Microsoft's New Surface Laptop Scores 0 out of 10 for Repairability

Unless you're an eccentric billionaire with more money than sense you'll probably want your purchases to stand the test of time. If you recently bought Microsoft's new Surface Laptop you may want to look away now.

The guys over at iFixit, a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix many electrical devices, have dived into Microsoft's newest addition to the Surface line to see how easy it would be to repair. The bad news is it scored 0 out of 10 for reparability which really doesn't fill you with much confidence to actually buy one. The video goes into more depth describing how getting into the laptop is a "total nightmare" because it has no visible screws or obvious points of entry. The iFixit team eventually resort to using a heat gun and Jimmy knife to remove the fabric keyboard cover and the results are not pretty.

Here are the main points they came up with:

  • This laptop is not meant to be opened or repaired; you can’t get inside without inflicting a lot of damage.
  • The CPU, RAM, and onboard storage are soldered to the motherboard, making upgrades a no-go.
  • The headphone jack, while modular, can only be accessed by removing the heat sink, fan, display, and motherboard.
  • The battery is difficult and dangerous to replace, giving the device a limited lifespan.

This is not the first and most definitely won't be the last laptop to score so terribly in reparability on iFixit. As manufacturers race to make devices ever thinner, lighter, and visually more appealing, compromises are always going to be made. Just seems a shame that it's the environment and the end consumer who lose out in the long run.

If you ever wanted to see an example of planned obsolescence in all its glory look no further than Microsoft's new Surface Laptop.

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12 Comments

william mitchell's picture

MS making Apple look good (well a little better0 for once. The Surface pro really is a tablet and look at the price.

Paul Adshead's picture

Haha too true! I'm definitely going to start checking iFixit before making any future purchases...

Jon Wolding's picture

Holding out hope for the rumored "modular mac pro"....

Paul Adshead's picture

That would be very interesting!

"You shouldn't buy a Mac. Upgrading or fixing it is hard."

william mitchell's picture

It is true that most apple products are hard for a user to repair. You still can upgrade the RAM on a 27 inch iMac after purchase. And on the new 21.5 inch iMac Apple or a tech can upgrade the RAM. Buy a mac set up the way you need it even if that is doing a build to order on apples web site. Apple stores carry standard configurations. You get what you pay for, start writing about lower cost windows computers and hardware incompatibilities will start a long discussion tread.

I wonder why manufacturers make choices like that. If anything breaks, you can throw the device away. I just wonder how they will handle when something brakes with the warranty period.

Paul Adshead's picture

Excellent point about the warranty...

Peter Georges's picture

They'll probably have to give you a refurbished replacement similar to how iPhone/iPad warranty issues are handled.

Paul Adshead's picture

You're right about the iphone replacement model but these laptops are not repairable so they won't be replaced with refurbished laptops as they won't be any!

william mitchell's picture

Making user upgrades and repairs imposable makes customer support much easier and cheaper.

I just refuse to buy irreparable devices. It's a shame because I was eyeing that Surface Laptop for a while.

Thanks for the heads up.