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Teardown report slams glued up Surface Pro

14 Feb 2013

Researchers at do-it-yourself repair site iFixit have given the Surface Pro tablet a one out of 10 score for repairability, because it is so difficult to access the tablet's innards.

IFixit staff slammed the device for its glued in battery, fused in LCD screen, and excessive number of screws holding it together. The Surface Pro's score highlights the growing trend by companies to produce devices that are difficult or impossible fir users to repair themselves.

"Unless you perform the opening procedure 100 percent correctly, chances are you'll shear one of the four cables surrounding the display perimeter," wrote iFixit in its repairability report.

IFixit reported that the Surface Pro's screen was fixed in place with an excessive amount of adhesive, which itself was so strong it was compared to tar.

"We tried every method we could think of to free the screen, including cutting the adhesive, to no avail. This Pro requires a pro method," continued iFixit.

The number of screws used to fasten the device also proved troublesome. IFixit reports that the Surface Pro had over 90 screws inside it. While the group is a proponent of mechanical fastening methods, they stated that having so many is "crazy".

Like many other tablets, the Surface Pro features a battery secured in place with glue, which the iFixit team discovered needed special tools to get the battery out of its adhesive-heavy compartment.

The difficulty involved in getting the battery out could prove troublesome to consumers, as batteries often have a lifetime of just a couple of years, depending on use, before needing replacing.

The Surface Pro's unrepairable nature adds to the growing list of devices whose makers have decided to forgo post-purchase do-it-yourself repair options.

IFixit recently gave the iPad Mini a two out 10 score for serviceability, while Microsoft's Surface RT was scored four out 10.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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