Surface Pro 3 as hard to repair as predecessors, iFixit says

The latest tablet from Microsoft gets the lowest possible repairability score from gadget-repair site iFixit.

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Teardown of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3. iFixit

Microsoft's new Surface Pro 3 tablet may be thinner and lighter than its predecessors, but it's apparently just as hard to repair.

Gadget-repair site iFixit completed a teardown of the new tablet, which went on sale Friday, and gave the device the lowest possible marks for ease of repair, which iFixit calls "repairability." The Surface Pro 3 -- just like the past models Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 -- received a repairability score of 1, on a 1 to 10 scale.

The Surface line of tablets is a significant part of Microsoft's mobile efforts as the software giant looks for growth outside of the slowing personal computer business. The company bought Nokia's handset business for more than $7 billion this year and has committed vast resources to the Surface tablets. Microsoft has presented the Surface Pro 3 as a true workplace device, able to take the place of a laptop or desktop PC.

Microsoft, however, has struggled to break into the tablet world, where Apple has maintained a leading position. In the fourth quarter, Apple held 34 percent of the tablet market, with Samsung taking 19 percent and Amazon snagging 8 percent, according to market researcher IDC. Microsoft didn't even make it into the top five tablet vendors.

Microsoft's latest tablet trades in the Surface Pro 2's more than 90 screws for "some seriously hideous adhesive," which iFixit said it found holding in place many components, including the display and battery, making any repairs quite difficult. Also, the thin display assembly is made up of a fused glass panel and LCD, iFixit said, that is "extremely difficult" to remove and replace. "One slip-up, and you'll be out a screen," the site warned.

The Surface Pro 3 is powered by chips from Intel, Samsung, Marvell, and Winbond, among others, iFixit said.

A Microsoft representative wasn't immediately available to comment on the report.

 

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