Surface Pro X scores 6 on iFixit’s repairability scale

by Anmol
November 7, 2019

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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.
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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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