Surface Pro 3 tablets hit yet another bump – i7-equipped units overheat and shut down

Surface Pro 3 tablets equipped with Intel's Core i7 started shipping to customers in the US just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately for the users wanting to use the most powerful version of Microsoft's "laptop killer", the i7-laden slate seems to be prone to overheating even when performing the simplest of tasks.

Well, not all of the units are acting out, but the problem seems to be prominent, especially with devices from lots 1428 and 1429 (you can see your lot printed above your serial number, on the back of the device). At least this is what the inquiring users over at the Microsoft Community forums seem to be speculating, as they are collecting information about the issue in a thread created for this exact purpose. The starter of said thread is now on his 4th Surface Pro 3 tablet, which still has the overheating issue.

Users are reporting the fan switching on and spinning at full speed when the tablet is only used for web browsing or even idling. It eventually overheats and turns off automatically, displaying the thermometer icon until it cools down. Other threads across the community boards list different complaints – overheating while playing games from the Windows Store (which are meant to run flawlessly on the much less powerful ARM processors, so the Core i7 shouldn't even break a sweat), fast battery drain and deformation of the back panel, or any mixture of the symptoms listed above.

The Surface Pro 3 has had a bumpy road so far – it had an infamous glitch with its Wi-Fi connectivity that was fixed around a month after the i5 model first launched. With the new i7's overheating issues, one might start to wonder what exactly Microsoft's QA process is. Here's hoping that Microsoft is on top of that and will fix it fast.

source: Microsoft Answers via WPCentral

Related phones

Surface Pro 3
  • Display 12.0 inches
    1440 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM
  • Storage 512GB, microSDHC
  • OS Windows 8.1 Pro



55. Losdog25

Posts: 29; Member since: Aug 28, 2009

I have the I5 and the first couple weeks I had it , it would heat up and the fan would Come on just on Facebook. After an update last week it somehow fixed the issue. I'm loving this device!

47. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1778; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

No issues with mine so far

43. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

The previous Surfaces' weren't that good in experience, and it doesn't look to be better in the third version.

42. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

InspectorGadget80 please chime in. I know you've been defending the Surface 3 for a very long time now.

37. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The Intel i7 Chips requires the proper heat sink or else lookout-TROUBLE- The surface Pro 3 has a metal case the CPU mount should be attached to make more contact with the metal frame of the Surface pro 3 to dissipate the CPU heat. I have a fast Pentium 4 CPU Desktop and it's heat sink is a 3 inch by 3 inch by 2 inch finned block of Aluminum. A Utube video showed that there is also problems with the circuit that controls it's heat management and this will shut down the Surface Pro 3 i7 model. Hmm It appears Microsoft's trusty old Surface Pro 3 i5 CPU with 256 gigs of storage and 8 gigs of ram is the best to buy for now. Microsoft will fix the Problem if it cannot I trust Microsoft will allow a trade in for a Surface Pro 3 i5 CPU model; What a shame too People really wanted the Surface pro i7 model

29. garlic456

Posts: 251; Member since: Dec 24, 2012

Windows need better "fans" in order to get over this problem.

34. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

+1 The fans they have, are bought and paid for already, problem is increasing that fold.

28. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Nice 1020.

27. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I say that i7 processors are a bit too powerful for tablets and that Microsoft should stick with the i3 & i5.

15. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

Why start making excuses? That's not the point here. We are always looking for more power/efficiency in a smaller/thinner package no? Are you still using the 1st Gen iPhone or the HTC G1? MS messed up and should just fix the issue.

17. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Unfortunately, the only fix that I see is a complete recall.

20. Sid91 unregistered

I have the i5 version so far no issues after a month of use its very quiet and doesn't heat up at all almost like my macbook air {I don't think i have ever heard the air's fan turn on, it has the best laptop heat management system} (I use the surface 3 when travelling mostly and air as my main laptop) so i think its the i7 processor. FYI I use both laptops mostly for office use and browsing i havent used any heavy software and occasionaly i will use them for watching movies or syncing my other mobile devices

24. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

And why you are not a CEO of any tech company that is in charge of devices such as these. It is called a warranty, make sure the warranty unit is sent out without issue, problem solved.

26. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I agree with GreekGeek. The right thing to do is for Microsoft to recall at least all the i7 models. Their design seems to be flawed. A warranty can't fix a flawed design.

33. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Yup, not his job to bury issues, yours is to help cover them up>?

49. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Cover what up? I am so lost, did I hurt you somehow? Did my positive wp and win8 experiences kill a child of yours, or ruin your dream of becoming an Android lover and make a droid child? No company will ever recall an entire line of product, they will replace it under warranty, and in some cases extend it like the 360 was extended.

13. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

meh this whole trend thing is something I don't understand. "I want a laptop or smaller that can do EVERYTHING and is SUPER POWERFUL, and that I cannot really upgrade that much, and after a few years it will be slightly slower then what I now want so now I need to get another and will complain about that." Laptops, use them when needed for what you need to, you want heavy work? gaming? get a freaking tower pc, with proper components and such, you can upgrade it as you want and everything if any one part becomes too slow or breaks down, unlike laptops and smaller devices. Sure, we are nearing a time where we can have powerful tablets and such, but really? what things do you need it to do that you couldn't wait with until you get home to your tower pc? really don't understand, someone explain to me what you 'need' that much power for on the go.

32. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

MSI Ghost or a Razr laptop, quite capable laptops that do it all. Though they are not built by or for MS. MS browsers an word need a tower PC that is plugged into the mains to hide its energy costs to run it and give room to the equipment inside so it don't fry surfing the web with IE.

56. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

that is partially my point, if you need something that needs more power, use a tower pc, they don't really use that much, but of course compared to laptops and tables they do. But the performance also scales accordingly, that is why I never understood people that need the supercharged tablets/laptops thing, they get quickly outdated in terms of the stuff that is power hungry, and then you need to buy a new to run the 'top of the line' stuff. laptops/tablets are more then powerful even without the latest and greatest cpu to run office related stuff or whatever else work/school/business related stuff you need. I mean most of those things take relatively no real power.

11. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

and they wonder why wp phones can't go any further!!

9. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Here it is, nightmares galore..... 99 percent of them unsatisfied customers complaining of heat and fan noise (both excessive) Dang it, I would like to see the shills comment on this

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

286 comments with back and forth. Your saying MS has only sold 200 units so far? Shills is people that don't know how to do math. Unless you have access to stats that us shills do not. As stated, probably a 'lot #' issue and not the entire device range.

31. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

They are dying on many fronts, this is their last frontier if WP doesn't hold up, other then enterprise they will be nothing more then a footnote in history twenty years from now. MS, WP, IE, all have issues and or just suck like KIN, You do remember that inbred garbage don't you, how about M.E. as well.. they throw crap an expect you the user to deal with it.

51. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"286 comments with back and forth. Your saying MS has only sold 200 units so far?" Who knows? Maybe the other units that Microsoft sold with the i7 melted so badly that the owners can't get on the Internet? Or maybe for some, the fan's jet engine like noise scared the owner's young kids and he or she simply put the Surface 3 out in the trash or is selling it on eBay? Microsoft has been peddling crap hardware for a long time. It is not surprising at all that they have problems. Nobody works hard at Microsoft or even cares about quality. It's all game of thrones for better executive positions and more perks.

25. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I am wondering if Microsoft can be sued for fraud. They have paid for so many positive Surface 3 "reviews" and their shills have posted so many fake positive experiences of Microsoft products, including Surface 3. These actions collectively represent a "conspiracy to commit fraud" and IMO Microsoft should face felony fraud charges.

36. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

If that could be proved, MS would be TEEETS up. They better bury this incident well.

8. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

The fan will eventually gather dust and lint, can the user just simply unscrew the back of the tablet and clean it? Probably Not That'll be $50 for the service fee sir!

44. tasior

Posts: 265; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

After reading the link below, I wouldn't be surprised, if they wouldn't service it at all... I'd rather expect something like Apple and it's batteries answer: Sorry it's time for You to buy a new device...

7. droopyar

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

Strange case, i was supposed to buy this device the top of brand, but overheating is the worst problem on laptops. I have to sell my HP laptop for this problem. So, until Microsoft not resolve this i will NOT buy surface 3

6. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I despise how browsers of all sorts when viewing web pages needs so many cpu cycles. Truly one of the largest consumers of mobile an stationary power, just to surf the web. This area needs sudden attention before any other imo. Poor coding is killing machines, batteries an requires more horsepower to handle all the utter net garbage on sites.

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