iFixIt Gives Surface Laptop Lowest-Possible Score

Posted on June 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 117 Comments

iFixIt Gives Surface Laptop Lowest-Possible Score

The teardown specialists at iFixIt have rendered a damning indictment against Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop. It’s not repairable in any way, and it will have a limited lifespan thanks to the design of its battery.

“The Surface Laptop is not a laptop,” the site concludes. “It’s a glue-filled monstrosity. There is nothing about it that is upgradable or long-lasting, and it literally can’t be opened without destroying it.”

Granted, this isn’t the first time a Surface device was described as a repair nightmare. Surface Pro 4, for example, was likewise cited for its terrible repairability. But Surface Pro 4 was at least awarded 2 out of 10 points, apparently because its SSD is replaceable.

Surface Laptop? It received 0 out of 10 points. Yes, zero.

Here’s why:

This laptop is not meant to be opened or repaired; you can’t get inside without inflicting a lot of damage. There are no screws, so iFixIt needed to use a Jimmy blade and an iOpener to forcibly peel away the Alcantara-covered keyboard lid, which is held on by overly-strong adhesive and welding glue. Once it’s ripped off, it cannot be replaced because the unit is destroyed by this process.

The CPU, RAM, and onboard storage are soldered to the motherboard, making upgrades a no-go. What you get with Surface Laptop is what it will die with: None of the core components can be replaced or upgraded.

The headphone jack, while modular, can only be accessed by removing the heat sink, fan, display, and motherboard. And that is a daunting, multi-step process.

The battery is difficult and dangerous to replace, giving the device a limited lifespan. This is particularly disappointing, frankly. It’s like Surface Laptop was designed to be temporary.

This is a bit disheartening, frankly.


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