Microsoft responds to overheating on Surface 2 devices - a firmware update is coming

If you recently picked up one of Microsoft’s latest devices, the Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2, you might be experiencing a slight issue with the screen dimming its brightness level when working on CPU intensive activities.

Not to worry though, Microsoft is in the processes of creating and releasing a firmware updates to the units.

High intensive activities such as gaming, are causing the unit to overheat and thus BIOS begins to lower the brightness of the display as reaction to try and cool the unit. There has been some confusion over the issue and some consumers “believed they had a defective unit”. A spokesperson for Microsoft commented on the issue and clarified that the issue is indeed due to an increase of the unit’s internal temperature.

"Surface devices may dim the screen as thermal temperatures rise from extended, high CPU intensive activities-- like gaming.  In some scenarios this does not appear necessary.  Our top priority is for customers to have the best possible experience on their Surface device.  We’re working on a tuning update that will remove this unnecessary dimming event.  You can expect this update in an upcoming Windows Update package.  In the meantime allow the Surface to cool down for a minute or so in order to return the screen to previous brightness levels.”

The update should be available shortly, so stay tuned – are you experiencing this issue with your Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2?

Source: WinBeta

  • no not really....oh wait I don't have one xD
  • so the auto dimming is to prevent overheating?? nd i thought it was a faulty device.  its happened to me couple times.
  • I'd like if the title actually said Surface 2 and not just Surface. I came here freaking out that my device may have overheating issues.
  • +lukewarm surface 1st gen
  • Surface first Gen never feels hot, even with playing Asphalt 8 or Halo (SA).
  • Sorry to give you a mini heart attack! I'll update the title to prevent any further fainting. :)
  • I am after playing a game, and even after I close it, I still have the issue, unless I put it on standby. Good thing it will be fixed.
  • My surface rt took a crap after only a year
  • Well, I just sent my second Surface 2 back to MS today. I hope the third one is the charm. First had a row of dead pixels. Second wouldn't charge fully. Been over one month since purchase and still haven't got to use my Surface 2 yet. Getting fairly frustrating. But I did notice in testing my last one that it did overheat quite alot, much more than my original Surface did.
  • If I were you, I'd just take the tablet to a Microsoft Store. They swapped my Surface 2 with a new one. My first one had a line of 5 dead pixels. 
  • My Surface Pro 2 gets very warm from playing D&D: Online on Steam but nothing that I'd worry about. I have gotten used to it with my 920.
  • happens some times when playing games and watching netflix at the same time through the hdmi cable to the tv
  • @_@ real multitasking.
  • Im on my 6th Surface 2
  • I feel your pain, on third myself.
  • What happened to your previous 5?
  • One had the worst backlight bleed EVER. Four of the others all have had the crashing NVidia driver that makes a bunch of colorful rectangles on the screen and the unit freezes up. Then one i had in the middle of all that, came out of the box looking like it was dropped on the floor in the plant, picked up, packed, and shipped. Have been trying to get WPCentral to do a story about it, but they aren't biting. Microsoft has major issues with this second Gen and the Tegra 4, but are sweeping it under the rug. This sixth one works fine but you cant play videos with the headphones in or it faults out on an invalid codec. But if you unplug the headphones, it plays the same video fine. Go and check the error and guess what? Another NVidia Tegra 4 error. It appears all the problems are surrounding this Tegra 4 chip. Have even tweeted the lead man for the Surface, and he ignores everything. You think when someone tells you that you are on their fifth of your product ( before this latest went back ), you'd be all over it to make sure the name isn't tarnished. He didn't care. This is one of the worst launches for an electronic device I have ever seen.
  • By the time I got to number 3 I would be asking fo a refund, how can you be bothered putting up with that? I'm not a fanboy on anyone's side but I doubt you'd ever get that many duff units if you had got an iPad instead.
