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Microsoft's Surface Pro, iFixit rates it 1 out of 10

  1. #1


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64

    Microsoft's Surface Pro, iFixit rates it 1 out of 10


    New gadget lands at the iFixit labs, and the good folk there give it a teardown. Microsoft's Surface Pro is this week's lucky slab of silicon to hit the bench. The good news is that a removable battery and SSD will make swapping those out a charm. That's pretty much it for the good news though. The less good news is the sheer number of screws you're going to have to contend with (over 90 by iFixit's count). The bad news is that screen is a real fiddle to remove, and there are globs of adhesive to navigate (holding that battery and screen in place for example).

    All this earns the Surface Pro a repairability rating of just one out ten (ten being the best). Better treat yours with the love and care it deserves then.
    iFixit tears down Microsoft's Surface Pro, rates it 1 out of 10 for repairability


    iFixit report: Microsoft Surface Pro Teardown - iFixit

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  2. #2


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Kind of unfortunate as I thought the SSD was soldered on, but it's mSATA, which is nice because theoretically one could pop in a 256 gig mSATA SSD and have more room for activities.

    What I find preposterous at this point in time is the redundant designs of the mobile PC chassis. Some have an access panel to the RAM and/or hard drive, but NEVER to the CPU heatsink. RARELY ever! It's so freaking annoying!! You have to tear the WHOLE laptop apart just to clean off the heatsink that has lint trapped in it and causing overheating issues. So stupid.

    One laptop in particular I feel in love with, not because it was pretty or anything, but is so simple to get access to the internals. It was this ASUS K-series laptop. Take off two screws, slide off the back panel, and you have access to the hard drive, RAM, CPU heatsink, and battery. Why other OEMs can't do that is just bewildering.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64


    The other issues with mSATA drives are that they can be slower than SATA III SSDs, can be up to 50% more expensive and won't be able to compete with max capacity with SSDs because of format. Considering that the Surface Pro is almost identical in size to my Gigabyte S1080, which has a 7mm SSD, plus a lot of other features, I'm surprised that they have gone this way.

    I also like the fact that I can remove the back of the Gigabyte with four screws and have access to every component inside, including CPU, and can easily clean everything. For anyone that especially uses such a tablet outdoors, the inside can get very dusty.

    This is what you should be able to do with all tablets:

    Click image for larger version
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  4. #4


    Posts : 1,353
    Windows 8 Pro/Windows 8 Pro/Windows 7 64 Bit64Bit/Windows XP


    Quote Originally Posted by Ray8 View Post
    The other issues with mSATA drives are that they can be slower than SATA III SSDs, can be up to 50% more expensive and won't be able to compete with max capacity with SSDs because of format. Considering that the Surface Pro is almost identical in size to my Gigabyte S1080, which has a 7mm SSD, plus a lot of other features, I'm surprised that they have gone this way.

    I also like the fact that I can remove the back of the Gigabyte with four screws and have access to every component inside, including CPU, and can easily clean everything. For anyone that especially uses such a tablet outdoors, the inside can get very dusty.

    This is what you should be able to do with all tablets:

    Click image for larger version
    I think you're wasting your talent here Ray, you should be the head of the WWTO.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I don't understand why it's so hard to design a well built tablet or laptop for that matter, to have removable access panels. I means, just make a metal back panel with sides that wrap around the device chassis and put a number of torx screws in place. BAM! Easily serviceable tablet PC!
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  6. #6


    Oregon
    Posts : 214
    Windows 8 Pro w/Media Center, Windows RT


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I don't understand why it's so hard to design a well built tablet or laptop for that matter, to have removable access panels. I means, just make a metal back panel with sides that wrap around the device chassis and put a number of torx screws in place. BAM! Easily serviceable tablet PC!
    Because most buyers, including me, could care less how easy it is to service. When it breaks, if within the warranty period, we return it. If outside the warranty period, we cry then upgrade. iFixit's ratings have little bearing on the general public's buying habits.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 30
    Win 8.1 pro / win 8.1


    Because most buyers, including me, could care less how easy it is to service. When it breaks, if within the warranty period, we return it. If outside the warranty period, we cry then upgrade. iFixit's ratings have little bearing on the general public's buying habits.
    Well said.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by rmeigs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I don't understand why it's so hard to design a well built tablet or laptop for that matter, to have removable access panels. I means, just make a metal back panel with sides that wrap around the device chassis and put a number of torx screws in place. BAM! Easily serviceable tablet PC!
    Because most buyers, including me, could care less how easy it is to service. When it breaks, if within the warranty period, we return it. If outside the warranty period, we cry then upgrade. iFixit's ratings have little bearing on the general public's buying habits.
    Which is unfortunate in general with all thin technology. If something breaks, you send it in or have to buy a new one versus repair one part. Some things can be replaced, like the screen, hard drives/SSDs, battery, sometimes RAM. The Surface Pro's battery isn't soldered on, so it can be replaced with difficulty though.

    But no, no one normal really cares about those things, it's mostly the tech nerds and mechanically inclined. Laptop disassembles don't scare me, not even smartphone's. I usually pop off the screen on my Nokia Lumia 900 every month or so to clean the crum out of the seams around the display. But when it becomes difficult to even replace a hard drive or clean a heatsink, holy crap! I could care less about how easy it is to fix a device, I just want an access panel to the CPU's heatsink! Is that so much to ask?!
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  9. #9


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64


    The issue is that many may wish to have the potential to upgrade the device. They may purchase the lower specced version, say less RAM and a smaller hard drive initially, and then later buy more RAM and maybe increase the drive size as prices invariably drop. The way things are now, you have to buy less than what you may need in future, or more than you may ever need at a cost.

    It's the lack of options that's the issue. Every laptop/notebook that I've ever owned, has allowed me to add memory or change the hard drive. Why shouldn't a tablet be designed in a similar way? Clearly there is no reason why you couldn't, other than marketing reasons.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Ray8 View Post
    The issue is that many may wish to have the potential to upgrade the device. They may purchase the lower specced version, say less RAM and a smaller hard drive initially, and then later buy more RAM and maybe increase the drive size as prices invariably drop. The way things are now, you have to buy less than what you may need in future, or more than you may ever need at a cost.

    It's the lack of options that's the issue. Every laptop/notebook that I've ever owned, has allowed me to add memory or change the hard drive. Why shouldn't a tablet be designed in a similar way? Clearly there is no reason why you couldn't, other than marketing reasons.
    I think it's just more clean design/sturdy design. You can't say the Surface Pro can't feel stable and solid in hand with all those screws and adhesive.

    The same sort of applied to the Nokia Lumia 920. They didn't add in a microSD card in it. They could, but decided against it because it would compromise the design. Their words.
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Microsoft's Surface Pro, iFixit rates it 1 out of 10
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