Microsoft’s new Surface Pro X computer may not have taken the world by storm as a Windows-on-ARM showcase, but as iFixit’s teardown reveals, the new hardware design is groundbreaking in other respects by being far easier to repair than other Surfaces.
When Microsoft announced the Surface Pro X, it highlighted the removable SSD, which is hidden behind a pop-up door alongside the SIM card and can be easily removed by taking out a single screw.
But there are plenty of other changes Microsoft has made here that make the Surface Pro X easier to repair than older models (like the Surface Pro 6). The screen is held down with foam adhesive instead of the globs of glue that nearly every other tablet-style device uses. All of the screws are standard Torx screws, making it relatively simple to take apart once the screen is off.
iFixit also praises the Surface Pro X for featuring a variety of modular components, particularly for the USB and Surface Connect ports, meaning you’ll be able to replace just a single part if something goes wrong, not the whole laptop.
On the flip side, the teardown found that the battery is extremely difficult to remove, requiring almost the entire laptop to be disassembled to get it out. Given that battery replacements are one of the more common hardware repairs (especially as devices get older and batteries wear down), that’s a bit disappointing.
While the screen is easier to remove than nearly any other tablet, you’ll still have to remove it for most repairs, which means that you’ll probably still need to take it into a repair shop for anything more serious than swapping the SSD.
Still, iFixit ranks the Surface Pro X at a 6 out of 10 on its repairability scale, making it the most repairable Surface tablet the company has made. It’s also easier to repair than any of Apple’s current iPad hardware. Assuming Microsoft continues to build new hardware with the Surface Pro X’s design language in future years, that level of repairability is a very encouraging thing to see.