Feeds

back to article DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Microsoft has pitched its Surface Pro 3 as a "tablet that can replace your laptop." That is unless, it seems, you want to repair or upgrade your laptop. Teardown specialists iFixit have posted their initial dissection of the latest Redmond tablet, and they've concluded that the surface on the Surface is poor for service. The …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

Sad

Not just MS of course, but the whole business model where you basically throw it all away in a few years once you find that repairing it is way too expensive even for parts like batteries that have finite known life.

Makes me wish that the EU or someone would introduce a legal requirement for a 5 year warranty so that suppliers had to up the game in terms of MTBF and/or make repairs a cost-effective options once more.

I'm personally willing to give up a few mm of thickness to gain that cost saving and landfill reduction.

51
1
Silver badge

Re: Sad

From the article:

All Surface products come with a one-year limited hardware warranty and customers have the option of additional warranty protection with Microsoft Complete, which gives customers two years of limited hardware warranty coverage that includes accidental damage protection.

Doesn't EU law require a 2 year guarantee for this type of thing? If memory serves Apple got in trouble for selling this as Apple Care so why should Microsoft be allowed to get away with it?

19
0

Re: Sad

Correct; a 2-year warranty has to be given free of charge. Not all customers, however, are aware of that...

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Sad

In the UK the legal length of the warranty can be up 6 years. As best as I can remember it scales with price, the more you pay for an item the longer you can expect the warranty to be. So you could expect a full 6 years on a car for example but a considerably shorter warranty on the twenty quid dumbphone you bought from Tesco. It also gets a bit complicated because after 6 months the burden of proof switches to the consumer to prove that they didn't cause damage to the product and that it is a manufacturing fault / component failure.

6
0
Bronze badge

Re: Sad

The UK opted out of the enforced 2 year manufacturer warranty as we have the Sale of Goods act which as stated above can protect an item for up to six years. This is honoured through the retailer though so pick who you purchase from wisely.

For devices such as premium phones and tablets I think that you should be good for at least 3 years.

2
0

Re: Sad

legal requirement for a 5 year warranty

Oh man, that would piss off the Corporate Whore Masters screwing us over simply for the profit margin.

Seriously, corporations are now utterly out of control, they need to be **** slapped untill they remember, 'The Customer Is Always Right!' and given prison for tax avoidance (the CEO), and forced to give a quarter of their profits untill there are no more starving kids anywhere on the planet!

They are ruining this civilisation - and it started off so well...

/rant

The UK opted out of the enforced 2 year manufacturer warranty as we have the Sale of Goods act

John Lewis (UK) offer a two year warranty, on all things PC at least, without charging extra for the device. They also have the best customer service support (they'll actually phone you back when they say they will), I've come across.

7
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge

Re: Sad @Fibbles

Right in principle but, more accurately, it's not a warranty and the six years is a different issue.

Warranty's really an arrangement between the maker and the retailer under which the former undertakes for one year following sale the retailer's duty to repair/replace. Trading Standards in UK have a rough benchmark that consumer durables should be serviceable for about 6 years -- and that, in cases of product failure (roughly speaking) not caused by the consumer, the retailer should repair at no cost or replace -- or refund (a proportion relating to age).

Big UK retailers seem to deliberately fail to train their shop staff (including managers) in the realities of the law and most will brush off anything outside the manufacturer's warranty. Solution is to call head office threatening Small Claims action -- in my experience they will always blink first.

When I've been to court, the judge took a commonsense approach similar to the above and awarded damages and costs.

2
0
Bronze badge
Linux

Re: Sad

The Surface 3 is not sold in the EU.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: Sad Apple

"John Lewis (UK) offer a two year warranty, on all things PC at least, without charging extra for the device. They also have the best customer service support (they'll actually phone you back when they say they will), I've come across."

Quite agree. And they have given us 3 years on our Apple stuff. I would buy from them (even special order) rather than either Apple (OK direct) or some sh*t place such as PC Warehouse.

1
0
Holmes

Planned obsolescence

Cars, subject to (arguably) much more demanding conditions, are tending to 5- or even 7-year warranties. So, why not electronic gear?

13
0
Silver badge

Re: Planned obsolescence

If you want to buy tablets and smartphones for tens of thousands of dollars I'm sure they'd be happy to give you a 5-7 year warranty.

