AGX Xavier might help drive the next generation of smart robots. Nvidia hopes that developers will use its new Xavier module to power AI-driven machines like delivery drones and robots used in manufacturing.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

Leaked AMD Ryzen 3000 mobile benchmarks look fit for thin, low-power laptops

AMD is poised to give Intel a run for its money in the ultra-low-power processor space for laptops. Leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen 3000 APU series show the AMD processor besting Intel's Core i7 Y series in multicore performance.