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Microsoft Responds to Surface 2 Overheating Issue

By - Source: WinBeta | B 17 comments

Microsoft plans to release an update to fix unnecessary screen dimming.

Having trouble with the screen on your Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 dimming for seemingly no reason? You’re not the only one, and Microsoft is reportedly working on a fix to resolve the problem. When this fix will be released is unknown at this point, but expect it to be a part of Patch Tuesday in the near future.

The screen dimming problem seems to stem from long use of graphic intensive applications like gaming. "I have been using my Surface 2 for a week now and everything has been great except when I play Halo: Spartan Assault. The back gets pretty hot while playing (which I don't mind) but then my Surface automatically dims the screen to the lowest level. I have to pause and wait for the Surface to cool down before playing again," states one Surface 2 owner.

Many owners complain of screen dimming when using an Xbox controller, assuming that because of a lack of touch input, the screen automatically goes into power saving mode. Others believe that their Surface 2 unit is merely defective, but that’s not the case at all. Microsoft blames the problem on overheating, and calls the dimming "unnecessary".

"Surface devices may dim the screen as thermal temperatures rise from extended, high CPU intensive activities-- like gaming.  In some scenarios this does not appear necessary. Our top priority is for customers to have the best possible experience on their Surface device.  We’re working on a tuning update that will remove this unnecessary dimming event. You can expect this update in an upcoming Windows Update package," Microsoft forum moderator Steven B. explained.

"In the meantime allow the Surface to cool down for a minute or so in order to return the screen to previous brightness levels," Steven B. added.

The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 have been on the market for several weeks, the former sporting a Tegra 4 chip and Windows RT 8.1 and the latter featuring Intel’s Core i5-4200U “Haswell” processor and Windows 8.1. The ARM-based Surface 2 has a starting price of $449 and the x86-based Surface Pro 2 has a starting price of $899.

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  • -8 Hide
    dextermat , November 26, 2013 11:43 AM
    quality control = 0....
  • 0 Hide
    BeenThere2 , November 26, 2013 12:10 PM
    XboxOne , Surface 2 reported of overheating i see a trend here.
  • 2 Hide
    cburke82 , November 26, 2013 12:12 PM
    I have a Surface Pro 1 and it will get vary hot while gaming or watching a movie. I doesnt dim and still works fine but I was surprised at just how hot it gets.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , November 26, 2013 1:49 PM
    My phone does the same thing; it will limit the screen brightness due to thermal conditions. I'm not excusing their design, but let's face the facts; most people aren't going to be using their tablets for real gaming, so why make thermal design considerations that may have a very expensive solution for what probably amounts to less than a fraction of a percent of the consumer base?
  • -1 Hide
    agnickolov , November 26, 2013 3:32 PM
    @cburke82: I also have Surface Pro (gen1) and while it doesn't dim to the lowest level, its brightness occasionally fluctuates for no apparent reason. IIRC this started after I upgraded it to Windows 8.1. And yes, it does get pretty hot (and noticeably humming due to its fan spinning, though that's not loud enough to become bothersome) with games. Remember it has an older Ivy Bridge CPU that's not as power efficient as Haswell. This also means the battery only lasts for 2 hours while gaming.
  • 1 Hide
    ClockworkPirate , November 26, 2013 5:02 PM
    @agnickolov: Did you forget to re-disable automatic brightness after installing Windows 8.1? I've always found that it's super flaky on my Surface.
  • 0 Hide
    universal remonster , November 26, 2013 7:44 PM
    Actually, I have seen this happen as well on my Surface Pro 1 during Spartan Assault. Though I noticed it, I never really gave it a second thought as to why it happened. I have had a Win 7 and Win8 phone and both of those have done some crazy screen dimming things over the years, so I didn't even think about it the few times it happened on my Surface. I use a pretty low screen brightness setting on both my phone and tablets during normal use, so it may be why I haven't noticed it more often.

