Microsoft’s new all-in-one tablet, the Surface Pro 3, is near impossible to repair if it breaks, according to the iFixit Teardown review.
iFixit helps consumers fix or upgrade gadgets rather than throw old electronics away. It offers self-help guides and repair manuals and has become famous for “tear down” reviews, where it pulls a gadget apart to see how easy it can be fix.
It gave the Surface Pro 3 the lowest possible “Repairability” score: a 1 out 10.
The main gripe was that the tablet was nearly impossible to open without breaking the screen’s glass. Despite using caution, the glass cracked during this review. iFixit explains:
“Microsoft went to great lengths to make the Surface Pro 3 super portable, thinning it down from the Pro 2’s 0.53-inch to a mere 0.36-inch thick-but it seems the thinner glass does not bode well for ruggedness, or repair…. The delicate and arduous opening procedure leaves no room for mistakes: one slip-up, and you’ll be out a screen.”
That’s because Microsoft chose glue, not screws, to hold things in place. That makes the machine very difficult to open and even more difficult to close back up again. Plus, other parts were held in place by non-standard connectors which are also hard to work with, iFixit says.
This isn’t a total shocker. iFixit also gave a low repairability rating to both earlier versions of the Surface Pro. Apple’s Macbook Air only earned a 4 out of 10 when iFixit tore it apart last year.
That said, reviewers have generally loved the hardware on the Surface Pro 3. Our own Steve Kovach said, “It’s lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air, all while boasting comparable or better specs. There’s a brilliant 12-inch touchscreen. A silent fan. A pen for doodling and taking notes.”
Microsoft says that people should only have the device repaired by an authorized service pro. A spokesperson tells Business Insider: “As with all of our Surface products, Surface Pro 3 is engineered with high-quality components to be as thin, light and powerful as possible and is designed to be serviced by professionals.”
Microsoft also notes that the device comes with a limited, one-year warranty on hardware defects, with an option to buy a second-year.