Some Surface Pro 4 owners put their slate in the ice box to stop screen from flickering



A small number of Surface Pro 4 owners are having trouble with flickering screens. Given the name Flickergate by some, the problem has been discussed on Microsoft's support forums by those unfortunate enough to find themselves with one of the tablets exhibiting this behavior. The big problem for these owners (said to include at least 1,600 people), is that their expensive slate is no longer covered by the warranty.

Microsoft says that it is aware of the issue, but so far the gang in Redmond is only closely monitoring the situation. Since the flickering usually takes place when the tablet is hot, some Surface Pro 4 owners have started putting their tablet in the ice box (freezer) in order to cool it down. One owner says that for every 10 minutes in the freezer, he gets 30-minutes of flicker-free use of his Surface Pro 4.


Some have paid $800 to Microsoft for an out-of-warranty exchange. And because the problem affects less than 1% of the units currently active, the company has no real incentive to take care of the matter. Last year, Consumer Reports removed its recommended rating on Surface devices including the Surface Pro tablet and the Surface Book. The magazine said that the line suffers from "poor predicted reliability." Complaints from users included units shutting down randomly, unresponsive touchscreens, and devices freezing up. Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay wrote an internal memo in which he blasted Consumer Reports, and placed the blame for the problems squarely on Intel's Skylake chips.

Those having problems with an out-of-warranty Surface Pro 4 might have to seek relief via the judicial system. Lawyers toiling for Migliaccio & Rathod LLP are said to be investigating battery problems that users of the Surface Pro 3 had to suffer with. While they are receiving complaints about the flickering screen on the Surface Pro 4, a spokesman for the law firm said "We’ve received a number of inquiries over time with other issues beyond the battery issue, beyond flickering. People have a variety of problems, but if we’re looking at problems we’re looking at the common ones." Unfortunately, that doesn't sound good for those with a flickering Surface Pro 4. Still, there are tons of class action attorneys in the Yellow Pages, and LG recently settled a bootlooping suit that gave owners of certain LG handsets a decent financial award.

source: Microsoft via TheVerge

Related phones

Surface Pro 4
  • Display 12.3" 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Core-i7
  • Storage 1000 GB

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10 Comments

1. GreenMan

Posts: 2667; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

They should migrate to Canada.

4. Sania

Posts: 97; Member since: Nov 04, 2017

That looks like artifacting... due to vram overheating. That’s why putting it in a icebox will solve the problem temporarily. The culprit is the bad manufacturing design of the thermal solution which may cause the thermal pad / paste dried up due to excessive heat. Now we know that Surface Pro 4 is defective product.

9. Stormrider

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 30, 2016

Same thing happened to the Xbox 360 that resulted in the infamous Red Ring of Death.

5. Cat97

Posts: 1604; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

No, the number of people having this issue is not small, every company lies like this when such an issue arises.

6. Tommy1960i

Posts: 144; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

I remember doing that to iPhone 3G for wifi antenna

10. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1402; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Wait... What?

12. Sleeplessmedal

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 02, 2018

typical microsoft lol

13. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Panos is following the Microsoft tradition of blaming the messenger. When you put out a tablet that expensive you should stand behind it. Ms has no shame.

14. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

I have an SP4 and so far so good. Microsoft should fix the issue if possible. The issue is likely because they solder the GPU to the board vs using a socket. This has happened to many laptops in the past. The GPU gets to hot under heavy load, the solder melts dislodging the chip. Nvidia and others were sued because of this issue. It is a practice that needs to stop. But it wo nt because everyone is going for the thin factor. Looks over practical.

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