    Interesting... I wonder if the fix will also apply to Surface Pro 1's... I'll keep my eyes open for it. Now that it's been mentioned and brought to my attention, I'll probably see it more often =(
  • 1 Hide
    m32 , November 26, 2013 9:25 PM
    Tegra F's Microsoft again......
  • 2 Hide
    Darkk , November 26, 2013 11:02 PM
    Surprised Microsoft didn't catch this during beta testing... Oh wait...never mind..you are the beta testers.
  • -1 Hide
    johnnyb105 , November 27, 2013 3:23 AM
    The haswell is probably a lot hotter then the surface 1 now everyone who owns them are stuck with piss poor quality ..Thanks MS
  • -2 Hide
    nhat11 , November 27, 2013 5:23 AM
    Heat is the main enemy of PC. It's unfortunate MS didn't learn their lesson after the xbox 360
  • 1 Hide
    therogerwilco , November 27, 2013 6:11 AM
    Hooray for screen dimming, good things it's not faulty SSD's or perhaps chargers that like to blow up, or perhaps batteries that overheat, or perhaps the lack of a usb port...
    (ya, suck it Apple lovers, you've had more problems with your gear than the Surface has)

    Either way, I've not seen this with my first or 2nd gen Surface Pro and I've played intense games like The Secret World, CounterStrike, Hitman...
  • -1 Hide
    jamsbong , November 27, 2013 8:32 AM
    expect problems when you choose to buy inferior products.
  • 0 Hide
    therogerwilco , November 27, 2013 8:34 AM
    Quote:
    expect problems when you choose to buy inferior products.


    No doubt, that's why I don't buy anything with Foxconn parts
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , November 27, 2013 9:12 AM
    Quote:
    expect problems when you choose to buy inferior products.


    Yikes... In a world where you cannot find a single major tech company without some serious blemish marring at least marring of their major products, a dimming screen when getting too hot makes a product inferior? Could you tell us who you buy products from, so I can check their records and see what "inferior product" you've dumped money into?

    Issues like this happen. If they CAN fix this with a software update, it's an incredibly minor issue in the grand scheme of things. If they can't fix it with an update, in a world of red/yellow/blue rings of death, exploding batteries, software updates that brick system, "you're holding it wrong"s, and all that jazz, it's still a relatively minor tech issue. Yet another case of blowing something out of proportion because it's MS...

    All that being said, this is a tech problem and, no way around it, MS screwed up. The Surface products tend to be quite solid - just read some reviews. Well constructed, good form, good support, relatively easy to use. Mistakes happen, one happened here, but the line itself tends to be quality.

    As for Wilco... Could you tell us what Chinese sweatshop-labour manufacturer you support that doesn't product "inferior products"? Plenty of Foxconn made stuff goes off without a hitch, and plenty of non-Foxconn stuff has problems when hitting the consumer's hands. Heck, even made in the Western World goods have gads of problems.
  • 0 Hide
    therogerwilco , November 27, 2013 9:28 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    expect problems when you choose to buy inferior products.


    Yikes... In a world where you cannot find a single major tech company without some serious blemish marring at least marring of their major products, a dimming screen when getting too hot makes a product inferior? Could you tell us who you buy products from, so I can check their records and see what "inferior product" you've dumped money into?

    Issues like this happen. If they CAN fix this with a software update, it's an incredibly minor issue in the grand scheme of things. If they can't fix it with an update, in a world of red/yellow/blue rings of death, exploding batteries, software updates that brick system, "you're holding it wrong"s, and all that jazz, it's still a relatively minor tech issue. Yet another case of blowing something out of proportion because it's MS...

    All that being said, this is a tech problem and, no way around it, MS screwed up. The Surface products tend to be quite solid - just read some reviews. Well constructed, good form, good support, relatively easy to use. Mistakes happen, one happened here, but the line itself tends to be quality.

    As for Wilco... Could you tell us what Chinese sweatshop-labour manufacturer you support that doesn't product "inferior products"? Plenty of Foxconn made stuff goes off without a hitch, and plenty of non-Foxconn stuff has problems when hitting the consumer's hands. Heck, even made in the Western World goods have gads of problems.


    That was sarcasm for Apple products :) 

    I just love it when people bash a product, because like you said, EVERY product or company has issues. Apple folks make it sound like they don't ever poo even though there's clear evidence every human does... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , November 27, 2013 9:30 AM
    Ah, apologies. My sarcasm detector came was made by Foxconn :S