Driver fix for Surface Pro 2017 hibernation seems to work; now, about that backlight bleed

Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro appears to have kicked the narcolepsy problem, but many customers still aren’t happy

microsoft surface pro 4 display detail
Credit: Peter Ruecktenwald

Two weeks ago, I wrote about an ongoing problem with the new Surface Pro, commonly called Surface Pro 2017. Many customers found that their machines suddenly turned off—went into hibernation for no apparent reason, sometimes swallowing data in the process. After hemming and hawing about it for a few weeks, Microsoft released a new driver on July 14. Reports I’ve seen say the new driver works.

Now, on to the next problem.

On July 8, poster Surface Guy on the Microsoft Answers forum lamented:

My new Surface Pro 2017 core i7 8GB (lot 1722) has backlight bleed on the whole bottom edge and left side of the screen. You don't normally notice it in landscape mode because the black taskbar hides it, but if you read a white background fullscreen article in portrait mode it's pretty obvious with one side of the screen being brighter than the other side. This light bleed is most noticeable in the colours blue and white and harder to see in black colours (which are usually used in backlight bleed tests).

Looking at the photos on the Answers forum post, it’s easy to see the bleeding.

Surface Guy links to 13 different Reddit threads on the same topic. In one, poster CheerfulMike narrows it down:

Open OneNote or Google's home page and hold the Surface in portrait. That's when you'll see whether you want to keep it or not. No one really looks at solid color screens except as you're showing, during boot or updates. So for me, the real test was discoloration in portrait (since the task bar hides it in landscape) and lots of them have a back light bleed that then makes a smudgy black shadow on white pages in portrait. Try it and see what you think.

At the end of the day, it's about what you're willing to accept for the price you paid. For some, it's absolutely unacceptable and for others it's something they can overlook. Totally up to you.

In a private email, reader SG added a directed diatribe:

They have sold a premium product with the display quality of a cheap tablet. Don't say it's a common issue in IPS displays because in the current Surface Pro 4 it's not visible at all compared to this fiasco in all the Surface Pro 2017 models. You can't even exchange it because your exchanged model would have the backlight bleed as well!

This isn't a Surface Lemon, it's a BRICK!

Judging by the back-and-forth discussions online, it’s likely that there’s some variation in the amount of bleed—on some machines, with some apps, it’s quite noticeable. On other machines, and for other customers, it’s not a big deal.

You've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya?

Discussion continues on the AskWoody Lounge.
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