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Microsoft’s Surface is hard to fix -- just slightly easier than the iPad

by David Needle

October 30 2012

ifixit says it had to remove 17 T5 Torx screws to remove the Surface tablet's display.
ifixit says it had to remove 17 T5 Torx screws to remove the Surface tablet's display.

Although many of the design and features of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet are quite different than other tablets, it does share at least one trait with the iPad, it’s hard to fix.

That’s the conclusion ifixit, the online site that offers repair guides to various devices, came to in a teardown analysis of Microsoft’s new tablet.

“The Microsoft Surface is a quirky cat. Microsoft engineers clearly took a different internal design direction than what we’ve seen in the iPad and the Nexus/Kindles,” says ifixit. “But sadly, its overall fixability is closer to the near-impossible-to-open iPad than it is to the spudger-friendly Android tablets.”

On accessibility to parts though, the Surface edges the iPad in one key area, removing the battery.

Says ifixit: “Yes. It’s glued in, but it’s way easier to remove than on the iPad. A couple of minutes of spudging around and it’s out.”
You can also remove the Surface’s display without fear of shattering the glass, but ifixit says the procedure is far from trivial.

“And you’ll have to dig through the whole tablet in order to get to the LCD/glass, which will be the most likely reason you’re scratching the Surface to begin with.”
For overall fixability, ifixit gives the Surface a below-average 4 out 10 repairability score — just a notch above the iPad, but well below the Nexus/Kindles.

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