Microsoft admits Surface keyboard splitting problem

Microsoft admits Surface keyboard splitting problem

Summary: A 'small number' of Microsoft Surface customers have found a split in the Touch Cover keyboard despite having them for under two weeks.


Some early adopters of Microsoft's Surface RT tablet have reported their Touch Cover keyboard splitting at the point where it connects to the device.

The issue has occurred despite the tablets only being on sale two weeks, and some users have taken to the Surface forums to complain about the split.

"My Touch Cover, in the middle at the join to the screen, is peeling. Like the top layer has come loose and is ruffling up," a user by the name of 'Br1an_G' wrote last week.

Touch Cover splitting on Surface tablet
Twitter user Julien Manici captured splitting on his Touch Cover. Image: Julien Manici

Since then, other users have complained of the same issue occurring in the same place, as well as other problems with the Microsoft logo printed on the tablet.

"Right in the middle on the seam it tore open, and pretty quickly too," 'whyjoe' wrote on the Surface Forum. "On another note, that Microsoft logo on the back is certainly not etched or painted on very well. Mine is already rubbing off."

Others on the forum suggested that the problem may not be present in the black Touch Type keyboard as it has a different material on the bottom. ZDNet's Matt Baxter-Reynolds, whose keyboard suffered the splitting, also noted that the Touch Cover has a ridge where the ribbon connector is that isn't present on the Type Cover.

Microsoft acknowledged the issue in a statement sent to ZDNet on Friday.

"Microsoft makes every effort to ensure our customers receive a high quality product. We are in active contact with our Customer Support operations and are aware of a small number of instances of material separation," the spokeswoman said.

Customers with any concerns about their keyboard are advised by Microsoft to contact customer support with their queries.

Image credit: Julien Manici

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility, Tablets, Windows

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Covergate!

    or Keyboardgate. Naw Covergate rolls a little better.
    • its alway is some *gate

      iPad/iPhone and other i* have antennageta, screen gate, mapgate and so on, then why surface can't have own *gate? Just saying...
      • Bill gate

        A Gray
      • Annoyingly Trashy

        "just saying"

        Whoever came up with that saying should be given an award in some way. Darwin something. We already know you are giving your opinion, no need to dumb it down with that phrase.
        • Darwin

          Was awesome dude, "I'm just sayin".
        • I agree!

          Just mindlessly repeating a silly phrase is indicative of the Internet.
          David Underhill
    • Are you admitting this is no big deal?

      After all, that was the big complaint about the -gates is that they were things that everyone made a big deal about that really were very minor.

      Are you willing to go on the record right now as saying this is no big deal?
      • No Toddy...

        The point is that the tech press acted like the sky was falling in, over something which wasn't really a big deal. Shall we see if they act the same over Microsoft's _________gate?

        My guess is not. The press only likes to have a go at the big dog.
        • Good point.

          Thats clear thinking as far as Im concerned.

          Looking at the reality of devices in the past that have had the press try to make a mountain out of a mole hill about them, it appears that for the iPhone for example that ANY of the past problems have not been found to be tryly significant enough to put even a noticable dent in continued sales. A new iPhone comes out and sales are always through the roof; a resounding indication that no problems have been found to actually blacken the eye of Apple for the iPhone.

          It will be interesting to see if the press is continuing to exaggerate on the seriousness of minor problems with all kinds of products.

          Although I have little expectation for many readers/posters around here who simple want to trash whatever product they have no interest in because of who manufactures it.

          Reasonable discussion and response from those kind seems well beyond their grasp.
      • No Todd it is not a big deal until "people" make it one.

        The point is that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I'm not too big to admit that I would like to see a little payback. : )
        • Unlike Apple

          Microsoft isn't denying or ignoring there is a problem. No silly excuses or you're holding it wrong bollocks either.
      • but of course

        How could it be big deal, if we do not care?

        Those who insist to have/use the Surface might care, but it's their problem, not anyone else's.

      • It's a big deal...

        ...just like the other -gates you allude to were a big deal. I would say that in one respect that this is less of a big deal than some of the other -gates in that Microsoft is publicly admitting error on their part and is offering to fix the machines and is devoting resources to handle customer care and they did all of that quickly. Doing that will help them save future business.
        Michael Kelly
      • Are you claiming that Watergate was "no big deal"?

        It certainly sounds as if you are! Richard Nixon would be delighted.
      • Of course is not big deal

        is Microsoft after all, is not like they are not used to rush half baked, defective products to the market. In desktop they got a free pass because of monopoly, so basically it take them 2+ years after launch to sort out the most glaring mistakes, bugs to make their products barely usable.

        But mobile is a different space, and consumers exposed to Apple & Android quality don't accept the Microsoft approach to product development: we are here for the long run, next version we will fix it
      • It's a "hit!"

        Or is it just another "rip"?
    • Maybe they can get Apple...

      to make some of those bands to protect the outer keyboard.
      Arm A. Geddon
      • Oh and one more thing.

        Let's not forget the 32GB Surface with half available disk space. Anyone have a catchy "Gate" name for that one?
        Arm A. Geddon
        • i can throw some out

          storaegate, surfacestoragegate

          not as funny as i though, but still trying.
          Anthony E
        • And yet

          You'll still get more storage with the 500$ model of a Surface than you will with the 500$ iPad.

          Michael Alan Goff