Microsoft’s Surface Tablet Isn’t Easy To RepairBy: Zach Walton - October 29, 2012
Microsoft launched its first foray into tablets – the Surface – on Friday. It’s possible that a new Surface owner has already broken the screen. What are they to do? It’s probably still under warranty, but more adventurous users may opt to repair it themselves. For that, iFixit has a step-by-step teardown of the new tablet.
First things first, the Surface is more of a tablet/laptop hybrid. The integration of multiple input ports, including a port for the touch cover, makes it that much harder to take apart. Before getting into the device proper, the Surface already puts up its best effort against tampering. The guys at iFixit note that it took them about 30 minutes to remove the plastic cover that conceals the screws that hold the casing in place.
After getting the case open, the guide notes that the battery is the only part of the inside that’s easily removed. Several of the modular components also prove to be easily removable with some patience.
The most interesting part of these teardown guides has always been the motherboard. The Surface does not disappoint with its Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 32GB of Flash memory from Samsung and other components.
Most of the problems stem from the display and the various headaches it causes. The team found that the keyboard connector can’t be removed without separating the display from the frame. The LCD and glass are also fused together which makes replacements more costly.
Overall, iFixit gives the Surface a score of four out of 10. They note that the battery and other components are easily removed, but everything else was designed to prevent tampering. It’s a little disappointing, but tablets are notoriously hard to repair in the first place.