What you need to know
- iFixit continued its series of Surface guttings with the Surface Pro 7 today.
- Where the Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3 showed some promise this year, the Surface Pro 7 remains a headache.
- The Surface Pro 7 gained a 1/10 "repairability" score, keeping in line with previous versions.
If the relatively good scores iFixit gave the Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3 had your hopes up for the Surface Pro 7, it's time to check those expectations. Where the Surface Pro 7 carried forward the same design as last year's tablet hybrid, it also appears to have done the same on the repairability front. In its teardown, iFixit gave the Surface Pro 7 a repairability score of one out of ten, which matches the score for the Surface Pro 6 and 2017 Surface Pro before it.
Like its predecessors, the Surface Pro 7's low score comes down to a combination of how hard it is to access its interiror and the inability to replace certain parts. In particular, Microsoft makes it hard to get inside the Surface Pro 7, requiring removal of the display, which is "stubbornly glued in place." Once inside, the battery is also glued in place, and requires lots of solvents and prying to remove.
Beyond the display and battery, the Surface Pro 7's CPU, storage drive, and RAM are soldered to the motherboard. That makes it impossible to replace or upgrade those components without replacing the full board.
The Surface Pro 7's score isn't unexpected, but it stands in contrast to the improvements seen in the Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3 this year. The Surface Pro X was hailed by iFixit as the most repairable Surface Pro yet, while the Surface Laptop 3 managed to swing a score of 5 out of 10, improving the zero out of 10 given to Surface Laptop 2.
Still, if you're unswayed by all this talk of repairability, the Surface Pro 7 is currently available to order starting at $749.
Black Friday buyer's guide: Windows 10 tablets
The Surface Pro 7 very much keeps things similar to previous iterations, but powers up substantially with Intel's "Ice Lake" 10th Gen processors.
The main reason I'd never get a Surface and always stick to a clamshell laptop whose battery is more easily replaceable.
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