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Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet is almost impossible to fix

by Doug Drinkwater

February 13 2013

Testers discovered a "metric duckload of adhesive holding the screen in place"
Testers discovered a "metric duckload of adhesive holding the screen in place"

Keep your fingers crossed you don’t break your Surface Pro, because the Intel-powered tablet is almost impossible to repair, according to a new teardown.

iFixit recently took the Surface Pro to pieces and while they discovered the model was easier to repair than the Surface RT they reported difficulties when it came to removing the SSD, the display assembly as well as other difficulties with screws, adhesive and interfering cables.

Scoring a poor 1 out of 10 for reparability (10 being the best score and easiest to repair), testers begun by trying to see what’s under the Surface Pro screen only to quickly encounter a “metric duckload of adhesive holding the screen in place”. This problem eventually turned to a heat gun and guitar picks to open it up.

There were more problems to follow. iFixit discovered a staggering 90 screws inside the device and warned that you “risk killing” the tablet should you remove it. Furthermore, the tester said that cutting one of the tablet’s internal cables is also a concern.

“Unless you perform the opening procedure 100% correctly, chances are you'll shear one of the four cables surrounding the display perimeter."

One of the relatively few good points about repairing the Surface Pro is that the battery is not soldered to the motherboard and that it also can be removed, although it is heavily glued to the back cover of the tablet.

Microsoft launched the Surface Pro on February 9 with prices starting at $899 for the 64GB model and $999 for the 128GB edition. The Redmond firm quickly sold out of the latter but is now promising to fulfil outstanding orders sooner rather than later.

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