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Microsoft Surface Pro is Nearly Impossible to Repair

Glue, and lots of glue. That is what you’ll find inside the latest Microsoft tablet. iFixit, the infamous website that tears down and analyzes every new gadget out there, has just completed its investigation of the new Surface Pro. The verdict? It’s one of the most difficult devices out there to repair. However, the difficulty in repairing the device also brings in the added bonus of durability. iFixit rated the tablet with a 1/10 repairability score.

surface pro ifxit glue removal

Photo: iFixit

If it comes as a surprise or shock that a highly complex mobile computer is difficult to repair, think again. Inside just the display portion of the Surface Pro is a 10.6” ClearType HD screen capable of 10-point multi touch, and it has a Wacom ERM digitizer board. The display board alone is held in by 23 screws. Over the next step is another 29 screws and then some.

All put together, those screws and glue make the Surface Pro incredibly durable. The tablet is not only difficult to take apart, it’s also difficult to break apart. Below is a demo video run by Microsoft where the presenter casually drops the device and then carries on without any loss of function.

If you’re looking for a device that you can tweak and rig the internal hardware of, the Surface Pro isn’t a good first choice. However, on the bright side the tablet is completely solid and runs some of the best technology currently available. It’s a fair trade off in terms of usability, but in an extremely portable computer it’s hard to complain.

This looks to be be the current trend with new ultrabook / hybrid devices. The Retina MacBook Pro only received a 2 out of 10 repairibility by iFixit when it was released.

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3 Responses to Microsoft Surface Pro is Nearly Impossible to Repair

  1. Gary Roberts February 15, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    Thanks for putting the reparability issue in the proper perspective. I agree I’d much rather it be harder to break, than sacrificing ruggedness for a little easier disassembly, that would and should still be performed by a trained technician.

    • Steve Krause February 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      Agreed. I think it’s all about keeping the focus on the majority vs. the minority. 99% of the people out there just want a durable device that works. Although that other > 1% might want a device they can tinker with, it’s just not worth worrying about them. Not enough ROI.

      • Painless February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am #

        Hi Steve,

        Not sure how mail you direct, agree with all the above as this would seem the obvious approach, but it make it harder for the small time pc repair man to sort – know what I mean ( been fixing pc, laptops so forth for 23 years)

        Make it tough but at the same time least make it so you can get it apart to repair in the instance there is a fail………….

        By the way, the real reason why I jumped in here was to compliment you on a fantastic job mate, I have a lot of newsletters a month from various sources and this one is brill – nice job mate and thanks for all your efforts……….

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