Some early users of the Touch Cover of Microsoft's Surface tablet say one of the edges splits to expose a wire just days after they starting using it.
A number of users on the Surface Forums site have reported the problem, which has also been experienced by Tom Warren, a writer on the Verge website and Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, a Windows developer.
The defect is identical in each case: the cover, which has an integral keyboard, begins to split at its seam where the device attaches magnetically to the main computer.
Microsoft did not respond to a request from The Guardian for information about how many reports there had been of the problem. Baxter-Reynolds was told to return his Touch Cover to Microsoft for a replacement, and Microsoft has been swapping faulty covers for users where it has retail stores.
It's unclear whether the problems that people have encountered are due to a faulty batch or are a subtle problem that will become more apparent as more people use it for longer- but the fact that users in the US and the UK have reported the problem suggests that it is not isolated to a single manufacturing batch.
Microsoft is expected to sell millions of the devices, though it has given no preliminary or forecast sales figures.
The split seems to caused by mechanical stress on the cover. One poster on the Surface Forums spot commented:
"I believe the seam can loosen easily if it's bent back and you let the Surface rest on your lap (for example, when you're reclining and reading something) - it's best to disconnect the keyboard when the Surface is being used in this scenario."
However, as another user suggested, that suggests the cover is failing in its job as a lid for a device that is designed to be used as both a tablet and a laptop computer.
The covers cost around $80, though there is no cost for swapping faulty covers.