iFixit has published a comprehensive tablet repairability list that ranks several of today’s (and yesterday’s) hottest tablets based on how easy they are to fix. Dell’s XPS 10 takes home the top honors with a score of nine out of 10 while Microsoft’s just-released Surface Pro earned the worst score possible.
The company says a device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it’s easy to disassemble and has a service manual readily available. iFixit deducts points based on how difficult a slate is to open as well as the type of screws or fasteners found inside and the overall complexity of replacing major parts.
The teardown team praised the Dell tablet for being easy to open, having color-coded screws, labeled cables and an easy to remove battery. One of the few negatives that iFixit discovered was the fact that the LCD is fused to the front glass.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Dell Streak, the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 all scored an eight out of 10. Tablets in this range were given positive marks for being easy to open and not having proprietary fasteners. The LCD was another common complaint among these slates as some were fused to the glass while others needed a heat gun to remove.
The Surface Pro was found to have tons of adhesive holding everything in place and simply opening the device was risky as it could shear the display cables. The hybrid did score a positive in the fact that the battery was not soldered to the motherboard.
Just ahead of the Surface Pro with a score of two out of 10 is the Apple iPad 2, 3, 4 and iPad mini. The majority of Apple’s tablets all have a high chance of cracking the glass during disassembly, iFixit found.