More problems yet again: Surface Laptop 3 suffers from backlight bleeding, pulse-width modulation, and DPC latency issues
Historically, Microsoft Surface devices have had their fair share of major problems ranging from battery recalls, performance throttling, charging issues, and even disappearing GPUs. Pressure is on the new Surface Laptop 3 to hit it out of the park from day one without any of the aforementioned problems.
We're currently knee-deep in testing the 15.6-inch Ryzen 5 Surface Laptop 3 and we've already found a few notable issues. Firstly, our unit suffers from a moderate amount of backlight bleeding along the edges and corners as shown by our image below. A small level of bleeding is expected from most IPS laptops, but to see it here on a flagship device is disappointing as it's severe enough to be noticeable during video playback with black borders.
Secondly, the system suffers from DPC latency issues when the wireless is enabled. Disabling the wireless appears to address this, but users shouldn't have to disable a staple connectivity feature just to optimize Windows DPC.
Lastly, the display will flicker at a frequency of 21370 MHz when set to a brightness level of 51 percent or dimmer. PWM is relatively common on laptops as a form of brightness control, but the LED flickering is known to cause eyestrain on a small subset of users.
Fortunately, all these issues we've discovered thus far are relatively minor compared to the major ones on previous Surface models. More serious abnormalities usually take months before they emerge. Until then, stay tuned for our full review on the Ryzen 5 Surface Laptop 3 15 in the coming week.