Surface laptops and tablets do not have the best reputation for serviceability, with the devices routinely receiving very low scores during iFixit teardowns.
With the laptops very often heading to enterprise environments however Microsoft has some incentive to do better, and a new patent has been uncovered which shows the company has plans to make it easier to replace a broken screen on a Surface laptop.
Microsoft notes that when you replace the Touch Display Module the new touch screen is not calibrated, which presents an issue.
In the event of a TDM failure, the associated computing device is either scrapped or sent back to an original equipment manufacturer’s facility for overhaul. On-site replacement of TDMs is usually not possible as there is no safe way to recalibrate the touch controller to work properly with a replacement TDM.
Microsoft, however, has a solution, which involves adding a unique ID to the TDM so that the laptop would know it has been replaced, and trigger a calibration sequence.
The systems and methods currently disclosed allow a touch controller in a computing device to be safely recalibrated to function correctly with a new TDM panel built into the computing device. More specifically, the systems and methods currently disclosed provide a mechanism for recognizing that a TDM has been replaced in the field, for unlocking calibration data.
The feature would allow technicians to replace a broken screen in your office, rather than having to send it to Microsoft to be repaired or junked.
The patent, titled “FIELD REPLACEABLE TOUCH DISPLAY MODULE”, dates from February 2019, and can be seen in full here.