One of the best things about a desktop computer is that they are easy to crack open and repair, or even upgrade. Changing out processors, RAM and hard drives is a piece of cake. The same can’t be said for more mobile devices.
The more mobile a device, the more convenient but also the harder it is to repair. While today’s laptops often allow easy upgrade of RAM and even processors, tablets are pretty much locked down and not designed to be opened by anyone except the vendor or an authorized repair person.
Still, iFixit compiles a list of mobile device breakdowns for tablets and smartphones that show how easy or hard it is to open up, repair or even (when possible) upgrade certain components like the battery or SSD.
While the Microsoft Surface RT was rated an impress 4 out of 10 repeatability rating (compared to the iPad’s 2 at least), the same can’t be said for its x86 brother, the Surface Pro. It seems semi-ironic to me that the x86 version is harder to repair than the ARM (considering that x86 is very upgrade friendly in PC desktop form), but at the same time I’m not that surprised. Trying to get an x86 motherboard and processor in such a tiny space is no easy feat I’m sure.
The overall repairability rating for the Surface Pro is a 1 out of 10, which basically means that only Microsoft should be trusted with your Surface Pro. That might mean even trusted PC repair shops are probably not the best place to take your tablet once the warranty goes out.
Ifixit notes that some of the things that make the Surface Pro so difficult to work with includes its extreme use of screws, totaling to a staggering 90. Additionally, unless you open the tablet up perfectly to Microsoft’s standards, you could end up destroying one of the four display cables.
The good news is that the Surface Pro’s SSD and battery are technically replaceable, if you are lucky enough to get it open without doing major damage to your tablet.
Tablets aren’t meant to be easily repaired at home by the DIY type, and so this isn’t at all surprising. Still I find it kind of strange that the Surface RT is considered easy to do repairs to. What do you think, does the repairability score of 1 versus the 4 for the RT model surprise you or not? Share your thoughts below.