The cost of the warranty is built into the price of the car, and the cost of a longer warranty would be likewise built into the price of tablets and smartphones. Most people will buy the cheaper product and take the risk. Those who want a longer warranty/insurance can get it from places like SquareTrade.

3
7
Silver badge

It's going to the landfill anyway

Look, these devices are not even going to be used long enough to go obsolete. They're just going directly to the landfill.

Nobody needs to service them there.

4
5
Silver badge

Re: Planned obsolescence

The car warranty thing is a bit of a sham though. A 7-year warranty doesn't cover a fair bit (clutch is one significant one that I've seen) and depends on you sticking to a fairly hefty maintenance schedule (at your cost) at authorised dealers only.

Would you be willing to do that for your electronic device? When you consider the things most likely to fail would be battery or screen which car manufacturers exclude as "consumables".

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Planned obsolescence

At least you can take a car to an independant garage and have it serviced for a reasonable fee, rather than being restricted to taking it back to the dealer, once the warranty expires. I doubt they'll be very many unauthorised service agents capable of repairing your Surface outside of the warranty period.

2
0

Re: Planned obsolescence

I'm sure if people were obsessed with buying the thinnest, lightest cars that could also exceed 200MPH while barely sipping gas/leccy, cars would also be basically unserviceable. (Some are anyway, just ask any mechanic what they think about working on an Audi.)

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Planned obsolescence @ Annihilator

"The car warranty thing is a bit of a sham though. A 7-year warranty doesn't cover a fair bit (clutch is one significant one that I've seen) and depends on you sticking to a fairly hefty maintenance schedule (at your cost) at authorised dealers only."

As the owner of a car with a 7 year warranty (which is due to expire soon)

Wear and tear is NOT included in the warranty, however servicing can be done at any reputable garage not just authorised dealers.

Having said that the only warranty work I've had to get done is to get the stereo replaced.

The clutch on mine still works fine but then I don't ride the clutch. Clutch plates (like brake pads) by their nature are going to wear out faster if misused and it won't be difficult for the garage to check for excessive wear.

1
0

Here's an idea

Instead of using glue to hold the components in place, how about you have it so that parts of the case hold the components in place? You wouldn't need screws!!! Not only would everything line up but it'll also make it a damn sight easier to repair. Microsoft, Apple, and whoever is listening, if you're going to keep on adding components and services to your applications that suck up vital computing resources such as CPU, RAM, Battery and HDD, why not then let the users of your services/software and by extension hardware upgrade the components if and when necessary?

8
1
Silver badge

Re: Here's an idea

"if you're going to keep on adding components and services to your applications that suck up vital computing resources such as CPU, RAM, Battery and HDD, why not then let the users of your services/software and by extension hardware upgrade the components if and when necessary?"

Outside of the odd Hard drive or RAM upgrade, few bother to upgrade in that manner. To most everyone else, "upgrade" means "new computer".

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Here's an idea

Glue is required for many purposes....

Glue stops components falling off during soldering.

As pad size goes down, pads provide less adhesion for components. Vibration etc can rip up pads causing product failure. Glue fixes that.

1
1

Re: Here's an idea

Solder paste does a fine enough job of keeping the parts in place durring reflow.

BGA packages are actually better than many larger (DFN) packages for vibration (from what I've read)

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Here's an idea

> To most everyone else, "upgrade" means "new computer".

But that is no longer the case, which is why the industry is in such a mess - no-one needs to buy stuff. People don't need the CPU upgrades they used to, but memory is one thing which can usually help due to bloat.

I still have a core2 imac which is fine for almost everything. I've got a core(1) laptop which is fine for web and video. These days, the upgrade is mostly in pixel density and battery life, unless you're gaming. In case anyone hadn't noticed, portability is more important than power for many people these days.

5
0
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Here's an idea

I imagine SP3 is right on the limit of what you can get into a casing that small - it's surely more of a technical feat than the iPad in pure "get a whole PC in a tablet"?

Maybe it reduces manufacturing cost, maybe the glue increases overall ruggedness (such as it is) - and does it also have beneficial thermal properties?

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's an idea

I too have a Core2Duo iMac fomr 2008, but sadly, it is now showing its age. I was thinking of replacing the HDD with an SSD, but the whole procedure seems a bit... error-prone. Maybe I'll just wait for Apple to come out with a Retina 12" Macbook Air this September.

