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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 teardown shows Macbook Air like innards, but tablet almost impossible to open and repair

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 teardown shows Macbook Air like innards, but tablet almost impossible to open and repair
The Microsoft Surface 2 Pro is an interesting device - it is a tablet but it runs on an Intel Core series chip, it basically has the same chip that the Macbook Air features (it features the Core i5 4200U chip), so it’s extremely powerful. With so much power on board however Microsoft touts this as more than a regular tablet - it says the Surface Pro 2 can replace your laptop on the go. It’s silent and it’s easily portable, but does it have the longevity and repairability of a notebook?

iFixit now tears down the Surface Pro 2 to get a peek at its innards and conclude just how easy it is to repair the tablet and change its battery.

The results are surprising. The Surface Pro 2 scores the lowest we have ever seen a device rank - 1 out of 10. That means it’s almost impossible to repair and upgrage.

There are a few reasons for this. While its battery isn’t soldered to the mainboard, but it’s still very hard to remove and replace it. Just opening the device is extremely hard - Microsoft is not using extensive amounts of glue like others (cough, Apple), but having a whopping 90 screws holding the Surface Pro 2 together does not make it any easier.

The fused glass panel and LCD are a common misstep that makes repairs most costly as your front breaks you have to replace them both. Finally, the long and tedious process of opening the tablet hides huge risks that you tear one of four ribbon cables connecting the display.

The Surface Pro 2 is thus not a device you can easily repair. If you happen to get one, make sure to handle it with great care.



source: iFixit

16 Comments
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posted on 23 Oct 2013, 08:50 14

1. becazican (Posts: 52; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


once again, apple arena produces stupid articles against any product that is not apple. who the hell repairs their own laptop. have you tried opening an ipad I have , most likely they had to kill a horse to get that much glue(cheap) in a product, i'll take the 90 screws anyday. and once again you prove why no one can take this site seriously.

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:21 12

7. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2550; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Are you really this dumb? PhoneArena is reporting the findings of iFixit. These results were not found by PhoneArena itself. Also, before you call iFixit biased, check their website. There are phones & tablets on there that have much better ratings than that of Apple products. Tired of hearing people b*tching on this site because the opinions of others don't match up with their own. Grow up. Not everyone in the world is going to agree with you. Get over it.

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 12:15 2

11. Ohrules (Posts: 324; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


i logged in solely to thumb you up. posts about "iPhonearena" are getting too annoying. if the people really have a problem, why dont they just leave, its not like anyone's forcing them to stay here

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 13:15

13. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2550; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


It's the plain truth. There are a million other sites these people can read that will make them feel better about their opinions. +1

posted on 24 Oct 2013, 01:14

15. TheOldOne (Posts: 99; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


who you ask? let me tell you my story: had an iPad 4 for my whife. My 3 years old boy one day broke the glass really hard. Obviously I have tried to service it: Apple representative asked me ~80USD just for "diagnisting it". They didn't even gave ma quotation for the repair itself, that was supposed to be AFTER the ~80$ diagnose!

I went online, read the tutorial from iFixIt (great guys over there!), got myself an iPad digitize online for ~50$ (including the glue), and fix it myself home, with basic tools; I've used:
- a hair dryer
- 4 guitar picks
- a small suction coup
- a steel Callus&Dead Skin remover (I've got from my wife nail care tools set.

Why do I want to repair it myself you ask:
- it took me 3 hours do do it myself, and it cost me only 50$, as opposed to sending it to Apple, pay way more and get the same job.

(I did open the iPad twice since then, took me ~30min second time, because I've left some finger prints on display).

The Apple "disgnoze" price is for Romania representative; if you live in other country most probably is different.

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 08:51

2. chunky1x (Posts: 254; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)


This is off topic. Today is Oct. 23 2013 and Dead Trigger is missing in action. Did they change the launch date?

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 08:53 16

3. sri_tech (Posts: 188; Member since: 21 May 2013)


What does Macbook air like innards mean?
You mean Haswell processors and 4GB RAM?

Why everything needs to compared with Apple devices when the ifixit themselves did not mention anything like that?

You people need to get out of iBubble.

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:08 3

4. naveenstuns (Posts: 172; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)


iphonearena -_-

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:23 3

8. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2550; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


See comment #7. Phone Arena evens knocks Apple in the article. How dense can you be?!

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:44 3

9. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 495; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


See comment number 3..

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:46 1

10. Shatter (Posts: 2031; Member since: 29 May 2013)


IPhone arena and like 90% of the readers are for android lol.

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:09 6

5. VLaRueC (Posts: 129; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)


If a product is built right, it shouldn't need repair. Nice of Apple Arena to admit that the Apple products are fragile.....in every single article. We get it...by the way, bought a surface pro 2 last night and not once did I ask my wife if we should consider repairability...

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 19:07 1

14. JunitoNH (Posts: 957; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Might as well purchased a laptop, that's what the surface pro is trying to be.

posted on 23 Dec 2013, 08:20

16. VLaRueC (Posts: 129; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)


What are you suggesting? That's like telling me a laptop is trying to be a computer....

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:15 2

6. solomonsteve (Posts: 75; Member since: 19 Dec 2012)


"The Surface Pro 2 is thus not a device you can easily repair. If you happen to get one, make sure to handle it with great care."

PhoneArena, will u man-handle a Surface Pro 2 if u get one at that price???

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 12:35

12. clevername (Posts: 1431; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


but i want to fix and/or repair all my new devices!

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