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Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 has 'severely limited repairability', says iFixit

Harder to fix than the iPad Air with a repairability score of one out of 10
Mon Jun 23 2014, 16:33

THE TECHNICIANS at iFixit have cracked open Microsoft's latest tablet, the Surface Pro 3, and found that it's one of the hardest of its kind to repair, giving it a laughably low score of just one out of 10.

Labeled by iFixit as a device with "severely limited upgradeability and repairability", the slimmer, lighter and bigger Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is let down by Redmond's decision to trade the Surface 2's 90 screws for some "seriously hideous adhesive".

Surface Pro 3 teardown

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is even harder to repair than the iPad Air, which scored a nearly rock-bottom two out of 10 when iFixit cracked it open last November. It's safe to say that iFixit wasn't pleased with Microsoft's decision to replace screws with glue.

"You'll spend less time with a driver, but repairs won't be any easier," the technicians said. "The Surface Pro 3 inherited a repairability score of [one] out of 10, proving the more things change, the more they remain the same."

However, it seems that iFixit's chief criticism was the difficultly in removing the Surface Pro 3's much bigger 12in IPS screen, which shattered as the technicians tried to remove it from the chassis with an opening pick. Although the Surface Pro 3 is all about the larger screen size, the display has actually regressed in terms of repairability, becoming harder than ever to remove.

"In disconnecting the display we find something novel: a springy metal bracket pinning the display connector in place. At the other end of the cable, another dubious connector with a sliver of a contact board in tow," iFixit said.

The 42.2Wh, 7.6V battery also proved difficult to remove, requiring a relatively uncommon T3 Torx bit. On top of that, iFixit discovered that the Surface Pro 3's cooling system is more like one found in a laptop than a tablet, as it's "a beefy heat sink that draws into a single fan".

Microsoft unveiled its long-rumoured Surface Pro 3 tablet in May, touting a bigger and better 12in HD screen with an Intel Haswell processor, set to be made available in Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 chip variants.

If you're not too fussed about the internal workings of the Surface Pro 3, check out our hands-on review to find out how it looks and feels on the outside. µ


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