Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 look really hot in black. They also come with some sweet, sweet improvements in performance and other parts of the device. But are they easier to upgrade than their predecessors?
iFixit has the answer for you. As per usual, the folks at iFixit got both the new Surface Pro 6 and the Surface Laptop 2, tearing them both down. They then awarded both the devices a repairability score, which essentially indicates how easy it is to upgrade a device.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 got a repairability score of 1 out of 10, which is not any better than last year’s Surface Pro (or the Surface Pro 5, or the Surface Pro 2018, or whatever you call it — bad branding is bad). Like its predecessors, the Surface Pro 6 uses a ton of glue on the inside to keep things together, making it really difficult to take the device apart. iFixit says all repairs will require you to first remove the display assembly, which can be quite risky due to all the glue that’s holding it together. Moreover, iFixit says the new Surface Pro 6’s storage is no longer removable, unlike its predecessors — an interesting change, indeed.
As for the Surface Laptop 2, things aren’t looking any better. iFixit says the new version makes it slightly easier to take off the Alcantara-covered keyboard, but you have to break into the first internal layer to repair almost anything. Even for the Surface Connect port, you would have to take off the entire display assembly. iFixit says the battery of the device continues to be difficult to access and is “severely glued” in place, much like the original Surface Laptop 2. And the headphone jack? You have to take apart a ton of other, much bigger parts to even get access to the port. With all that considered, the Surface Laptop 2 got a repairability score of 0 out of 10, the same as the original Surface Laptop.
As I mentioned before, none of this is particularly surprising — the internals of these modern devices are incredibly cramped and there is almost nothing hardware makers can do to make things better without compromising the aesthetics of their products. And that’s a big deal in today’s age.