  • The problema with the headphones is actually pretty simple to fix! You have to go to your desktop, open your headphone tab on your audio settings (access from the volume icon on the desktop bar with right click) and uncheck the advance features something button (I am not in front of my s2!). That'll fix it!!. Give it a try
  • Yes, it does fix the issue but it also lowers down the volume significantly. The original Surface RT had volume issues too and it took Microsoft few months to nail the issue down. I hope they'll be able to do the same with the Surface 2.
  • On my second, had sleep of death and head phone issue. On my second, couldn't play any video, always a codec issue. Refreshed the software and it fixed the problem. Now all i get is the network stack failing, and the keyboard (type 2) not working after a few hours. MS software plus hardware equals fail. No acknowledgment of problems by Microsoft, another faulty surface for me? Faulty key board? Other than the bugs, great device. Although i have different bugs than my first device...
  • Lucky you, Im still dreaming of my first. :P
  • My surface 2 randomly stops working, or touch screen doesn't do anything... I even had it reboot and ask me to login to my ms account to retrieve the bit locker keys...
  • Surface2 here on day one, still kicking it just fine!
  • Likewise. I've had an issue with some weird lines showing up on my screen (Tegra 4 problems?) but that has been it and its happened on a rare occasion only... (twice so far) and I use my Surface daily.
  • I have had surface 2 for 3 weeks. It hasn't overheated at all.
    It has been fantastic. I have never been more productive with a tablet. Office with Skydrive integration leaves the others for dead. People seriously don't realize what they don't have. As for rt, I haven't missed anything yet other than adobe cs6. First class device from MSFT
  • I beg to differ. 
  • Mine's the same, no problems.  I do notice it gets warm, but nothing I'd be conserned about.
  • Same here, had a Surface 2 since Oct 22 and couldnt be more pleased.  It is so flexable and does things my Galaxy 10.1 could never have even dreamed of.  I have had this overheating issue, it has occured while playing Asphalt 8 and Halo, but not ever time. I am glad to hear a fix is coming.    
  • My wife has a Surface 2 and I a Surface Pro 2. Both to seem to have a battery drain problem when you think it is sleeping. On the Pro 2, sometimes I'll grab it a few hours after I let it sleep and it is very hot and battery is near gone. My workaround is a complete shutdown when I am done for a while.
  • You selfish pig.
  • This sometimes happens with my 1st Gen Surface Pro. I'm not positive, but I have a feeling it is a network driver issue. For me, the false standby happens when I've some web pages open. (I haven't paid much attention to which pages yet.) On the flip side, when waking the system, sometimes I cannot connect to the wireless access point at my destination until after I have closed all web pages.
  • Do they not thoroughly test these machines before they decide they are ready for the public❔
  • Of course they do, but it's almost impossible to encounter every single potential error in testing.
  • Lol. I understand that, bit you got to admit that it is kind of odd that they would test a device for months, decide it's good, and in 24 hours of some 10 year old playing with it he finds a major bug.. Lol❕.. I think we all know that they intentionally release these devices with knowledge that they aren't perfect... It's not like Apple didn't know their maps were jacked up in iOS 6 before they let Millions of people download them... Lol❕
  • Just forced this to happen by remoting into my desktop and playing civ 5
  • Yea, a lot of problems with SP2. Not going to sleep properly. Shutting down when put to sleep. Nor waking from sleep. And the screen dimming issue. Can't wait for some bug fixes.
  • Im having this issue, but mine heats up rediculously from just using Facebook...
  • I haven't had a heat issue with my Surface 2 but I don't play video intensive games on it.  I do have an issue with the Bluetooth stack crashing, mostly when using the Surface Arc mouse.  Even a reboot hangs to the point I have to do a forced power down.  I haven't heard much about that on the web.  Has anyone else had this problem?
  • This as well as some graphic artifacts happen when the gpu is run hard on my surface 2
