The frustrating flicker problem affecting Microsoft Surface Pro 4 was finally confirmed by the company, with the promise of replacement tablets for those affected. The problem with the 2-in-1 product began to widen at the beginning of the year as owners complained that their Windows computer had shown unpredictable behavior – just outside the Microsoft warranty.
The flicker affects the text on the tablet, shaking the graphics and effectively rendering the screen unusable. Both brand new and outdated models were found to illustrate the problem. In February, some owners started a petition asking Microsoft to tackle the problem, even though the company did not know exactly what that might do.
That changed this week. In a new support document titled "Surface Pro 4 screen flicker," Microsoft confirms that "a small percentage of Surface Pro 4 devices have screen flicker that can not be resolved with a firmware or driver update."
Those experiencing the problem are entitled to replace the Surface Pro 4 for up to three years from the date of purchase. Microsoft says the replacement will be an outdated unit. Both consumers and commercial customers can take advantage of the new replacement process.
To actually apply, Microsoft initially suggests installing all relevant Surface and Windows updates. This is probably something that those who have experienced the flicker have already tried. After that, a Microsoft support agent will determine if the 2-in-1
Because Microsoft is doing a full replacement, you will receive a completely blank Surface Pro 4. Once you send a Surface back to the Microsoft Service Center, you should back up the computer first – unless you are sure that everything is you need to be stored in the cloud. Microsoft says it will deliver the replacement tablet when it receives the failed tablet, a process that usually takes 5-8 business days.
If you've already paid a fee outside the Screen Flicker Repair Warranty, Microsoft claims that a refund will be offered for that charge. You should contact customer support to process it.