Microsoft’s Surface Studio wasn’t supposed to arrive until December 15 but the Redmond-based company seemingly got into the holiday spirit a bit early. I say that because some of the first customers that placed pre-orders for the versatile all-in-one are receiving them ahead of schedule.
Among those to score a Surface Studio early was the team over at iFixit and we all know what that means… teardown time!
After a quick tour of the exterior, the teardown crew flipped the AIO over and removed the rubber feet hiding Torx screws. With some help from a suction cup, the clips let loose of the bottom panel and they were inside the machine… well, sort of.
Before digging any deeper, iFixit had to lift away the mid-frame which brought with it an attached speaker. With that out of the way, they were able to remove two Delta-branded brushless cooling fans and gain access to the meat and potatoes of the Surface Studio.
It’s smooth sailing from here as the team came across a standard, removable M.2 SSD as well as a standard 2.5-inch SATA hard drive. The HDD inside their machine was a Seagate Spinpoint M8 ST1000LM024 1TB drive spinning at just 5,400 RPM that's begging to be replaced by a faster flash-based drive.
Turning their attention to the screen, the team reports that it’s one of the easiest replacement jobs on the Studio as the entire display assembly can be replaced as a single unit without having to fully dismantle it or the base.
All things considered, iFixit awarded the Microsoft Surface Studio a repairability score of five out of 10 (the higher the number, the easier it is to repair). The desirable AIO was praised for how easy it is to replace the display as mentioned above and earned high marks for its liberal use of common modular components that can be swapped out without even touching the display (I mention this again for the simple fact that most AIOs have their internals built into the back of the display, not in the base as seen here).
Unfortunately, key components like the CPU, GPU and RAM come soldered onto the motherboard and thus, can’t be replaced individually. As such, iFixit wisely urges perspective buyers to think twice about purchasing the entry-level 8GB configuration.
I’d personally recommend the 32GB option which also includes a 2TB hybrid drive and GeForce GTX 980M graphics although considering it tacks on an additional $1,200 onto an already expensive $3,000 base system, it’s understandable if you elect to pass. There’s also a mid-tier option that includes an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, an Nvidia GTX 960M graphics card and a 1TB hybrid drive for $3,500 that’s a bit easier on the wallet.
All images courtesy iFixit