Microsoft Surface Pro 2 repairability marred by gobs of adhesive and over 90 screws

By on October 23, 2013, 10:45 AM
microsoft, teardown, ifixit, microsoft surface pro, repairability, surface 2

Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 2 tablet has scored the worst possible repairability score from teardown specialist iFixit just as the original Surface Pro did when it was released earlier this year. The team found that some key components like the battery and solid state drive can be replaced but not without first risking damage to the device simply by opening it.

iFixit described the process of gaining access to the internals as delicate and arduous. True enough, one mis-step and you’ll likely shear one of the four ribbon cables along the edge of the display. What’s more, there’s a healthy helping of adhesive that helps to hold the display (and battery) in place and if you make it that far, be prepared to deal with over 90 screws in varying sizes.

With the perimeter breached, you’ll find Intel’s Haswell Core i5 processor, 4GB of SK Hynix RAM and anywhere between 64GB to 512GB of flash storage (also from SK Hynix) depending on which configuration you purchased. Other standard equipment includes two 720p HD cameras, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (sorry, no AC), Bluetooth 4.0 low energy, a USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort and a microSDXC card reader.

iFixit notes the cooling system on the new slate is the same as the one found on the original. Software is used to reduce the frequency at which the fan operates, however, to minimize power usage and cut down on noise – luxuries afforded by the more efficient fourth generation Intel CPU.

Ultimately, iFixit awards the Surface Pro 2 a repairability score of 1 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are available as of writing with the former starting at $449 and the latter commanding $899 to get started.




User Comments: 17

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Puiu Puiu said:

One could say that Microsoft has... more than one screw loose. ^_^

4 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So who cares? I would rather have a device that will not fall apart, over that of easy repair-ability. Especially when the device is a mobile device. Has anyone noticed how dilapidated some devices can get, when they are only held together by a few screws? With all my listed cons to owning a MS Surface Pro, this is not one of them.

Guest said:

That's why they used so much glue ...

Guest said:

All tablet type machines are hard if not impossible to repair. The smaller and thinner the device the harder to repair.

gamoniac said:

That is a good looking device, and I don't plan on opening it if I get one. I do wish device manufacturers would stop charging so much for larger storage though.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Electronics are incredibly unreliable and prone to failure, even by the most reputable companies. This is the reason why I only ever build my own desktop. If I'm dropping $900+ on a device, you're damn right I want to be able to fix it out of warranty.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

That's just in case the product's name didn't scare you away far enough...

Thank you MS for your unabating attempts at shouting into the void...

Guest said:

In comparison with other tablets, MS.....screwed this.

2 people like this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Getting past 90 screws is a cinch if you're the owner of a 4 lb hammer & cold chisel.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Go figure... they designed it to be used, not taken apart.

What really matters is the warranty. If you can't fix it, you need a good warranty and/or insurance plan. Oh.. and keep everything in the cloud.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Nothing unusual at all here. Current mobile devices generally are designed to be used then discarded when an upgrade appears. Rapid electronics advances become much more obvious in the small packages of the mobile sector, with things like Moore's law seeming much more relevant. While you might have a laptop that can still chunk away after 4 years (got a few dinosaurs in the office here like that), mobile phones & tablets are engineered to usably survive through at least a Moore's law-ish life span, with a safety margin, but not much more. Any mobile device being used longer than 3 years is usually painfully slow in comparison to current models, unable to be updated, and generally obsolete.

Bottom line is, it's easier and more cost effective for mobile manufacturers to maximize hardware vs space, anchor and pot the crap out of the hardware to give it some toughness. It's cheaper to build those units to be non-repairable and tough as a tank for short durations, and just do a swap/replace if one fails during the warranty period. The goal is to survive through that sweet spot of about 2 years of use. Think it's a coincidence that's what the big cell service companies were always using as a timeline for their new/upgrade cycles? The idea is to get them out of circulation before they start falling apart! heh.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

My Citroen Saxo had less screws than this...

tonylukac said:

Microsoft is just cursed about getting into hardware. From xbox rrod, to mice having the wrong ps2 connector color, to the 8.1 update bricking devices, they should just stick to what's in their name, soft for software. Most people only can specilize, Not me tho. To show off, I have 4 bachelors degrees.

Guest said:

The ipad 4 only has an ifixit score of 2, so I dont think there is a lot in it.

I agree that all tablets are notoriously hard to repair.

A6x Long A6x Long said:

As long as it is built in high quality hard to break in the first place, I would prefer it is hard to repair but strong than a cheap built with high repairabilty .

Camikazi said:

The ipad 4 only has an ifixit score of 2, so I don't think there is a lot in it.

I agree that all tablets are notoriously hard to repair.

In order to have portability, low weight and thin size you need to sacrifice something and the first thing to go is repairability.

Guest said:

This is not surprising considering that Microsoft is a software-oriented company and has little to no experience on the hardware side.

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