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The Surface Pro X is more repairable than most

IFixIt has taken its collection of tools to Microsoft’s brand new Surface Pro X and unlike nearly every other tablet on the market it comes out of things quite well.

The company slapped a repairability score of 6/10 on the Surface Pro X, which may not sound like a lot, but take a look at recent Microsoft scores and you appreciate what an improvement this is. Both the Surface Go and Surface Pro 6 got scores of 1/10, remember.

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So how has Microsoft come such a long way in such a short time? The main improvement is how the company has handled the built-in storage. The SSD can be upgraded without needing to remove the screen, thanks to a hidden compartment that pops open with a SIM-eject tool. Take a T3 screwdriver to it and the SSD comes out.

Interestingly, while you wouldn’t expect the device to function without an SSD, powering it on with the storage removed doesn’t show any signs of life at all, leading the company to suspect it doubles as some kind of battery kill switch. 

Any further repairs require the screen to be removed and this needs a fair bit of skill, but is still a doddle compared to other tablets which require heat or solvents on the adhesive. Once removed, you’ll find only Torx screws protecting all the innards and, more excitingly, most of the components seem to be modular.

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All of this points to close to full marks, so how does the Surface Pro X manage to drop three points? Well first of all, nearly any kind of repairs require the screen to be removed, and that’s still an area where things can go wrong very quickly, even without the need for heat or solvents.

More importantly, you’ll still find a battery that’s glued tightly in place. This means it requires “near-total disassembly for service.” Still, it’s a huge improvement on tablets past. “It would seem that Microsoft has placed at least one foot on the repairability train,” the site concludes. “Between this Pro X and the Laptop 3, we can hardly believe all the repair-focused changes they’ve made!”

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