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.
It starts with how Microsoft has built the SSD into the Surface Pro X. All you’ll need to access the compartment that holds the drive is a SIM eject tool a paperclip will also do in a pinch. That’s it: you don’t need to pry off the display to get at the internal storage. There a lot of reasons this is great, but the thing most future Pro X owners will likely appreciate is that they’ll be able to upgrade the SSD on their own easily.
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.
Other repairability highpoints include that you’ll only need a Torx screwdriver to remove all the screws, and the fact that most of the components, including the two USB-C ports, are modular. “It would seem that Microsoft has placed at least one foot on the repairability train—between this Pro X and the Laptop 3, we can hardly believe all the repair-focused changes they’ve made!” says iFixit.
After completing the teardown, the company awarded the Surface Pro X a repairability score of six out of 10 (a higher score indicates an easier to repair device). To put that score in perspective, the iPad Pro earned a three out of 10. Repairability, like water resistance, is one of those things that isn’t important until it becomes the most important aspect of a device. Eventually, something in your device will break usually at the worst possible moment. When it does, you might appreciate the fact that you can do the repair yourself.