Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablet PC is a steady improvement over the Surface RT, but the thing is extremely hard to repair, according to a new iFixit teardown.
The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s more powerful and versatile tablet/laptop hybrid, but supply issues have marred its debut. Microsoft has promised more 128GB units will be available by Saturday. It runs $899 for the 64GB version and $999 for the 128GB model.
While there aren’t that many Surface Pros available, the repair experts at iFixit got their hands on a unit so they could open it up and examine its build. The team found that the device was extremely hard to repair, and gave it a 1 out of 10 “repairability score,” the worst result possible.
One huge problem iFixit found is if you do not open the case perfectly, you will almost certainly break one of the four cables surrounding the display. So there’s a good chance you’ll break the damn thing just from trying to peek inside or trying to fix a minor issue.
Here are the big takeaways iFixit noted on the Surface Pro:
- Microsoft Surface Pro Repairability Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
- The battery is not soldered to the motherboard, so at least no soldering is required to replace it.
- The SSD is removable — but you risk killing your tablet by trying to open it.
- More than 90 screws are inside this device. We’re proponents of mechanical fasteners, but this number is a tad crazy.
- The display assembly (comprising of a fused glass and LCD) is extremely difficult to remove/replace.
- Tons of adhesive hold everything in place, including the display and battery.
- Unless you perform the opening procedure 100 precent correctly, chances are you’ll shear one of the four cables surrounding the display perimeter.
Check out the photos below for a few more looks inside the Surface Pro:
Like this story? Want to learn more? On April 14-15, our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the six biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., to discuss issues like this. Request an invitation.