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Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2 earn terrible 'repairability' scores from iFixit

Outside of upgraded processors and a fresh matte black finish, the new Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 are virtually identical to their predecessors, and it looks like that extends to the difficulty of self-repairs as well. The folks at iFixit have dug into both devices, revealing that they're just as difficult to crack into as last year's Surface Pro and the original Surface Laptop, making repairs a pain.

For the Surface Pro 6, iFixit gave the device a "repairability" score (a one-to-ten scale on how easy something is to repair) of one out of 10. That's the exact same score given out to the 2017 Surface Pro, and it largely comes down to the newer tablet's complex construction. You're required to perform the delicate task of removing the display to get access to the Surface Pro 6's internals, at which point you're pretty limited in what you can replace. That's due to a combination of components that are either glued into place or unremovable.

Scoring even lower, however, is the Surface Laptop 2, which achieved the same zero out of 10 score as its predecessor. The low score comes down to the fact that you essentially have to destroy the Alcantara keyboard cover to get at the internals. Complicating things even further are the CPU, RAM, and storage, which are all soldered in place.

If you're big into repairing your own devices, the low scores here are no doubt a blow. But, for most people, the delicate task of repairing a laptop or tablet on their own doesn't even factor into the equation. If something goes wrong, it's likely most would opt to seek a return or take advantage of their warranty. Still, this presents a problem for devices that are outside of their warranty period, at which point buyers might prefer to avoid potentially costly replacements.

If you're unfazed by things like repair scores, the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 are available now starting at $899 and $999, respectively.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

9 Comments
  • Looking at the scores, feels a bit arbitrary considering that the pixel 3 got a 4/10 on repairability and it looks like a nightmare to fix. Not that the surfaces are a walk in the park, I replaced the battery in my SP4 and it was brutal. Just seems that they're arbitrarily harsh over at iFixit lately.
  • I'm not sure this is a surprise to anyone. With devices getting smaller, components getting smaller/more advanced and dust/water resistant ratings (that last one doesn't apply to the surface line), opening these things will be almost impossible for the average person. Hell, I'm guessing that cost of some components with the extra labor time mean that it would just be better to buy a new device than fix an old one out of warranty. Don't get me wrong, I miss the days of replacing a laptop harddrive, adding ram or even replacing motherboards, but I will take the lighter weights, more advanced batteries and components today as the trade off. The first laptop I ever had at my first job out of college was 5-6lbs and it was a pain in the butt to carry around (I traveled everyday). Today my laptop is a bit over 3lbs and feels so much better lugging around.
  • This shouldn't be a surprise. Just look at them, and what they're capable of. These aren't the computers of yesteryear, and part of innovation is compromise. Phones are faster, smarter, and more beautiful than ever. At the expense of removable batteries and repairability. The same extends to all electronics.
  • tbh I can understand it on the surface pro but the laptop should be more easily to repair Microsoft. It's not even that thin.
  • While I enjoy ifixit's videos of tearing apart products that weren't designed to be torn apart, I also think they get a bit carried away. Was there anything that made them believe that Surface Laptop 2 (for example) was in anyway different from the original that a second teardown was anything more than another chance to be critical of Microsoft? I watched the video of the product reveal and Panos Panay even said as part of that the Laptop was designed to make it difficult to even see how the device is put together. That is one of its aesthetic points, just as it was with the first one. ifixit should probably focus the purpose of teardowns of products like the Surface on the more helpful information about the internal components used in the devices than some rather useless "reparability" score.
  • There's no RAM installation. And it takes a heating pad to loosen the screen. They did not show how the screen holds in place after the sd hd replacement. It takes detailed instructions. Did anyone try out with either surface pro/book to see how the machine holds after the replacement operations?
  • I can't change my name. I use many names. This comment I made should be made with the other names.
  • Well, that's a first. Never have I ever heard a negativity for the Surface line.
  • And? This is pretty common for Ultrabooks and tablets.