While the first-generation Surface Laptop was called a “glue-filled monstrosity” and famously achieved an iFixit score of 0, Microsoft has worked to do a lot better in its 3rd generation.
At Microsoft’s Surface event yesterday the company revealed that they were designing their most popular computer to be easily repairable, without any compromises.
“We continue to focus on the purity of this design, which was critical. But we also—for our commercial customers—we wanted to add the elements of serviceability, repairability, things that matter for customers,” Surface head Panos Panay said. “Most of the time when you make a product that is serviceable, there’s lines, there’s extra weight, there’s extra thickness, you’ll see what I call trap doors. But on this product, we’ve done none of that.”
Microsoft revealed a modular design, which can be seen in the header image, drawing praise from Kyle Wiens, editor-in-chief of iFixit.
Kyle said there was “no possible way that [Panay] could have done on stage what he did with that laptop with any other Surface product.”
There is however still a catch – Microsoft confirmed to Gizmodo that end users opening up their laptop would still void your warranty, meaning while the Surface Laptop 3 was repairable, it did not quite match the Right to Repair’s demands.
Still, Nathan Proctor, who leads the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s Right to Repair campaign— welcomed the move in the right direction, saying he was “very pleased with what the little that I know so far.”
“It seems obvious that it’s definitely moving in the right direction,” Proctor said. “I think the questions that have to be answered are: How widely distributed will the repair tools and information be? And what are the other issues with the reparability? But I think Microsoft—if they put engineering time into making it more fixable—they deserve credit for that. That’s a good thing to do, and it speaks well of the ability of the right to repair campaign to influence manufacturer behavior.”