Electronics repair company iFixit does regular teardowns of new products, rating their repairability in the process.
They have previously written off Microsoft’s Surface Pro series as a repairability disaster, giving the Surface Pro 7 a score of 1 out of 10 due to the battery being glued down, and the RAM, CPU, and SSD all being soldered directly to the motherboard.
Microsoft has however grasped the challenge of the Right to Repair movement and has made major advances with the Surface Pro 9.
Improvements include that the SSD can be upgraded without disassembling the tablet, the screen can now be removed much more easily to gain access to the innards and the battery is now screwed in rather than glued.
Microsoft also committed to making repair manuals available in the near future, and said in a statement:
At Microsoft we recognize the importance of enabling device repair and this was a major focus in developing Surface Pro 9. This includes intentional features in our products’ design, as well as availability of repair instructions and spare parts.
– Repairability features in the product design built upon the replaceable components of prior generations such as the Display, SSD, and Kickstand while building out a host of additional replaceable components such as the screwed in Battery, Motherboard, Thermal Module, Surface Connect port, and more (1)
– The Surface Pro 9 service guides which include full repair instructions will be available publicly for download by the end of this calendar year on the Microsoft Support site. See Microsoft Service Guides: Download Surface Service Guides from Official Microsoft Download Center.
– We are currently working with a major US retailer to build out our authorized repair network and bring repair options closer to our customers. This will become available in early 2023.
– We are also building out capability to deliver broad availability of spare parts for Independent repairers and Consumers targeting the first half of 2023.
Ifixit awarded the Surface Pro 9 a score of 7/10, deducting marks as the repair manuals are not available yet.
They however concluded:
Without a doubt, this Surface is the most repairable we’ve seen from the product line yet, and it’s evident that the company had to undertake significant design changes to achieve these gains.
See their teardown video below: