Microsoft’s Tablets and Laptops Finally Become Repairable

In a recent teardown, an iFixit engineer explored the new Microsoft devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processors—the Surface Pro 11 tablet and Surface Laptop 7. Both models impressed with their “repair-friendliness,” earning comparisons to Fairphone smartphones and modular Framework laptops. Here’s what has changed in these flagship devices compared to their predecessors.

Surface Laptop 7: A New Benchmark in Repairability

The Surface Laptop 7 was the first to be scrutinized. The engineer noted that the laptop’s disassembly is straightforward due to the replacement of clips and adhesives with screws and magnetic fasteners. Many internal components are labeled with the specific bit needed for removal, and a QR code linking to repair instructions is found under the hood.

The laptop’s thoughtful design also stood out. Components such as speakers, battery, motherboard, keyboard panel, fan, hinge, SSD, and cooling system can be easily removed by unscrewing them. Even the 3.5mm headphone jack is not soldered but connected to the motherboard via a ribbon cable.

Surface Pro 11: Slightly More Challenging, But Still Accessible

The Surface Pro 11 tablet poses a bit more challenge initially, as the glued screen must be detached first. However, the M.2 storage can be replaced without opening the entire device. Inside, there are clear labels indicating the necessary Torx bit for each component. While replacing the battery is relatively complex—requiring the removal of the entire cooling system—the battery itself is not glued but secured with screws.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, both models were praised as “impressive modular devices” with official service manuals and internal repair guides. The Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop 7 each scored an 8 out of 10 on iFixit’s repairability scale. This marks a significant step forward for Microsoft’s approach to user-friendly device maintenance, a notable development for tech enthusiasts in New York and beyond.

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