Some Surface Book owners have been reporting a popping or clicking sound coming from the base section when they carry it with the screen open.
Naturally, that got folks worried that the locking latch, holding the clipboard to the base, was coming undone and that the clipboard section could fall to the floor. As you might imagine, that could be a problem.
However, it turns out that in almost all cases where someone heard a popping sound from their Surface Book base, it was because of an “adhesive issue”.
Popping Sound from Surface Book: Adhesive issue?
If you look at the Surface Book, you’ll see that there is A LOT of adhesive holding the thing together.
While the glue saves weight and space during construction (imagine needing an extra 1/2 pound of screws to hold the thing together), it can lead to some problems. Normally, the glue is only a problem for folks who want to open up their Surface Book (usually to swap the SSD or RAM).
In the case of the popping or clicking, some of the glue in the bottom of the base unit will temporarily stick to the outer cover when the device gets picked up. It is far more likely to happen when the Surface Book is picked up while open because more pressure gets applied to the base due to leverage. Since it’s top heavy with the screen open, people hang on more tightly and press the slightly flexible outer case into the glue.
When the glue comes unstuck from the outer cover, you get that worrying, clicking or popping sound folks have been complaining about. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing you can do about it.
However, there is good news: the glue sticking and unsticking won’t hurt anything. It’s just annoying because a new $1500-$3200 USD laptop, should not be making random popping noises (even due to a manufacturing process).
Popping Sound from Surface Book: Better Safe Than Sorry
Now, while it’s rare, it is possible that the clicking or popping sound from your Surface Book is due to the locking latch coming undone (either by malfunction or, much more likely, because you accidentally hit the “release” button). If that happens, one-half or the other of your expensive Surface Book could hit the floor… hard. You don’t want that.
So, you should always close your Surface Book when carrying it to avoid this possibility. However, if you can’t/don’t want to close it for some reason, here are a few handling tips that can help avoid disaster:
- NEVER pick up your Surface Book only by the clipboard (screen) section. Just don’t.
- ALWAYS carry it upright (screen perpendicular to the ground)
- ALWAYS use two hands to carry your Surface Book when open. One on the base section and one on the screen section. That way, if it comes apart, you’ll have hold of both halves.
- ALWAYS make sure it’s only “half open” if you carry it without closing it fully. This will make it less top heavy so dropping it will be less likely.
It’s still better to close the lid but, if you follow the tips above, you should be OK.
So, if you’re suffering from the popping or clicking sound, you now know what’s causing it. Perhaps I even saved you a trip to the Microsoft Store for an exchange. 🙂