Microsoft gets credit for its Surface Pro spawning a new kind of device. It’s because of them that we have tablets with kickstands and keyboards that use a full version of Windows. They are terrific for getting the same work done that you would with a laptop wherever you are. They’re equally great replacements for entertainment tablets. Their design is also a double-edged sword though. It’s easy – maybe too easy – to end up with a broken Surface Pro 4 screen.
Because the Surface Pro 4 is a tablet with a removable keyboard, the front of it is dominated by a 12.3-inch display. While vibrant, that screen isn’t exactly known for taking a beating. There are stories of owners dropping the device on a carpeted floor and having their screen crack. Users report the device sliding off the couch and ending up with a shattered display because the Surface Pro 4 landed at precisely the wrong angle.
Microsoft says that it tested for durability, but the reality is that the Surface Pro 4 is meant to be carried with you all the time. The company can’t test for every scenario. There’s no way it can guarantee everyone that buys one that they won’t end up with a broken Surface Pro 4 screen when they drop their device.
Don’t be caught unprepared if this should happen to you. Here’s what to do if you have a broken Surface Pro 4 screen.
What to Do Now That You Have a Broken Surface Pro 4 Screen
First, don’t panic and don’t beat yourself up about breaking your device. The truth is that any piece of mobile technology these days can break. Even if you had a case on your device, there’s a chance your display could have still broken.
Thanks to the Surface Pro 4’s DisplayPort , there are ways that you can still use your device. Once you’ve connected the device to your monitor or television, press the Windows key and the letter P on your keyboard at the same time. Then press the down arrow three times and press enter. This will force your Surface Pro 4 to output only to the attached display. You can choose to continue using your device as a sort-of desktop PC this way if you’d like to wait on a screen repair.
It’s a good idea to take this opportunity to back up any photos, videos, music and documents that you might have on the device. You’ll want copies of your files regardless of how you choose to get your broken Surface Pro 4 screen repaired.
Using Insurance to Fix Your Broken Surface Pro 4 Screen
If you purchase insurance with your Surface Pro 4, you won’t have to pay anything to get going again. It will take some time though, and the process can be onerous, depending on what company you purchased your warranty from.
Many retailers like Best Buy and Staples offer their own in-store insurance plans. Square Trade gets the most billing, probably because of its hassle-free process. You file your claim online, then send your device into their repair center. As the Surface Pro 4 is hard to repair, they’ll usually send you a check for the full value of your device.
Of course, Microsoft offers its own insurance plan called Microsoft Complete. Microsoft Complete covers drops and spills. As such, users with those plans can expect a hassle free process too. Claims can be filed online here or at one of the many Microsoft Stores scattered across the world.
Microsoft Complete coverage is only available for the first 45 days after your purchase. You can’t have already have a broken Surface Pro 4 screen, then decide to add the coverage. Microsoft requires you to bring in the device for inspection when it wasn’t purchased at one of its stores.
Paying to Repair Your Broken Surface Pro 4 Screen
When you don’t have insurance, fixing your broken Surface Pro 4 screen is going to get very complicated or very expensive.
Even though you do not have insurance on your Surface Pro 4, Microsoft will allow you to process, what they call, an Out of Warranty Service Order. It’s considered an out of warranty repair because the standard Surface Pro 4 warranty doesn’t offer accident protection and you didn’t purchase Microsoft Complete coverage. You hand over your damaged Surface Pro 4, and Microsoft will hand you a fresh Surface Pro 4. You can start this process online, or in-store. If you’re in a rush, in-store is your best option.
To be clear, you want to back up your data before doing this because the Microsoft Store doesn’t always hand you back your original device with a repaired display. Instead, it’ll give you a replacement.
If you’re comfortable handing over your device, this is your best option by far. Microsoft charges $450 for an Out of Warranty Service Order though, so it’s not your cheapest option. You can begin the process by opening a service request here.
Fixing Your Screen
Theoretically, your cheapest option is to repair the display yourself. eBay has plenty of resellers offering the Surface Pro 4’s display assembly for around $150. You want to be sure that you have the NTrig board that the screen relies on for Surface Pen input.
You’ll need the right tools to remove the display yourself. iFixit has a walkthrough and sells the necessary tools, but you really only want to attempt this if you have some experience with computer repair. If your repair job should fail, you’ve wasted a lot of money on a replacement part and tools, but still have a broken device.
Good luck repairing your broken Surface Pro 4 Screen.