iFixIt Teardown: Digging Beneath the Surface RT

Paul Lilly

For our friends at iFixIt , tearing into Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT (Surface RT from here on out) represents just another day at the office. But for the rest of us, it provides an interesting peek at what lies beneath the Surface, as well as how easy or difficult it is to open up and service at home. Apple products are notoriously burdensome to crack open and repair; is the Surface any different?

Compared to the iPad mini teardown, which received a 2 out of 10 Repairability score (where the higher the score, the easier it is to repair), Microsoft's Surface should be twice as easy to service, considering it scored 4 out of 10. That's still a low score, however, and it's indicative of the direction hardware manufactures are going when it comes to increasingly light and thin mobile devices.

iFixIt took issue with having to use a heat gun and "lots of patience" just to gain access to the glass and LCD in the Surface RT tablet. The glass and LCD are fused together and "strongly adhered to the case," which only increases the cost of replacement if one or the other goes bad. Surface RT was also penalized for a difficult-to-remove rear panel and because it's "impossible to remove the keyboard connector without first removing the display from the frame."

On the flip side, several of Surface RT's components are modular, and you can remove the battery pretty easily, once "you've suffered through the opening procedure," that is.

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