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iFixit tears apart the Dell XPS 13 and finds it easy to repair

The recently launched Dell XPS 13 with Windows 8.1 is the latest subject of the iFixit teardown team. They used their collection of screwdrivers, tweezers and other tools to break down this impressive notebook and found that it can be repaired, if needed, without much fuss.

Dell put a 13.3-inch UltraSharp QHD+ 3200x1800 display inside a body that would normally hold an 11-inch screen for its Dell XPS 13. In its teardown, iFixit used heat to remove the display from the case but then found something interesting inside:

After painstakingly cracking the clam, we find a mysterious black thread running along the inside of the top case. There's no mention in the service manual, but we're betting we just stumbled onto the easy way to get the LCD out—without the pain or the staking. The thread is routed in a channel beneath the display adhesive—pulling along the side ought to slice right through and free the panel, like cutting clay off a block.

Dell XPS 13 from iFixit

iFixit says the only real repair issue with the Dell XPS 13 is with its RAM; it's soldered onto the motherboard, which means owners won't be able to upgrade it after they buy the notebook.

Source: iFixit

27 Comments
  • If only all laptops did this. Oh well, Yoga batteries are easy to access... Right?
  • Exactly. Excellent design. Shame about the soldered RAM, otherwise excellent.
  • Same... Wowed me! RAM part isn't cool though
  • Keyboard looks like it has cheap decal keys. No thanks
  • Pleasantly surprised by this.   The RAM being soldered is a major disappointment though.
  • Thats how I feel about my samsung ativ book 9 plus. Soldered RAM and this laptop looked great, unless they offer a 16gb option, its not good for me. But anyway I won't be replacing my book 9 for now.
  • Exactly my tough, I want to change my Samsung Sandy-Bridge Based but I needed 12gb ram at least or be able to upgrade it Even that I really love this new XPS the ram is a deal breaker for me
  • How come its a disappointment if every single laptop in its class also has soldered RAM? I don't know a single ultrabook that lets you change it.
  • It's a disappointment because only 8Gb..
  • I've been using 8GB of RAM for the past 2 years. Never once have I felt "damn, I really need another 8GB". I don't game, but this isn't a gaming laptop anyway. 8GB is still plenty.
  • I disagree. This is the type of device that will likely be used by developers, who in my experience often like to have stuff running in VMs. As an example, once you have Visual Studio, SQL Server and a few instances of Chrome, etc, you'll already be using the full 8GB so to be able to run that happily in a VM and have some memory left for the host OS you'd want at least 12GB, probably 16GB
  • 8 gigabyte is still plenty! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Simple. It is a disappointment in all of them. Or can you point me to where I said it was a disappointment in this one only?
  • Good news. Because I'm bound to break mine.
  • I have a bad habit of opening every gadget I get.
  • I like this laptop. Going to Microsoft store tomorrow checking it out
  • It still possible to upgrade the RAM if u have the hot air soldering.... Btw most of Dell laptop are easy to open & repaired unlike the other laptop brand..
  • Man I don't like the non-upgradable RAM designs that are so prevalent now.  I understand that it is the price of slimming down the chassis, but I wish they would put out a new memory standard to address upgradability in the smallest form factor possible.  Adding RAM is one of the best ways to breathe new life into an aging machine.
  • Adding RAM and replacing the HDD with an SSD are the two biggest things to bring an aging laptop back to life.
  • Agreed.  But nowadays, SSD is kinda the norm for ultra thin laptops.  And mSATA kinda helps address the need for tiny storage in a small form factor.  I just wish they would do the same for RAM, make a smaller form factor standard to address modern size and space concerns.  Because there is no standard, that is why everyone is soldering the RAM onto the board. 
  • That's a fair point. And I totally get where you're coming from on the new standard for SSDs. If someone developed a smaller version then they could be left user replaceable even on super thin ultrabooks. 
  • I dislike SATA as utilized by HP. But addressing your comment, perhaps something al a expansion slot? From the 90's?
  • Actually, I quite like express card slots. Was great for having a built in compact flash card reader. Also great for external drives
  • Perhaps a comeback is nye
  • Upgradable RAM would be nice, but 8GB should be enough for my needs when I finally get one and I will. There's one with i7 QHD+ and 256GB SSD out there with my name on it :D
  • That's the very model I just got today. You'll be very happy with it :)
  • Headline brings hope, final paragraph stabs it in the heart