iFixit outs tablet repairability list; Surface Pro in last place

The company has provided a single space where folks can find out how easy it is to take apart and fix a tablet.

It's not so easy to get at the bones of the iPad Mini.
It's not so easy to get at the bones of the iPad Mini. CNET

iFixit, a company that takes apart technology products, analyzes what's inside, and determines their repairability, has launched a new platform to make it easier for folks to lean more about tablets.

The company's new "Tablet Repairability" list shows all of the recently released slates it's taken apart and discusses how easy it is to repair them when trouble erupts. Each device is given a score on a scale of 10, with the top product -- the Dell XPS 10 -- earning the highest score of a 9, thanks to it being easy to open, and to its collection of color-coded screws and labeled cables.

Apple and Microsoft have been listed as the least repair-friendly companies. The Surface RT could muster only a 4 in iFixit's scale owing to how difficult it is to open the tablet. The iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, and iPad Mini all received scores of 2 for the difficulty iFixit found in trying to open them. Still, it was the recently released Surface Pro that received the worst score in iFixit's list, earning a 1 for its "tons of adhesive holds," among other issues.

iFixit has been releasing its thoughts on repairability for quite some time . However, it hasn't previously listed a single place for would-be DIYers to go and find out how easy it is to take apart a tablet.

"We weren't able to list every single tablet, but this list is a good start," an iFixit representative told CNET in an e-mail. "We have to disassemble each tablet to score it, so additional hardware will show up as we perform more teardowns. Our hope is that through customers' votes, manufacturers will create long-lasting, easy-to-repair hardware that we can all love."

Read the full CNET Review

Apple iPad Mini

The Bottom Line: If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price. Otherwise, good alternatives are available for less money. / Read full review

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.



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