updated 11:37 am EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Teardown of Surface Pro 3 reveals high usage of adhesive on components
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is extremely difficult to repair, according to the results of a teardown by repair outfit iFixit. The latest iteration of the Microsoft tablet continues the trend of the original Surface Pro and the Surface Pro 2 in receiving one single point out of a maximum repairability score of ten, with the device said to be making repairs even harder thanks to its use of glue and consolidated components.
The teardown started off poorly with the team cracking the display's glass. After warming the display and inserting picks to lever the screen away from the rest of the casing and adhesive, one area cooled down and caused too much stress on the thinner glass, casing the damage. A sprung metal connector was found to attach the display to the main board, with a thin contact board on the other end. The battery, next to be removed, was held in to the casing by a combination of screws and adhesive, making the battery's removal next to impossible without warping or damaging the unit.
Adhesive remains the enemy when extracting the main sections of circuitry. Components discovered inside include Samsung RAM modules, a Marvell wireless module for Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi; and in the model taken apart by the team, an Intel Core i5 processor. As explained during its launch, the Surface Pro 3 uses less in the way of fans than the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, with iFixit noting the cooling system to resemble one found in a notebook more than a tablet.
In passing judgment, iFixit issued the low repair score based on the high-risk and delicate nature of taking the Surface Pro 3 apart, the fused glass panel and LED display assembly, the large quantities of adhesive used, and the appearance of non-standard connectors. Despite this, it is noted that the SSD held within the casing can be replaced relatively easily compared to the rest of the unit, though the difficult extraction of the part will put off all but the more intrepid users.