0
0

Still News?

Why do iFixIt even bother reporting this? We *know* that these aren't repairable. They're not intended to be, and the manufacturers (whether Microsoft, Google, Samsung or Apple) don't claim that they are.

The point about ruggedness in the article totally misses the point - the fact that the screen cracked whilst prising it out of its strong aluminium (?) case doesn't show that the Surface isn't rugged, it shows that it's designed for strength when fully constructed, not when pulled apart.

All that said, I don't think iFixIt is pointless - I actually used their guide once myself to change the dock connector on an old iPhone that got wet - but I wouldn't wish that phone to be made any easier to take apart because chances are that if it were it would have broken much sooner, or much more seriously.

9
13
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Still News?

"I actually used their guide once myself to change the dock connector on an old iPhone that got wet"

You mean you repaired an iPhone instead of upgrading to the latest model? Yourself? Shocking. That goes against the belief system of every fanboi ever.

Allright, allright, I'm going. Sheeze, no sense of humour these guys....

8
0
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Still News?

Many people break their iPhone when it IS the latest model...

2
0

Re: Still News?

I think you're deeply confused about how repairable most technology is, Dave. In particular, iPhone 4 and up are actually pretty easy to repair, it's only the older ones that are a pain in the ass. They have high repairability scores. Thousands of people a day use iFixit guides to repair their stuff, whether the manufacturer supports it or not.

So no, no one actually KNEW that it wasn't repairable until the attempt was made; quite often they are.

0
0
Bronze badge

Slide-in batteries and SSD?

Would it be possible to design a tablet like this to have the battery slide in and out? You could reduce the additional space by having the battery latch to the other end of the tablet and using a reversible 5-pin connector (+ and - on each end and a 1-wire interface) to remove the need for guides or something of the like.

The SSD could just slide in with a small panel at the far end to seal the device with two screw posts.

Allowing these two things would greatly extend the life of the Surface lap-tabs and give them a huge advantage to tablets and a couple laptops.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Slide-in batteries and SSD?

"Would it be possible to design a tablet like this to have the battery slide in and out?"

Well, I've got a consumer bit of kit, LCD screens, removable battery, GPS, WiFi, fast processor, camera - oh, and you can change the lenses too - Canon 6D

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Slide-in batteries and SSD?

"Allowing these two things would greatly extend the life of the Surface lap-tabs and give them a huge advantage to tablets and a couple laptops."

And it would also single-handedly kill the upgrade cycle of the manufacturer. The only reason some DO offer that, is because their marketing people deemed it better for sales in THEIR market, rather than if they didn't. Apple, Microsoft et al chose their model because it works best for their market.

Ever wonder why most if not all manufacturers offer user firmware-upgradable equipment, while only few actually offer a firmware upgrade after the sale? It's not because the first firmware release is perfect - it's because the attraction of being able to upgrade, is worth to sales than the (in)ability to fix any of their screwups once it's out the door.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Slide-in batteries and SSD?

does it make Tea as well?

does it run Linux?

Can it play Crysis?

Nah, thought not.

Only joking. My D800 can't do that either. Takes great piccies though.

2
0
JDX
Gold badge

Re: And it would also single-handedly kill the upgrade cycle of the manufacturer

Balls it would. Even desktops are rarely upgraded - only by the technical minority let alone laptops which are still fairly easy.

Even if your iPad were easy to maintain, few people would pay £100 for a new part on a 5 year old iPad...

0
1
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Can it play Crysis?

Surface Pro 2 will play Crysis... google it

0
2

Re: Can it play Crysis?

@JDX

That was a reply to the Canon 6D comment.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

So… they're saying

that the Surface's screen isn't all it's cracked up to be?

14
0
Silver badge

"a one-year limited hardware warranty"

So that'll be two years across the entire EU, yes?

5
0
Silver badge
Joke

So, they release Surface 3

When will "service pack 1" happen? Isn't that what everyone waits for these days??

Maybe this isn't a joke (*SIGH*).

1
1
Bronze badge

"As with all of our Surface products, Surface Pro 3 is engineered with high-quality components to be as thin, light and powerful as possible and is designed to be serviced by professionals."

