Microsoft’s newest Surface devices, the Surface Laptop, and the Surface Pro (2017) started shipping yesterday. Reviews of the new Surface devices have already started to come in, and the folks over at iFixit have torn both of the devices down to get a closer look at their internals. iFixit’s teardowns always give products a repairability score (10 being the easiest to repair), which gives you a good idea of how difficult it can be to repair a certain device.
iFixit actually gave the new Surface Laptop a repairability score of only 0 out of 10. Yes, zero. According to iFixit, getting inside the Surface Laptop can be very tough without causing a lot of damage to the device. Both the CPU and the RAM are apparently soldered to the motherboard of the device, and Microsoft has even soldered the internal storage to the motherboard. What’s even more interesting is that you will need to remove the motherboard, the heat sink, the fan, and the display of the Surface Laptop to access the modular headphone jack of the device.
Surface Laptop’s battery is also “dangerous” to replace according to iFixit, and the soldered CPU, RAM, as well as the internal storage makes upgrades a “no-go.”
The Surface Pro, on the other hand, got a slightly better score: 1 out of 10. iFixit claims that removing the display of the Surface Pro is tricky due to the non-standard connectors used on the device, and you’ll need to remove the entire display assembly in order to replace any parts of the device. Microsoft is also using adhesive to hold most of the parts of the Surface Pro, which isn’t too surprising on a compact device like the Pro. The main downside of the new Surface Pro, however, is the fact that the SSD is no longer replaceable. That wasn’t the case for the Surface Pro 4, which got a repairability score of 2 and it had a replaceable SSD as well
When compared to Microsoft’s main competitors, the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop aren’t doing too bad. For example, the newly released Apple iPad Pro 10.5″ got a repairability score of 2, while the new Retina MacBook 2017 and the MacBook Pro 13″ with Touch Bar got only 1.
These repairability scores aren’t astonishingly bad considering how these devices are getting so thin and compact nowadays. Microsoft will need a lot of space and therefore make the devices thicker to make them easier to upgrade and repair, which probably won’t ever happen. Nevertheless, if you are planning on tearing down your new Surface Laptop or Surface Pro to upgrade the SSD or the RAM, you should probably abort the mission before it’s too late.