Saturday, February 27, 2016

Microsoft Surface Book serious construction problem

I've been testing Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book since some time and recently I noticed that among many software related problems there is also one, serious in my opinion, design problem that actually can't be fixed until Surface Book 2 is out.

Microsoft is very proud of the hinge mechanism introduced in the Surface Book. They call it "dynamic fulcrum hinge". Indeed, it works and looks great. On a side note, I wish it would allow to rate the screen 360 degree like the Lenovo Yoga series, instead of being "forced" to unplug the screen, rotate it manually and plug back in opposite position.

Anyway, when designing that spectacular hinge, Microsoft missed the fact that the rubber strap underneath the device, that is meant to 1) protect the bottom part from scratches and 2) avoid device from slipping on the desk, is actually useless, because the hinge extends lower than the rubber strap. Just see it yourself.

The light clearance between the surface and the rubber strap means that the strap actually doesn't touch the surface. It's bottom point is higher than the bottom point of the first part of the hinge. That means the body is lifted up a little and in fact, the device abuts on the hinge, not on the rubber strap.

Result? The surface of the MS Surface Book is made of magnesium painted in silver colour. It's not the same as the anodized aluminium that Apple is using for years already, and it's very, very susceptible to scratches. After just few days of using the Surface Book you might discover that your $2.000,00 laptop has a lot of scratches on the bottom side of the hinge.

Of course, some might don't care, but still I consider this to be quite serious design flaw that Microsoft should be ashamed of. And considering all the software related problems on the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, Microsoft should seriously re-think their marketing strategy.

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