  • After 4 weeks, I am still on my first Surface 2 and it works just fine. It never overheats, and the battery lasts me for roughly 10 hours of working with Microsoft Word + music + browsing. The only problems I've had are the occasional abrupt shutdowns (maybe 1 per week, which is why I save my work every 20 min), and the mouse sometimes goes crazy, which I fix by disconnecting and reconnecting the keyboard. Other than that it's been flawless.
  • I have this mouse issue too...are you with touch keyboard? I do the same thing, disconnect and connect again...
  • I think it's called "Type Cover 2"
  • overheating surfaces?! Wtf are u guys running?! LOL
  • Note...
  • I had this issue on my Surface RT (1) to the point where it would over heat and shut down.
    I had three units, each with the same problem - I could "make it overheat" in under 10 minutes - wasn't difficult really.
    My Surface 2 hasn't been getting much use after I got my Venue 8 Pro. :-/
  • Nope, haven't had this problem.
  • Since the last round of updates my Surface RT seems to come on in my bag even after shutting down. Maybe it is teething. ;)
  • I feel myself so stupid that I run into the obvious trap of MS: I allowed my Surface1 RT to update to Windows 8.1. That was part of their planned obsolescence game. Since the update to Win8.1, my surface RT1 makes all the child disease symptomps that it had for the first 2-3 months with Win8.0 back in 2012 december. The Start button does not wake up the device for the first try, I usually have to press the Start button 2-3 times at least, even though I feel the touch has been registered due to the tactile feedback I get. There was a firmware update for that in 2013 May, but since the Win8.1 firmware update, things reverts back to the old days. The IE 11 frequently becomes unresponsive. Yes indeed, it was sometimes slow under IE10/Win8.0 as well but that was credited to the underpowered CPU. The sites in IE11 however frequently becomes hung / even crashes and exits completely. That never happened for me under IE10. I think the whole reason to upgrade Surface1 to Win8.1 is to make the product nearly unusable after the 1st birthday of the product and forcing customers to buy the new junk, use it for another 1 year, then render it unacceptably slow with yet another "update" (I would say a trojan horse) and etc. etc.
  • Got my Surface 2 on day one, no issues
  • Haven't noticed this on my pro 2, but then again I only use it for work.
  • yes
  • Had mine a couple of days now. Two things ive noticed, 1. The volume keys rattle, which is a tad annoying and 2. Every now and then i get a kind of gitter of pixels across the screen. Not sure if this is normal but im taking it back tonight to get it swapped.
  • No issue here. And I guess Asphalt is a cpu/gpu intensive game.
  • Never had this problem... But never played any game on it
  • Here in The Netherlands we have a problem with speakervolume on Surface 2. It's very low. Headphones just fine. No problems for the Pro. But i have also seen screen dimming lower, never play games though.
  • I had the same issue. To fix it you only have to downgrade the NVIDIA Tegra Audio driver to the previous version. It is an known issue. You can follow this thopic here
  • Wow, reading this thread, so glad i didnt get one. I guess Apple's christmas came early ;-)
  • Huh? It's a minor thing. An average ipad user would probably think it's normal. Apple has still the issue with the ipad mini's retina screen. So, it's more the other way around. And this Christmas the competition is stronger than ever. It will probably be their WORST christmas ;-)
  • Huh? Sure, lets say that ;-)
  • Some people honestly, Apple customers have never had any problems with their devices have they!!!
  • I hope that is sarcasm. Signed, ex Apple employee.
  • I have the surface pro 2, while it gets lukewarm when doing heavy tasks, and because I hardly hold it like a tablet I never feel it or have any reasons to complain! :)  
  • Surface 2 here. My girlfriend too. No problems at all. Great device.  
  • No, I'm not having any trouble with my Surface... Oh wait, mine is the original Surface RT
  • Maybe my first coffee of the day hasn't kicked in, but from the article, it sounds like the update will address the dimming screen and NOT the overheating as many are concluding here.  I could be wrong, though...that coffee thing....
  • My first one had graphic artifacts and would crash every hour or so. On my second one so far only problem was low audio which I fixed by rolling back Tegra audio driver.
  • Hasn't happened to mine
  • My surface pro just randomly freezes... no matter what im doing, it just goes to non responding, but it pretty much always comes back. Quite often in games, but also in microsoft word..... any ideas?