Surface Pro Fails iFixit Repair Analysis

By Jordan Mammo email: , Feb 13, 2013 02:39 PM EST

As a proud new owner of Microsoft's Surface Pro, you may be thinking about modifying your new tablet in order to boost its performance or enhance its storage capabilities.

You're being warned now: It's probably not a good idea.

The tablet just launched on Feb. 9, but the folks at iFixit have already deemed it necessary to take the thing apart and rate its reparability. The final score is an impressively awful 1 out of 10 for the Windows 8-based slate, which managed to score even worse than Apple's iPad did (a dismal 2 out of 10).

The Surface Pro boasts over 90 screws, some in easier places to reach than others, making seeking them all out and unfastening them a tiring ordeal. According to iFixit, there's a certifiable "metric duckload" of adhesive keeping everything where it needs to be, and unless you're 100 percent successful in opening the tablet, you're probably going clip at least one of the four cables circling the display.

Those behind the teardown eventually turned to using heat guns to warm the adhesive and poke it until it finally loosened up enough for the screen to be removed.

There are two good things about the Surface Pro's internals, though one of them comes with a debilitating caveat. First of all, the tablet's battery isn't fused to the motherboard, so there's no soldering required to swap it out for a new one. Secondly, the solid-state drive (SSD) can be removed (thus, it can be replaced), but iFixit warns that "you risk killing your tablet trying to open it."

In fairness, tablets aren't really known to accommodate hardware tinkerers (just take a second look at that iPad score), but there were some different expectations heading into to Surface Pro's launch. Microsoft has touted it as a best-of-both-worlds hybrid between laptops and tablets, so it's not unreasonable for people to expect a few more customizable options.

The examination is pretty damning, however, so the bottom line is this: Don't tamper with high-priced electronics unless you work for iFixit.

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