iFixit Goes Inside the Surface Go, Awards a Low Repairability Score

Posted on August 3, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Mobile, Microsoft Surface with 29 Comments

It’s not been long since Microsoft’s smallest Surface ever, the Surface Go, came out. And the folks at iFixit have already torn the entire device down. iFixit, for those unfamiliar, tears down latest hardware and awards them a “repairability” score that’s essentially an indicator of how easy it is to repair or upgrade a device.

And like every other Surface device to date, the Surface Go isn’t any better when it comes to the repairability score. iFixit awarded the device with a repairability score of 1 out of 10, which means it’s going to be quite challenging to repair or upgrade the hardware. The main complaint from iFixit continues to be revolved around the usage of adhesive: when the Surface Laptop got a repairability score of 0, iFixit called it a “glue-filled monstrosity”. And that’s no different here. On the Surface Go, iFixit complimented the easily disconnectable battery, but that later got shattered by the two “giant pads of adhesive” holding the battery cells together.

iFixit says the lack of modularity and upgradability will make repairs “unnecessarily” expensive, and “severely” limit the device’s lifespan. In fact, replacement of any part on the device will require you to remove the display assembly completely, which is easily prone to damage. Either way, that’s expected on a 10-inch computer.

Microsoft’s Surface has never been known for upgradability. The company’s Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro got a repairability score of 1 as well, with the Surface Laptop getting a score of 0, and the Surface Studio coming up strong with 5. The small, cramped form factor of these devices make it incredibly hard to tear them down and upgrade all the different parts, and that’s expected here on a 10-inch device. Even Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a repairability score of 2, so Microsoft isn’t doing too bad here.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “iFixit Goes Inside the Surface Go, Awards a Low Repairability Score”

  1. mrdrwest

    I can only hope the warranties are generous.

    I've always found these iFixIt scores pointless for precision, THIN formfactor hardware.

    Be that as it may, if precision manufactured devices can be repaired within justifiably reasonable prices and turn around time, great!

  2. Jeffery Commaroto

    For anyone here who has had a Surface device and run into issues, curious to hear what their experiences have been getting service.

  3. jules_wombat

    Yeah Great for Dolphins.

    Lets all just trash our old Tech. The selfish Western lifestyle really has to ask questions of itself, on how its raping the earth of precious metals, dumping 3 year old tech into landfill. Our Great Great Grandkids will be so proud of us.

  4. Nonmoi

    Totally as expected, if you want a PC that is truly portable/pocket-able and can be repaired more or less like a normal PC/laptop, then you should go for a GPD WIN2/Pocket2.

  5. glenn8878

    You don’t repair them. You’re more likely to stop using it after 2 years due to lack of processor speed. Get a laptop.

  6. Daniel D

    When you have to compare your product to Apple and argue its ever so slightly better for repairability, you know you are in trouble. This isn't a win for anyone except Microsoft, who wants your Surface in landfill as quickly as possible.

  7. hrlngrv

    In my own experience, as bad as Surface Gos may be, they shouldn't need anywhere near as frequent repairs or replacements as Kindle Fires. Still, people do tend to let batteries run down to zero too often (though Windows should be better about shutting down while still above 0% than other tablet OSes), so batteries do tend to need more frequent replacement than manufacturers may anticipate.

    • pecosbob04

      In reply to hrlngrv:"people do tend to let batteries run down to zero too often (though Windows should be better about shutting down while still above 0% than other tablet OSes)"

      Why do you think they should be better/

  8. jimchamplin

    This is a surprise? Thin to win, ya know. Also, cheaply made to win.

  9. MikeGalos

    Of course it got a low score. It's a tablet form factor.

    You want easy repair and upgrade, get a thick laptop or, better yet, a desktop.

    That's kind of the whole tradeoff you make for portability.

  10. curtisspendlove

    I don’t care if t is repairable or upgradable, as long as Microsoft is willing to replace it if it breaks (not due to my own fault).

  11. Samr

    The extremely poor repairability of the Surface range of products is the best reason in my opinion not to buy them if your employer is not paying. One fault outside of warranty will write them off.

    Also factor in the lack of outside of warranty support for repairs.

    Apple for all its faults will relatively cheaply repair its products way outside of warranty. There is a vast array of outside repair facilities that are much cheaper as well. As a result Apple products have a very very long service life with even secondhand values being high.

  12. zybch

    Absolutely expected for a device like this where portability is going to rate a lot higher on people's radars than the ability to replace a drive or upgrade the RAM. Also, for $400 what do they expect, desktop PC ease of disassembly?

    • Nonmoi

      In reply to zybch:

      Its less about price, more about design. For example, all windows tablets, Surface Pro 3 and up are consistently harder to repair than the HP tablets of last 2 generation, and HP tablets are at similar or cheaper price.


      Now, not all consumer will need/willing to do repair by themselves, it is actually more about the cost of up hold warranty for MS itself. (Remeber how Band was cancelled largely because the warranty cost is too high?)

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to zybch:

      Tangent: batteries do fail before the rest of a device becomes obsolete. A tablet with a bad battery isn't usable, and getting new batteries into glued-together devices usually means a week or two without the device.

  13. thea2_

    I guess globs of glue are cheaper than bolts and receiving mount points. Wonder what the reject rate is on the assembly line and how they recycle the rejects.

  14. dstrauss

    Why do people obsess about repairability of tablet devices - if your device must be upgradeable or easily repaired, stick to laptops with removable bases (i.e. HP x360 line or something comparable).