Surface Books and the swollen battery problem

[German]Another article about an unpleasant topic: Defective Microsoft Surface Books due to inflating batteries. More and more users of the Surface Books of the first generation have been hit by this issue.


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Surface Books with battery damage

I became aware (again) of the problem again via MVP colleague Barb Bowman. She had picked it up the days at askwoody.com. But there was also this comment on Facebook on Dec. 3, 2019. Barb Bowman is active as a community moderator in the Microsoft Answers forum and quickly notices problems with Surfaces. There are signs that an increasing number of Surface Books devices are suffering damage from inflating batteries. The first reports were already made in March 2018, when a user complained about distorted screens due to bloated batteries:

I now have multiple Surface Books (1st gen) that the batteries in the tablet part are swelling and warping the screen.  My Surface Book can’t even close the lid due to the battery being so large.  My screen is bulging out.

We’ve already retired two Surface Books due to the screens peeling off and I have found 2 more where the screens are starting to curve.

As the user reported, it’s not a single incident, he has several Surface Books from the 1st generation, whose screens were already distorted by inflating batteries. Two devices already had to be retired due to screens becoming detached.

Surface Book mit verzogenem Display (Akku)
(Surface Book with warping screen, Source: MS Answers)

The affected person posted a whole series of photos to show the problem. In the picture above, he placed a ruler on the display. You can see that the ruler protrudes at the ends, i.e. in the middle the display is bulged or warped by the inflated battery. Thus, the device can no longer be close the lid properly.

Barb Bowman has linked in the article at askwoody.com a number of sites on the web where users report the same problems. Microsoft does not comment on this in the Answers forums, except for the answer ‘Contact support’.) But Barb states that Microsoft has probably issued an internal order that devices should be replaced up to 3 years after the purchase. The ugly part of the story: More and more devices falling out of this 3-year rule because they are already older. And it could be that at some point devices with inflating batteries will catch fire because customers continue to use them. Barb Bowman writes that she now sees reports almost every day.


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In general I have the impression, that Microsoft doesn’t really have the Surfaces technology under control. Too often there are major issues are reported with Surface devices. Also for the Surface Pro 4 devices there is no clear Microsoft guideline how to handle hardware issues, as Barb Bowman summarizes here on askwoody.com. Within my blog I have also regularly discussed various battery issues with various Surface models. Such things shouldn’t happen with such expensive devices. 

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