Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Bombs iFixIt's Teardown Test

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Bullwinkle J Moose

My neighbor's Aunt makes a TON of money selling unfixable stuff like this and so can you

When the "customers" ask stupid questions, like....

Hey, were's that SSD-speed removeable boot drive I asked for?

Why can't we boot this thing to a non-microsoft O.S.?

What happened to all my data?

Just tell them, HEY, I only sell it, you'll need to talk to someone else....

HAHAHAHAHHA

There is no-one else!

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andrewc513

It's a shame they couldn't design the mSATA slot to be accessible via a flap under the kickstand. Storage prices are falling drastically. On a device like a Surface, I need tons of storage, and not so much anything else.

So with an easily-accessible mSATA slot, you could really have gotten a Core i3, 4GB, 1TB model for $1270.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

It would be more fair and help keep everything in perspective if scores for the various iPads, Kindles, and Android tablets were listed as well. So....

Dell XPS 10 gets a 9
Amazon Kindle Fire gets an 8
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 2013 gets an 8
Dell Streak gets an 8
Motorola Xoom gets an 8
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 gets an 8
Amazon Kindle Fire HD gets a 7
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" gets a 7
Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch gets a 7
Google Nexus 7 gets a 7
Apple iPad 1 gets a 6
Barns and Noble Nook Tablet gets a 6
Google Nexus 10 gets a 6
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9" gets a 5
Microsoft Surface RT gets a 4
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7" gets a 3
Apple iPad 2 gets a 2
Apple iPad 3 gets a 2
Apple iPad 4 gets a 2
Apple iPad Air gets a 2
Apple iPad Mini gets a 2
Apple iPad Mini Retina Display gets a 2
Microsoft Surface Pro gets a 1
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 gets a 1

LOL. I thought the article was picking on Microsoft but, rather, it was being exceedingly kind by not listing scores for other devices.

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fung0

Thanks for the stats. Obviously, when you try to cram 3 lbs of shit into a 1-lb box, something's got to give.

The 'tablet' is defined by light weight and small size, not compute power or OS compatibility. The idea of competing in tablets with a desktop OS is a pipe dream.

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Baer

For a tablet sized and weight computer I will take not being able to fix it myself once or twice in its lifetime to get the thin, light weight and powerful features I want.
For a desktop workstation I have to be able to upgrade and fix but for a tablet? not that important at all.

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NavarWynn

You are right, the device will likely only need one or two repairs in it's lifetime. Which, by the way, is no longer than ~3yrs (if you are lucky or you don't use it much). Of course even the simplest of repair will likely make repairing it not cost effective (ie, cost more than it's worth). That's right, you are paying $333-533 per YEAR. Yay! Thin and light!

The bottom line is that this is not a tablet, it's more a laplet, or a tabtop. -certainly the hardware is capable of that- & Given MS's marketing they are aiming squarely at the roadwarriors, but no IT department in the frikkin world is going to drop $1000+/ unit on a a) fragile, b) limited lifespan, c) impossible to repair, d)lacking 4G/3G capability, e) already short battery life (NEW -'up to 9hrs surfing the web') given that you probably intend to, you know, open a spreadsheet or Word ...

IDK, maybe I'm a little pickier about what I spend my money on, because there are far better choices out there.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

When the tablet costs as much as a gaming PC or laptop, I propose this is very important.

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Baer

My DIY gaming P C cost more than five of these to build.

I do think however that any portable device should allow for the user to install a new battery easily and that goes for Surface, Galaxy and all the i-Toys.

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Paul_Lilly

That's kind of my opinion as well. DIY repair (or lack thereof) is not a deal killer for me, but I do think there should be a greater effort to allow users access inside these machines to at least swap the battery, RAM, and storage. These aren't $50-$100 gadgets, after all.

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LatiosXT

Well, what iFixit wants is the ability to repair and extend the life of a gadget. Often times when a gadget breaks, it's usually one chain in the link. So rather than have you chuck the item in the land fill and pay full price for a new gizmo, just spend a fraction of the cost to replace the part.

But customer demand is always wanting sleeker, thinner, and lighter. The unfortunate thing is either everything hast to be soldered on, or connected to with very fragile connectors. For instance, you could use flat ribbon cables and ZIF connectors, but the connectors are good for less than 10 uses and are very fragile. Engineering compromises...

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Paul_Lilly

I really dislike that most of these portable devices sport non-removable batteries. There are notable exceptions, like Dell's Venue 11 Pro (I reviewed one for another website), that make me believe it's either a lazy design decision or an intentional limitation on lifespan when companies don't make them removable.

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Weo

Agreed. My longest running laptop worked for 7 years and I replaced the battery every 3 years (went from 2 hours down to 30 minutes run time)... shhh.. it was an Apple. It was probably not Li though.

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jgrimoldy

I take a little solace in the ability to use an external USB battery pack in some devices: Asus Transformer, Kindle, Nook Color. Sure it's not quite a replaceable battery, but it's a close second in most situations, and offers charging versatility as an ancillary benefit.

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LatiosXT

It's probably both. Part of the problem is batteries don't come in standard sizes. Another part is that a large part of the general populace treat gadgets like fashion. Every two years it's passe and sucks, even if it's still usable. And a final part I think... Lithium batteries are infamously dangerous.

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Granite

Just enjoy the fact that most store-bought PC's and laptops have some kind of repairability/upgradeability at all. I'm guessing that most people who buy those things...and especially tablets and phones...are not even slightly interested in whether they can crack it open and replace parts.

Myself...as a MPC reader...am interested in this sort of thing, but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker if I were looking to buy a Surface 3.