If you're at all concerned about a part going bad in Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 tablet, you may want to consider an extended warranty. The alternative is to try and fix or replace a faulty component yourself, but unlike a traditional laptop, Microsoft's laptop replacement isn't all that easy to service. Straight to the point, the Surface Pro 3 scored a miserable 1 out of 10 in iFixIt's teardown analysis.
Higher scores are better, so a score of 1 out of 10 essentially means you're very likely to do more harm than good if you attempt to crack open the Surface Pro 3. And that's exactly what the expert electronic surgeons at iFixIt did from the get-go.
"Our teardown engineer carefully heated and pried up the glass at the edge of this device, but the cooling adhesive alone was enough to crack the glass on our photo table," iFixIt notes in Step 5 of its teardown analysis. "Microsoft went to great lengths to make the Surface Pro 3 super portable, thinning it down from the Pro 2's 0.53 inches to a mere 0.35 inches thick -- but it seems the thinner glass does not bode well for ruggedness or repair."
Several obstacles stand in the way of DIY repair, some big and some small. For example, there's a springy metal bracket pinning the display connector in place that needs coaxing from a spudger to let it free, and the battery connector requires a somewhat uncommon T3 Torx bit.
Other factors leading to a 1 out of 10 score were the "tons of adhesive" Microsoft used, the display assembly consisting of a fused glass panel and LCD (making it difficult to remove), and non-standard connectors. Summed up, disassembly "leaves no room for mistakes."
Microsoft isn't alone in this regard -- most tablets score low in teardown tests, and so some Ultrabooks and ultra-thins. Reduced DIY repairability is one of the tradeoffs in the pursuit for increasingly thin and light form factors.