Surface RT Tablet Gets Teardown: Fairly Tough to Repair

While Microsoft's Surface is a little easier to repair than the iPad 3, the in-demand Windows 8-powered tablet is still fairly fairly difficult to repair, according to experts iFixit.

The website rated Surface's "repairability" a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the easiest). Comparatively, the iPad has a rating of 2, while the Amazon Kindle Fire boasts a rating of 8.

"The Microsoft Surface is a quirky cat," said iFixit. "Microsoft engineers clearly took a different internal design direction than what we've seen in the iPad and the Nexus/Kindles. But sadly, its overall fixability is closer to the near-impossible-to-open iPad than it is to the spudger-friendly Android tablets."

iFixit noted that Surface's design allows users to open the device without having fear of shattering the display glass. In addition, several components are modular and replaceable without the need of de-soldering. The battery, meanwhile, can be removed straightforwardly.

That said, the site stressed that it's going to take some effort to remove the rear panel in order to gain access to the tablet. It's apparently impossible to remove the keyboard connector without initially removing the display from Surface's frame.

Elsewhere, in order to gain access to the device's LCD and glass, users will have to tear their way through the whole tablet. iFixit also said those on repair duty will require a heat gun and "lots of patience to gain access to the glass and LCD," with the two components said to be strongly fixed to the case.

Check out our hands-on impressions with the Surface RT here.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
15 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • kungpaoshizi
    Who cares about 'fixing' a tablet? I would be happy with just being able to replace the battery, and that scores a 10.
    19
  • Other Comments
  • kungpaoshizi
    Who cares about 'fixing' a tablet? I would be happy with just being able to replace the battery, and that scores a 10.
    19
  • g00fysmiley
    well at leas tthe abttery is easily replacable... one up on apple there, but yea shame all these tablets can't really easily be repaired, something breaks and liek some laptops it is ruined due to impossibility to replace some parts... though at least in a laptop memory and hdd are replacable... i would love to see a tablet enter the market wit a level or fixability and ability to upgrade some things like imagine a read ssd where you can upgrade to a larger on... oh one can dream
    -1
  • cryogenic
    The only repair yourself need you'll actually have is to replace the battery, all others fall outside of tablet segment due to highly customized hardware (IE no spare parts to be purchased).
    8