back to article Inside Microsoft's Surface Pro: A fiendishly difficult journey

Microsoft's new Intel-powered, Windows 8–running Surface Pro continues manufacturers' increasing drive to create kit that's all but impossible to repair, according to the part-and-repair folks at iFixit. "The Surface Pro received a 1 out of 10 score on our repairability scale — the worst any tablet has ever received," iFixit …

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Re: Who can fix the surface pro? No one, it SUCKS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

Eadon has spoken the truth. You may downvote me now.

Anyone who speaks of himself in the third person deserves eternities of karmic hell (or at least lots of downvotes).

(ooh... see how I cleverly avoided that trap myself ^_^)

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Re: Who can fix the surface pro? No one, it SUCKS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

"Anyone who speaks of himself in the third person deserves eternities of karmic hell (or at least lots of downvotes)."

Maybe he doesn't understand personal pronouns....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who can fix the surface pro? No one, it SUCKS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

Eadon, are you by any chance an attention seeking masochist? Sure seems that way. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

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Re: Who can fix the surface pro? No one, it SUCKS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

"If the thing breaks then the entire holistic UNIVERSE becomes a better place."

Pretty shitty universe if breaking some dude's tablet is what it takes to improve things.

If you don't mind, I think I'll wait for Universe 2.0 and see if that one is any better...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Der Herrengestrümpfen Grossenstreichen shall NEVERRR prevail!

Anyone fancy subtitling one of the German Corporal's speechs with Eadon's collected views on Microsoft?

Make a change from those Downfall ones...

Didn't think so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Der Herrengestrümpfen Grossenstreichen shall NEVERRR prevail!

Awesome though this thread is, it looks like a mod has deleted the original post it was based on. But on it rolls. (And why not? Blake only appeared in the first series of 'Blake's Seven', after all.)

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Re: Der Herrengestrümpfen Grossenstreichen shall NEVERRR prevail!

"Blake only appeared in the first series of 'Blake's Seven', after all"

And the second (he goes missing after they found Star One), and the very last episode of the fourth, but aside from that, you're spot on...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Der Herrengestrümpfen Grossenstreichen shall NEVERRR prevail!

> I deleted my own post this morning, as I had had a couple when I posted it last night, and it was a bit trollish on sober reflection

How could you tell?

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A tablet with fans?

I own a second hand samsung series 7, primarily for the wacom digitiser in the screen. It has a fan. IT IS HORRENDOUS. If a tablet has a fan you're doing it wrong.

I'd use my Note 10.1 for all the mobile art things but there's not yet any equivalent of Paint Tool SAI on android - though sketchbook pro is pretty good (brush engine needs some work, the desktop version is far suprioer) and the Note works with the stylus from my cintiq (and indeed the stylus from my series 7) so I'll never want for spare pens.

In the end you just can't beat a proper desktop tablet screen, but now I can art while I'm flying over to see the inlaws, which is always nice.

Would you believe I'm an electrician? :D

And I seem to own a lot of samsung kit these days...

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Re: A tablet with fans

Those are for the optional hovercraft mode.

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Happy

Re: A tablet with fans

Hoverboard surely- I've only seen one with skateboard wheels on it...

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If a tablet has a fan you're doing it wrong.

One word - "Intel". They are the literal fanboys.......

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LDS
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Joke

Hasn't the iPad a lot of fans?

MS just ensured the Pro has at least two.

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@Graham

Did you not know it had a fan when you purchased it?

Or you did not know what a problem the fan would be?

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I own the matching ASUS kit (EP121) and owned a Note 10.1 (1) and while the unit has a fan it is only audible in a quiet room. In a normal office environment it is part of the background noise and nobody notices. No louder than the Lenovo Thinkpads used by coworkers. Maybe Samsung did it wrong (again) or your unit has a dying fan.

Life is a compromise. If you want the full power of a core-i and a mature tablet-pc OS you must accept the fan. If you can life with limited performance you can go Atom and fanless.

(1) Sold it. It was "always trying hard to perform according to the job profile"

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JDX
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The surface Pro isn't a tablet. It's a laptop with no keyboard. You can blame Intel if you must, but it probably has 3-5X the power of even the iPad4 (which is literally 2X as fast as iPad3).

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Actually for a long time (at least 2002) units like the Surface where exactly what one would get if asking for a "Tablet". Wintel powered units with pen input in 11-13 inch format. Either pure slates or convertibles. They where not that common "in the wilds" but quite a few companies produced them.

It is only since around 2010 have "low powered touch-only media consumation platform" and "tablet" become the same for Joe Average.

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Tablet with fans?