Read: Chucked in the bin behind the counter and handing the customer a new box from the shelf if it's physically damaged. (Cheaper for the company than actually training hundreds of staff to perform tedious and time consuming repairs. In worker hours alone a replacement would be cheaper)

7
0

Why bother making things so thin?

Really what is the point making the tablets and phones so thin that they are so fragile? The user just ends up adding a case which adds bulk anyway.

11
0
Silver badge

Re: Why bother making things so thin?

I'd normally agree. However on this occasion the bit which really suffered for being so thin was the screen. This has a good technical reason for being thin; to reduce parallax problems between where your eye and the electronics think the tip of the pen is.

I think the bigger problem is the glue. Surely there must be some way of holding these things together without glue?

2
0

Re: Why bother making things so thin?

It's a numbers game. The manufacturers know that the easiest way to compare things is with simple numbers, and that most consumers like to have the "-est" device: thinnest, lightest, largest, fastest, loudest, whateverest. The fact that you'll have to smother it in a case means that they can try to sell you a case. And from their point of view making them unrepairable is a bonus as you'll have to buy a new one sooner rather than later.

It's the size thing that really bugs me. To take the extreme example, this year's HTC One Mini 2 is taller and thicker than last year's HTC One! Apparently I'm not one of the target demographic because it's putting me right off replacing my phone.

1
0

Re: Why bother making things so thin?

Fragile? A screen that cracks when it's being pried apart isn't necessarily fragile - it's being taken way outside it's design specifications.

If you wanted to replace the screen because it had cracked, then it wouldn't really matter that you'd probably break the screen by removing it from the case - it's already broken! (Though if you want to replace the battery, and you have to remove the screen to do that, you might have a point!)

In real life, you probably won't be able to replace the screen, because there won't be spare screens available to replace it with! That's already the case for many such devices, unless they have iDevice or Galaxy style market penetration.

3
0

Re: Why bother making things so thin?

Removing the screen is the first step to every Surface repair, so yeah. Surface and Surface 2 do have replacement screens available, so Surface 3 is almost certain to get them too.

I'd argue that the screen is "fragile" since it's thin enough that Microsoft probably won't be able to repair it, and will have to replace the screen each time. Sturdier glass would lower repair costs for them as well as everyone else.

0
0

Why the 'Donnot bin' symbol

If the things cannot be broken down into component parts for re-cycling, why the large 'Do not bin' sybol on the back?

3
1

Re: Why the 'Donnot bin' symbol

..because it contains a lithium battery so needs to be ripped into pieces before disposal. The fact that all components are destroyed when dismantled isn't an issue at that point.

2
0
Silver badge

Even more confused by the choice of Micro SD slot now

There looks to be room for a full size one? So why micro? With the same aspect ratio as a DSLR, the ability to run Lightroom and Photoshop and a pressure sensitive pen this device has a lot to appeal to a photographer - so why doesn't it take the same size SD card as many cameras use?

(Yes I know you could use a micro-sd card in an adaptor in the camera - but who really wants to replace all their memory cards?)

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Even more confused by the choice of Micro SD slot now

I think you are taking the wrong approach to this. Microsoft has learned one thing in the early 2000s and that is that as soon they bring out a product that's usable, nobody will buy the following product. That's why so many people still use XP.

The success of Microsoft lies within their 1990s strategy of bringing out semi-usable products and making you hope that the next version will be any better. You sell your current product, but talk about the future.

3
0
Headmaster

Re: Even more confused by the choice of Micro SD slot now

On a small point of pedantry. Most pro photographers I've come across swear by CF on account of the massive storage potential and the superior write speed which helps when snapping continuously at 40+ megapixels.

1
0

Re: Even more confused by the choice of Micro SD slot now

CF is dead, and its successor XQD was stillborn. SD is up to 280MB/s compared to CF/XQD's 168MB/s maximum, and hardly any new cards have been released for years. Lexar's 3333x would be amazing but it's been vaporware for 6 months, without even pricing released, while SD continues to advance.

Regarding the SD size problem, SD to MicroSD adapters exist just like MicroSD to SD. Just buy one. Outside of the DSLR world, MicroSD is where the entire memory card industry is going, so it's no surprise. (I'm just insanely appreciative that a slot was included; even Google dropped them.)

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.