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Microsoft's Surface hit by Touch Cover splitting flaw

Microsoft's latest Surface tablets may have hit a bump in the company's march to take on the mighty Apple iPad: a manufacturing flaw in its clever Touch Cover keyboard that leads to splitting over time.

According to reports gathered by The Guardian, early adopters of Microsoft's Windows RT-based Surface tablets have reported problems with the edge of the Touch Cover splitting open within the first day of use, exposing a wire that connects the device to the tablet.

The Touch Cover, one of the Surface family's main selling points, is more than just a device to protect the screen. When coupled with the rear kick-stand built in to the casing of the Surface, the Touch Cover folds out into a full QWERTY-layout keyboard - providing, Microsoft claims, a far more natural typing style than traditional on-screen keyboards. While the Touch Cover doesn't provide any physical feedback on the keys, an optional Type Cover extends the system to allow the keys a small degree of movement.

The flaw, which is currently only known to affect the Touch Cover, is being reported by some users after just light use of the device. Some have pointed to the strength of the magnet used to connect the Touch Cover to the tablet, combined with using the system on their lap as a possible cause, putting strain on the edge of the cover. Others have reported no such problem with the same behaviour.

However, reports of the problem are widespread with users from both the US and the UK affected, suggesting it extends beyond a single bad manufacturing batch.

Those who have been affected by the flaw are advised to contact their retailer to swap the device out for a new model.

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