The new Surface tablet from Microsoft has been unleashed upon the world. It’s now out in the wild, available for consumers to buy…and you know what that means. iFixit has gotten their hands on the Windows RT slate and torn it apart, so they can let us know what components it contains, and how repairable it will be when the need arises.
First, the components: there’s lots of Samsung gear inside the Surface, which really isn’t too surprising. Both the 32GB of flash memory and the LCD display panel are Samsung supplied, while the processor is from NVIDIA and the RAM is from Micron. Interestingly, the audio chip responsible for digital-analog conversion is made by Wolfson, a UK company that makes some of the best mobile audio chips you can find. It’s an unexpected bonus to find their gear in the Surface tablet.
Now for the bad part: the Surface scores a mere 4 out of 10 on iFixit’s repairability scale. The reasons for the low (but not as low as the last-gen iPad) score are:
- It’s pretty difficult to remove the rear panel and gain access to the device.
- It is impossible to remove the keyboard connector without first removing the display from the frame.
- LCD and glass are fused together and strongly adhered to the case, increasing cost of replacement.
- You’ll have to use a heat gun and lots of patience to gain access to the glass and LCD.
The only reason the Surface scored any points at all on iFixit’s repairability scale is that once you finally get the device open, the battery and several other components are modular and easily replaceable. So if you can get the back panel off without destroying it, required operations like battery replacement will be possible a couple years down the road.