I'm guessing maybe a few hundred, tops.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

...then Apple must love MS for this.

Though it would not surprise me if they still sued for MS, on the basis that they patented the "worst upgradeable device ever", and now MS have gone and improved on that design.

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It is critical that parts that wear out, such as batteries be field replaceable

Non-portable (desktop and rack mounted) devices should be almost fully field upgradable.

But on devices made to be highly compact and light, you are trading away upgradability for smaller size and weight.

On highly compact and light weight devices it is only critical that parts that wear out, such as batteries, be field replaceable.

Still, no sense using more glue than necessary.

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Re: It is critical that parts that wear out, such as batteries be field replaceable

I've read the other comments, and it makes sense that the glass screen is being used as a structural part, like a car windscreen/windshield and that would explain more glue than expected.

It is a very small trade off that you can only upgrade the memory by adding an SDXC card, and not by replacing the SSD.

The story has nothing about whether the battery is replaceable -- and that is crucial information. A multi-hundred dollar battery powered device whose batteries cannot be replaced is junk.

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Re: It is critical that parts that wear out, such as batteries be field replaceable

"A multi-hundred dollar battery powered device whose batteries cannot be replaced is junk."

It's happening with most smartphones, tablet and slim notebooks.

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Re: It is critical that parts that wear out, such as batteries be field replaceable

Actually you could use massiv amounts of glue for the screen as long as you build in ports in the underside like some companies do. Makes for a more complex chassis design and more dust problems. The latter is critical for mobile devices with their smaller fans. Some companies (IIRC Fujitsu) equip their units with a replaceable air filter.

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FAIL

MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

Many Apple products are glued together that save screwing in strange screws AND it is even more successful at keeping out would-be DIY artists out of the goodies.

Time the EU passed legislation requiring all electronic assemblies be serviceable. That would end the era of glue.

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Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

Thanks but no thanks. Let the market regulate it. There are quite a few user-serviceable mobile units around so if the users want those - they will buy them. And what get's bought by the masses will be copies by others.

(Semi)sealed mobile units have their benefits and some standards are extremly costly to achieve with serviceable units. A modern "glued together" tablet-pc (even more so the fanless units) is resonably dust and (spray)water-proof so I can sell them to customers that would otherwise require a Panasonic Toughbook

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Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

It's not that it isn't serviceable; it's not readily serviceable by the owner. (Like most transistor radios since the 1970s?)

With the right tools - I imagine some sort of rectangular heating element that could be applied to the screen edge - the screen might (I say might) come off quite readily.

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Childcatcher

Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

> Let the market regulate it.

Yeah the market that is so good with sub prime loans, horse meat burgers, oil wells, ...

The market will sell something cheap now and if someone else has to pay to clean up the mess later "Not My Problem".

Trouble is it's all our problem, if I pay extra for the green option I end up paying twice when I pick up the tab to clean up your mess.

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Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

Okay I am honest: "Greenies are the slimy stuff chained to the barracks gate" so that argument is something I do not care about(1). As for the rest - yes, the market cleans that out. Nobody buying lasagne around here currently. Now if the customers buy cheap - their decision. Majority rules, minorities can go and form a commune far far away

Besides, it is not the hoarse meat in general that's a problem (2) but that some has medication in it.

(1) I am the guy who'd pay extra for reliably nuclear or coal power

(2) I prefer mine with Sweet-soure sauce, raisins, red cabbage and dumplings

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FAIL

Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

"Trouble is it's all our problem, if I pay extra for the green option I end up paying twice when I pick up the tab to clean up your mess."

Whoa - what?

The only thing all these Eco/Green taxes seem to be doing is sprouting more damned wind turbines. I don't see the price of 'leccy dropping, nor do I see rivers being dredged so heavy rain can be coped with as nature intended, nor do I see anything that resembles a cohesive environmental policy. While being "green" might be an admiral aim, I fear it is mostly a pointless gesture, a marketing ploy designed to appeal to the "do the right thing" desire that some of us have.

Or, to put it another way - a company I used to work for a few years back discarded into a big compactor thingy more unsorted rubbish per day than I generate in a year. There was no concept of sorting out stuff for recycling, and a lot of the incoming raw product was laid in stuff like they make yoghurt pots out of. I watched as hundreds, if not thousands, got bagged, binned, and compacted. Things were not sorted for recycling, no doubt, because it would have cost the company to do such a thing. An additional employee, or maybe more time in the production phase?

I still recycle, though I ask myself why. If profits dictate the behaviour of the behaviour of the worst polluters, why are we fined if we recycle something incorrectly? I view "environmentally friendly" products with a similar disdain. Computers and such might be lead free, use less icky plastic, some dude might have planted a few trees for each batch made...but ultimately computers, like cars, are inherently "unfriendly" to the environment. No cutesy green sticker is going to change that. It may be less unfriendly than others, but "less unfriendly" does not equal "friendly".

