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Surface Pro X teardown reveals a 'repair-friendly' Microsoft tablet

The new Microsoft convertible tablet is a lot more repairable, iFixit says.

The Microsoft Surface Pro X.
Sarah Tew/CNET

The new Surface Pro X shows Microsoft is entering "the era of repairable tablets," according to a teardown by iFixit posted Thursday. The report found the SSD is user-replaceable, and most components can be replaced independently because they're modular.

Microsoft's Surface Pro X was announced in October and launched this month starting at $999. The 13-inch tablet comes with a custom Microsoft version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, the SQ1 Arm chip.

It has a 2,880x1,920-pixel resolution; a new Surface Slim pen; two USB-C connections; 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM; a removable 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD; Wi-Fi 5 and LTE; a 5-megapixel front-facing camera; a 10-megapixel rear camera with 4K video; and up to 13 hours of battery life. CNET senior editor Dan Ackerman said the Surface Pro X is "spot on" in terms of physical design, but the hardware specs and confusing price structure make an ideal device for only a small subset of tablet buyers. 

Now playing: Watch this: First look at Surface Pro X, Pro 7, Laptop 3

According to iFixit, the tablet's display is secured with a "friendly foam adhesive that doesn't require heat or solvents to remove.

"This friendly, cuttable foam adhesive is truly an improvement over previous Surface Pro devices -- and pretty much all other tablets with glued-down screens," iFixit said. "High heat, furious cutting and prying, glue-covered tools and (frequently) accidentally cracked screens are 'features' we will happily kiss goodbye."

The one downside was that the battery is glued in place, iFixit said, meaning almost total disassembly is needed to service or replace that component.

Overall, iFixit gave the tablet a repairability score of six, saying Microsoft has "at least one foot on the repairability train."

Originally published Nov. 7.
Update, Nov. 8: Adds more details about the Surface Pro X.