Microsoft announced the Surface Laptop early last month alongside the stripped down Windows 10 S. At the time, the Surface Laptop seemed like any other thin-and-light PC Microsoft has pushed. It was a little under-powered and more expensive than the competition, but it was stylish with a fabric-covered frame and almost impossibly thin chassis. Well, it turns out that design comes with some major drawbacks if anything ever breaks.
According to iFixit, the Surface Laptop isn’t repairable at all. In fact, it got a 0 out of 10 for repairability and was labeled a “glue-filled monstrosity.” Ouch. That’s never happened before. The lowers scores previously were a 1 out of 10 for all previous iterations of the Surface Pro and the 2013 HTC One Android smartphone.
It’s clear that Microsoft never intended for the Surface Laptop to be repaired because it’s a completely sealed device. There aren’t even any screws to take out, so iFixit had to slice the fabric cover open to peel it away from the metal chassis. That’s never going back together. The inner metal shield is also devoid of screws, relying instead upon spot welds and glue. Again, this is probably not going to be reassembled.
The metal shield comes off with the keyboard and trackpad. Under that is where the meat of the machine lives. The top half of the chassis contains the motherboard and associated hardware, and the bottom half has the lithium-ion battery cells. The motherboard unsurprisingly contains the SSD and RAM, which are soldered in place. So, no upgrades here.
Only after taking the motherboard completely out of the case can you access the battery. Replacing a defective or worn out battery is one of the most common repairs on laptops, but it’s really not feasible here. Even if the case could be opened without destroying it, you have to take everything out to access the battery. You’re likely to break more things in the process.
Seeing as they needed to destroy the laptop to take it apart, the Surface Laptop really deserves that 0 out of 10 rating. iFixit even questions whether Microsoft has a procedure to repair the Surface Book in the event someone gets a defective unit. It’s likely they’ll just swap the computer for a working one and recycle the old one regardless of what’s wrong.
The lack of repairability also limits the device’s lifespan. When something breaks, even something that would be easy to fix in another device, you might as well just throw it out.
Let’s block ads! (Why?)