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Surface Book suffers from launch day bugs

Within hours of Microsoft's new Surface Book landing in the hands of customers I began seeing reports of serious bugs affecting Microsoft's new flagship device, the Surface Book.

Within hours of Microsoft's new Surface Book landing in the hands of customers I began seeing reports of serious bugs and issues affecting Microsoft's new flagship device.

While many are happy with their new purchase, there is no shortage of tales of woe. And the bugs are many and varied, and solutions for most of these - other than wait or send the machine back to Microsoft for replacement or refund - are thin on the ground.

Note that Microsoft doesn't seem to have set up an official support forum for the Surface Book as of yet, so many of these reports are coming via third-party sources.

Here are some of the issues affecting the Surface Book as reported by new owners:

  • Dead on arrival (or badly limping on arrival) Surface Books
  • Random crashes and lockups
  • Surface Book systems working fine until they're updated, following which they fail to load
  • Surface Book systems failing to boot when in the dock
  • Detaching the Surface Book from the dock results in an error (the most common being related to SearchUI)
  • Weird screen color temperature issue when scrolling web pages (see video below)
  • Random display driver errors displayed every 10 to 20 minutes
  • Random trackpad freezes

There are also shortcomings related to the hardware itself:

  • Problems physically connecting/disconnecting the dock, with some users ending up with the screen half-disconnected
  • A screen wobble due to a weight imbalance between the screen and keyboard
  • No ambient light sensor controlling the brightness of the backlit keys, something that most laptops - especially premium models - have these days
  • No quad-core CPU option for those wanting more power
  • Concerns about the strength of the hinge

Bugs are normal early on in a product's lifecycle, and I'm sure that many of these issues will be sorted out over the coming months. Remember also that the Surface Book is a new class of device, so you're also getting to experience all those first-gen bugs and issue.

However, for some of those who put down a few thousand dollars of their hard-earned cash to be one of the first to own a Surface Book, the experience has been far from smooth.

Several people have asked me whether I'm considering buying a Surface Book since I'm in the market for a mobile Windows-based system for a number of projects I have on the go. The answer is "no," and that's down to the fact that I try my best to avoid first-generation hardware if at all possible because, well, I find that I end up having to spend too much time nursing it as opposed to just using it.

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