Following the release of a new Microsoft device, the inevitable teardown has arrived from iFixit – and the verdict on the Surface Pro 6 is predictably not good, with the hybrid scoring just 1/10 for repairability.
As ever, one of the main criticisms dragging down that score is the liberal use of glue, and the fact that any repair necessitates the removal of the display assembly first – and that is ‘stubbornly’ glued in place, and could be prone to shattering as it’s prized out.
The battery is also firmly glued into the device, and its connector is underneath the motherboard, meaning any technician will be looking at a lot of work – a “near total disassembly“ in iFixit’s words – if it needs attention.
Incidentally, the quad-cell battery is the same capacity as last year’s model at 45Wh (we noted in our hands-on Surface Pro 6 review that the claimed battery life remains the same as its predecessor, at 13.5 hours).
Same old story
The Surface Pro 6 also comes under fire for not having removable storage, and iFixit concludes that, overall, the complex construction of the hybrid makes any repair work very fiddly compared to other tablets, and the device is “just as un-upgradable and un-repairable as ever”.
So yes, there are no real surprises in the low score, with Microsoft’s hardware traditionally doing very poorly in terms of these repairability ratings.
And if you think a score of 1/10 is bad, then other Surface products have actually done worse, with the original Surface Laptop managing to achieve an impressive 0/10 in its teardown.
The recent Surface Go also only hit 1/10, with Microsoft again criticized for the overuse of glue in securing the various components inside the tablet, and for the fact that replacing any part again necessitates the removal of the display, a tricky task.
Microsoft isn’t the only repairability offender, mind you, with Apple’s tablets also traditionally scoring badly when it comes to iFixit’s ratings. One of the main compromises in the construction of these sort of thin-and-sleek premium devices is the trampling over any possibility of easy (or DIY) repairs.