If you’re planning to buy Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop, make sure you get plenty of RAM and storage on day one, because you can forget about upgrading it later. An iFixit teardown reveals the machine is even more difficult to repair than Apple’s MacBook. You can’t even get into it without causing serious, irreversible damage.
Just like Microsoft’s other Surface products, the Surface Laptop is an incredibly attractive device. It combines a premium aluminum shell with fancy Alcantara fabric for a unique and seamless look that requires no screws. But when it comes to “repairability,” that’s a bad thing. The new Surface Laptop is one tough nut to crack.
iFixit found that the Surface Laptop is literally glued together. The only way to get inside it is to remove the Alcantara fabric that surrounds the keyboard, and even if you manage to do that without it tearing, there’s no way you’ll get it to look as good as new when you stick it back on. Besides, there’s no real reason why you’d want to get inside this machine.
Like most modern ultraportables, nothing inside the Surface Laptop is user-repairable or upgradable. Almost all of its components are soldered to the motherboard, aside from things like the keyboard, trackpad, battery, speakers, and display — and they’ll all incredibly difficult to get to. If anything goes wrong, it seems only Microsoft can help.
“The Surface Laptop is not a laptop. It’s a glue-filled monstrosity,” iFixit says. “There is nothing about it that is upgradable or long-lasting, and it literally can’t be opened without destroying it.” The device is awarded a “Repairability Score” of 0 out of 10.
The teardown also revealed that the Surface Laptop is “packed” with thermal pads, and that its hinge isn’t quite as spectacular as that found on other Surface devices. But it’s not all bad news; the machine has a bigger battery than the MacBook, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the kind of high-end components you would expect in a pricey notebook.