Surface Laptop 3 screens are cracking for no reason — and Microsoft is making users pay

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Microsoft is now investigating reports from multiple Surface Laptop 3 customers who say the screens of their laptops spontaneously cracked during everyday use. 

Several owners of the new premium laptop have taken to Reddit and Microsoft's forums to report hairline cracks in the screen that appeared spontaneously. Microsoft has asked most of those customers to pay for repairs out-of-pocket, however, the company is now acknowledging the potential of a more widespread quality control problem. 

"I have the same problem. Micro crack appeared in the right hand side of my Laptop 3. No damage caused by me," one forum member wrote. "There is another thread on this forum describing the same issue (can't post the link....) from several other people...There appears to be a design and/or manufacturing defect." 

"Same problem here. I never ever had a cracked display in any phone of [sic] laptop the last 20 years. And with my new surface laptop 3 I had spontaneously a crack in one month. I must pay 560,- euro for a replacement within the warranty period," another user wrote. 

In rare cases, users have gotten Microsoft to agree to replace the screen without cost. However, most of the time, reps are telling furious Surface owners that it's on them to expense repairs. 

ZDNet reached out to Microsoft and got the following response: 

"A limited number of Surface Laptop customers have contacted Microsoft and have reported screens that have cracked through no fault of their own. We are evaluating the situation and investigating the root cause of the claims." 

Microsoft began shipping the Surface Laptop 3 at the end of October, so it's still pretty early in the device's life cycle. That said, only a fraction of customers have come forward with spontaneously cracked screens, so the problem doesn't seem widespread enough to warrant a recall. 

The Surface Laptop 3 is an excellent laptop, particularly the 15-inch Intel model and the 13.5-inch version. But if you don't want to take any chances, then some of the best laptops make for great alternatives to the Surface Laptop 3. 

We'll keep close track of the situation and update you with any additional information as it arrives. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.