I worked a night shift fill-in, my head hurts, I'll bring this rambling mess to an end as even I'm no longer sure what the point was... Icon: FAIL. Me. Nuff said. <sigh>

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so (heyrick)

Wrong answer. The reason that the rivers shouldn't be dredged is that the soil carried by the heavy rains and runoff are supposed to be deposited in the floodplain to make farmers happy in 800 years.

See 'the fertile crescent'. And I'm also waiting for the Army Corps of Engineers to fuck up and let the Mississippi river divert through Baton Rouge.

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Childcatcher

who's gonna pay for disposal?

Shouldn't there be extra tax on this kind of thing?

We pay enough "green tax" on petrol.

Anything with batteries should have replaceable batteries? Is it supposed to be waterproof??

Dave

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Re: who's gonna pay for disposal?

No there shouldn't, the company that makes the product is responable for disposal in the EU, which in this case is Microsoft.

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FAIL

Repairability is a primary concern of course. When its Apple.

Cue the Microsoft apologist brigade.

Now that Microsoft is making a device that makes the iPad Mini look like an easy fix,"at least you don't wreck the cables taking the screen off an iPad" reparability concerns are old fashioned and unimportant.

Well, Microsoft finally moves into the 21st century and beats Apple at something, glue, solder and disposablity. Congrats Microsoft, you made the grade .

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Actually non-repairable devices are not that uncommon outside of Apple. So if you blame them blame Samsung (Note 10.1, Ativ500), Acer (A/W500), Asus (EP121 is extremly difficult at least) and a dozend other companies. If you apologize for one - apologize for all. It's all made by Foxcon slaves anyway.

I do not like Apple since the time they massacred Mac-OS10s microkernel and dropped the PowerCPU but neither do I blame them for lack of changeable batteries or SD slots. If I need replaceable parts - I pay premium for them and buy something that has. If not - I don't

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I can see myself now...

... aged 60 & hunting down spare ancient PC parts at Car Boot sales, reminiscing the good old days when a man could walk into a computer shop and declare "Two sticks of RAM and a tube of your best arctic silver please" (ok, I'm making that bit up, you'd get it online)

I'd be like one of those vinyl geeks you see at car boot sales, that turn up 30 minutes before opening time and riffle through everyones records before they've even set up the trestle table. "I'll give you a fiver for that box of old hard drives mate"

I'll be a die hard DIY computer nerd, wearing earings made of old LEDs and braiding my crusty greying hair with IDE cables.

Then again, by the time I'm 60, it'll be Mad Max time & we'll all be driving souped up vans, wearing arseless chaps and shooting everything in sight on a burned out nuclear wasteland.

Hah, how far will your poncy surface pro get you then, eh?

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Re: I can see myself now...

I stopped assembling boxes from parts the day I could affort to order something proper. Never looked back. Buying "office grade" equipment from DELL/Lenovo/HP for a decade and they always worked, where silent, balanced and rugged. The oldest still at work is a Dimension PIV dating back to 2003 (Northwood) and still running fine, the oldest workable a PIII Optiplex. Both beat the typical "hand assembled" box in noise dampening and clean inner works and the ones that are equally silent in price.

And if it is "Mad Max" time I drop by the supply dump and steal back my 1980s kit. That's why I prefer my woman tall and muscular - that way she can help lug the ammo for Rheinmetalls answer to Iwan, Ali, Joe, Tommy, Hairy ones, Greenies, Zombies, Aliens and Linux fans. :)

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url
Meh

awww

I preferred the iFixit colour scheme used previously

(http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/26/mac_mini_teardown/)

Carmine:

Pumpkin:

Daffodil:

Teal:

Ultramarine:

Mauve:

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Anonymous Coward

MacBook Air

One of the first things I checked before I bought my 11" MacBook Air is how repairable it would be. If you have the right screwdriver, it's very easy to take off the bottom cover and then swap out the SSD and battery and clean/replace the fans.

I had two 13" MacBooks before the Air. With those it was laughably easy to remove the battery and that gave you easy access to the RAM and hard drive. Replacing the hard drive took 4-5 minutes at most.

Sure, Apple makes some stuff that's hard to disassemble/maintain but some of their stuff is very nice.

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Just More Negative Press

Not sure why anyone would need to open up a tablet after all it is not a laptop...it's cool that ifix it does this but personally I could care less if it can be opened or not. As for scoring devices, other than a bunch of nerds who cares???

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