The multi-coloured, mult-function Touch Cover is without doubt the Surface tablet's hero feature – even if Microsoft is (mistakenly, many people think) treating it as an add-on extra rather than an intrinsic part of the deal.
Either way, it won't be too pleased to hear numerous early adopters of the Windows 8 tablet report various audio problems and that their Touch Cover is starting to split within days of them starting to use it.
As you'd expect, the problems first came to light on the Surface Forums, where a number of users reported that their Touch Cover had started to split along the seam where it attaches magnetically to the Surface itself.
The Verge, meanwhile, is reporting "random muting and audio stuttering" issues on several Surfaces, including their official review sample, and have reported them to Microsoft.
Whether there's a link between the audio issues and the splitting cover remains to be seen, but it seems Microsoft's approach at this stage is simply to swap faulty units for new covers should there be an official retail outlet in the area.
That would suggest that the problem is isolated to a specific batch, but it's hard to see how that could be the case.
Instead, it looks more likely that the seam is loosening when the Touch Cover is used in a certain way. As one forum user commented:
“I believe the seam can loosen easily if it's bent back and you let the Surface rest on your lap (for example, when you're reclining and reading something). It's best to disconnect the keyboard when the Surface is being used in this scenario,” they advise.
Yet that detracts from the any-way-you-like flexibility that is a core part of Microsoft's sales pitch for the Touch Cover in the first place. If anything, the policy of replacing faulty units seems more like an effort to buy some time until a more definitive verdict is reached.
Welcome to the mobile hardware world, Microsoft.
Via The Guardian