My name is Nacef Guess, and this is my story.

I bought my Surface Pro 4 (i5, 4GB Ram, 128 GB) on Black Friday of 2015. I loved it! It really is a great device. Initially, I wanted a MacBook, however, I thought that, as a student, I would profit more by replacing all my textbooks and notebooks with this lightweight computer. I was really happy with it, even with the plethora of bugs that it shipped with. So what if the batter life isn’t long and it heats up? I had just reduced a 10 lbs bookbag to a 3 lbs one. Ironically, I did have the flickering issue for about a month after getting it, but it disappeared with updates. So I initially attributed it to some software issues. However, recently, literally this week, I began noticing the issue again. I once again, just thought it was some software issue; I had just updated. How very wrong I was. I contacted Microsoft chat agents and sat through 4 of them rolling back and updating my graphics drivers, changing boot programs, running powershell scripts, and even reinstalling Windows, but to no change. The problem persisted. Every agent I tried to explain that I had already sat through this and was suspicious it was a hardware issue, simply ignored me and kept trying “fixes” that did nothing. I sat for 4 hours two nights in a row, until I decided to roll back Windows. I left my device alone while I went to go eat. I came back four hours later, and no flickering. Suspicious. The next day I decided to experiment a little. I started playing a game from 2003 to get the fan yelling and the system nice and heated up. Lo and behold, the flickering starts again! I read somewhere that if you boot into the bios settings and there is flickering, then it must be a hardware issue, and there it was, the bios page with flickering.

I think the most frustrating thing isn’t the fact that it makes my device basically unreadable, it’s the flagrant disregard for this issue by Microsoft. There is a thread a thousand pages long with people complaining of the same thing without a single reply from Microsoft trying to mitigate the issue. Also, the fact that these issues seem to crop up about a year after launch when the warranty ends is suspicious too. Even if you were to replace your device, it would just be a temporary fix, as the “new device” will ultimately fail soon too.

Here are pictures of the shaking, ironically while Microsoft support staff “fix” it.

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