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30 day is all it took to break the glass


Active Member
That doesn't surprise me.

Stress concentration are well known. A hole in a structure creates stress concentration just by its geometry. A square hole is the worse, a round hole is better.

The surface of the hole is microscopically not perfectly smooth. It has a lot of small cracks.

If one of these cracks is longer than a critical value, the crack will propagate if the stress reaches a critical value. If there is an initial stress concentration, the propagation will occure even easier.

Holding the SP3 around the hole, i.e. applying a pressure that will be combined to the initial residual stress field, will propagate a critical crack as soon as the critical stress is reached.

Microsoft is to blame here because they must be able to control the critical cracks in there products.

That is what is done with planes, brake disks, and many other very sensitive structures. And it works perfectly.

Picture of the Comet III aiplane that had square windows.


Another one from a disc coupling part:


A quick FEA modelling result:



New Member
This is all very unfortunate. The SP3 is to my mind the best product Microsoft has ever produced (OK, windows 2000) and the best tablet by far. A giant, with an Achilles heel.


Nice sketch, are you an artist?

But this position is really bad for the SP3.
You get a pressure of about five till ten times the weight of the SP3 and this is really really bad for a very thin and prestressed glass .

Hm, MS didn’t tell you “don’t hold it that way”.
Big question for lawyers: who is responsible for such a situation?


Well-Known Member
I know you are all serious about the problem but I'm mildly amused. I'm on staff on several tablet forums and everyone on all those forums, with dozens of manufacturers, has the same complaint about broken glass and digitizers, and everyone blames the manufacturer. It's like there's an echo here. Calling it a manufacturing defect is a little far out.

I have owned several of those same tablets and the only one with a broken screen was one I dropped on concrete, on the corner of the tablet, however the nature of tablets means the scrreens get used/handled more and in different ways from a standard monitor, and most of those don't have glass screens. Even if they did they don't get handled like a tablet.


Active Member
The SP3 has a few special challenges in this area that are not present in many other phones and tablets. First it is still on the heavy side for a tablet and in conjunction with the increased size results in greater stress when gripped from the edges. Finally, the thinner glass "compromised" by holes increases the risk of cracking. To compound the issue, the microphone hole seems to be precisely located where one might hold the device in portrait mode. I do not recall reading any accounts of the SP2 glass breaking from normal usage. While the SP2 is heavier, the glass is also thicker and there are no holes to compromise the glass.

I think that using a glass screen protector might help mitigate the risk since it would distribute the load of any pressure applied to the screen.


New Member
I'm not certain it was a manufacturing defect at all. It may be simply a weakness in the design that my usage exposed. I tend to think that handling the SP3 the way I did...separating it from the keyboard by grabbing the top of the tablet...and the force I suspect I used time and time again to do so probably was not the best.

With the maroo folio on it and because I've been more careful, the damned this performs like the bomb. There are a few niggly things (pen disconnects, OneNote editing the same document in Metro and Desktop causes corruption, some limited wireless connections issues) which I struggle with but the fact is, because I speak so highly of it my firm has added 5 more SP3's for different users.

Arizona Willie

Active Member
I have the Surface Pro 1 128 GB and I hold it like that all the time and haven't had a problem so far.

However, I < will > try to avoid grabbing it like that in the future --- just in case.

But the SP1 seems to have been built sturdier ( that's why there are so many fewer problems reported with it, probably ) and it is, of course, heavier too.

I think Microsoft was so excited over the response to the SP1 that they rushed into production on the SP2 and SP3 and cut corners to increase profit too ( American companies ALWAYS have to increase profit --- can't be satisfied making profits ... nope ... got to have MORE MORE MORE MORE ).