Microsoft Surface Laptop Scores Zero for Repairability

By Alan Spencer
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The teardown experts, iFixit gave Apple’s new MacBooks a very poor 1/10 score for repairability, but now Microsoft has gone one worse with its new Surface Laptop which gets zero out of 10, meaning it’s almost impossible to repair.

Much like the new MacBooks, one of the reasons the Surface Laptop fares so badly is the heavy use of glue in the machine. Also, as with Apple’s notebooks, the main components of processor, memory and storage are all soldered to the motherboard. In fact, it is almost impossible to even open the Surface Laptop without destroying it.

iFixit further concluded that the battery is difficult, and moreover, dangerous, to replace as it took 10 steps to remove it. Traditionally, Microsoft’s hybrids have never fared particularly well when it comes to iFixit’s repairability ratings, but sinking below the MacBook is clearly a new low.

Microsoft Surface laptop scores zero for repairability

Analyst Comment

There are organisations in the US (e.g. repair.org) that act as advocates for a ‘right to repair’ and in the US some legislation has been passed to allow access to repair information in the automotive industry. However, these are just about the information needed to repair, not ensuring that devices can be repaired. In July 2013, the “Digital Right to Repair Coalition” was founded by organisations including the EFF and iFixit. It has now become the Repair Association. It is allied with groups that have campaigned to allow cell phone unlocking and other topics.