At the Surface launch event, Microsoft claimed that they have improved the repairability and users will be able to open the laptop with ease. Surface devices have a history of being bad at repairability and if you recall, Surface Laptop 2 scored 0 on iFixit’s repairability index.
The good news is those days are gone as the new Surface Laptop 3 managed to score 5 on iFixit’s index. The Surface Laptop 3 is held together by magnets and screws so it can be opened easily. During the Laptop 3 teardown, iFixit found 4 screws hidden inside the foot. Once those are unscrewed, the top keyboard and mouse panel can be lifted up to reveal all the components.
Since Microsoft uses modular components inside the device, it’s easy to replace all the components. The SSD, for instance, is held in place by just a screw and can be replaced with ease. Once the top panel is removed, users can disconnect and replace the display as well. The only thing really hard to replace is the battery which is glued in place with no pull tabs. iFixit summarised the teardown with the following bullet points.
- The opening procedure is straightforward, with a clever design that represents a dramatic improvement over its predecessors.
- The M.2 SSD is fully modular and easy to access.
- Torx Plus screws call for relatively rare drivers, but our standard Torx drivers worked in a pinch.
- Display access is well-prioritized, but must be replaced as an (expensive) complete unit—subcomponents aren’t modular.
- While many components are modular, intricate layered construction makes them difficult to service.
- The firmly glued-down battery will be very difficult to service when it inevitably goes kaput.
The better design and easy access to the components allowed Surface Laptop to go from 0 to 5. While Microsoft can still improve on a little to make it more repairable, the Surface Laptop 3 is still better than Laptop 2.