Surface Pro X scores 6 on iFixit’s repairability scale

Microsoft announced the Surface Pro X along with Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 at their annual Surface Event in October. Among the new Surface hardware announced at the event, the Surface Pro X was the last one to go on sale. Unfortunately, the early reviews of the Surface Pro X weren’t as good as what Microsoft had hoped for.

The good news is, Surface Pro X scored well in one department, which is serviceability. This year Microsoft made a point of making Surface devices a little better in terms of repairability and Surface Pro X is no exception. Just days after the device went on sale, iFixit grabbed their tools to pop open the Surface Pro X. The device managed to score a decent 6 out of 10 on their repairability scale which is better than the previous Surface Go. The teardown can be summarised using the following bullet points.

  • The user-removable SSD makes for easy upgrades and data security that doesn’t require device destruction.
  • To the extent that screws are used, they are all standard Torx fasteners.
  • Many components are modular and can be replaced independently.
  • (Almost) all repairs require display removal, with an improved procedure that needs no heat, but necessitates careful prying.
  • The battery is firmly glued in place, with its connector pinned under the motherboard—requiring near-total disassembly for service.
  • The SSD is truly user-replaceable, requiring only a SIM eject pin and a T3 driver—no need to remove the screen. That’s awesome to see in such a slim form factor. As a bonus, it’s the same SSD as in the Laptop 3, meaning more standardization and better support from third parties.
  • In a first for tablets, the display is held down with friendly foam adhesive that doesn’t require heat or solvents to remove.
  • A funky jumper cable clings to the back of the main board, and it’s labeled “New SAM”—which could stand for Slippery Agile Meerkat.

The better design and easy access to the components allowed Surface Pro X to get 6. While Microsoft can still improve on a little to make it more repairable, the Surface Pro X is still better than the old Surface devices.

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