Surface Duo is hard to repair, though you probably already knew that

Surface Duo 2020
Surface Duo 2020 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • iFixit tested the repairability of Microsoft's Surface Duo.
  • The Surface Duo earned a 2/10 repairability score, in part due to glued and soldered parts.
  • If repaired, it appears that opening the Surface Duo through its displays is the best option.

Microsoft's Surface Duo is a remarkably thin and light device. It has two folding halves that can rotate around a 360-degree hinge. Microsoft spent years designing and refining the Surface Duo. That's nice for creating a thin and light device with a unique form factor, but it's apparently pretty bad for repairability.

iFixit recently tore down the Surface Duo to reveal its glue-filled insides. The Surface Duo has "stubborn glue at all entry points" and has batteries that are glued down. The USB-C port of the device is soldered directly to the main board, which makes it more difficult to repair. For these and other reasons, the Surface Duo earned a 2/10 repairability score from iFixit.

Microsoft seems to prioritize sticking things in place for safety with the Surface Duo. Microsoft's own bumper case is one of the best Surface Duo cases, and even it attaches with adhesive.

It's not that surprising that the Surface Duo isn't easy to repair, though some will be disappointed. Microsoft focused heavily on making the Surface Duo thin and light, and that seems to have come at the cost of repairability. The addition of the hinge also complicates the device's design. In general, Surface devices don't have excellent repairability scores from iFixit, though they've gotten better over time.

Microsoft Surface Duo

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

5 Comments
  • This, for me, is the single-biggest drawback about these Surface devices, and it's only because the battery is something that will inevitably degrade and require replacement over time. Even conventional laptops/ultrabooks have bottoms you can open with a screwdriver to access the battery.
  • I don't think you will find any device this slim (4,3mm) with a replaceable battery.
  • Where are the fail test reviews! I want to see drop test, and overall durability test.
  • I would like to see that too. Especially since there's no real case solutions for this. I wouldn't buy this at all w/o some protection plan for it for the lack of protection alone.
  • Speaking of protection plan.. I need to make sure mine is active. Thanks for reminding me.