The Great Unfixable Surface Pro Strikes Again

by Matt Klassen on June 26, 2014

In this era of growing environmental concern the technology industry is one of Mother Nature’s worst enemies, constructing most of our favourite gadgets out of a veritable toxic soup of dangerous chemicals.

When Microsoft’s original tablet/laptop hybrid Surface Pro hit the shelves early in 2013 one of the most damning critiques regarding the machine was its woefully inadequate repairability factor, meaning that if anything ever went wrong with the device it was, for all intents and purposes, a throwaway, filling our landfills with that aforementioned poisonous sludge.

Now three generations of Surface tablets later and it seems nothing has changed, for although the latest Surface Pro 3 may be thinner, lighter, and has several updates features both internally and externally than its predecessors, it seems the device is just as hard to repair.

Popular do-it-yourself gadget-repair site iFixit conducted a complete teardown of the new tablet and much like its predecessors gave the device the lowest possible marks for its “repairability,” that is, how easy it is to repair. Like the past models Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, the Surface Pro 3 received the ignominious score of 1 out of 10, evidence once again that companies like Microsoft and Apple will do anything to get us the technology we crave, including ignoring environmental concerns.

As I wrote regarding the original Surface Pro, like Indiana Jones weighing a bag of sand to avoid triggering the anti-theft system of an ancient temple, if you don’t perform the opening procedure of Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet 100 percent correctly, there’s a very good chance everything will come crashing down around your ears. As CNET writer Ben Fox Rubin explains, “Microsoft’s latest tablet trades in the Surface Pro 2’s more than 90 screws for ‘some seriously hideous adhesive,’ which iFixit said it found holding in place many components, including the display and battery, making any repairs quite difficult.”

If there ever was a reason to avoid Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet series, in my mind at least, it’s that for its steep price tag—as expensive as comparable laptops—the tablet is essentially a throwaway device, meaning much like TVs, smartphones, and other such consumer technology, its often cheaper and easier to simply replace the technology than it is to repair it.

The one great thing about laptops, or perhaps computers in general, is that they’re both easily repaired and upgraded, meaning less people throwing their laptops in the garbage and more people taking them to the local repair shop for a quick fix or a refresh.

While Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is touted as the future of computing, replacing both your laptop and your tablet, the fact is that the difficultly of repairing this device speaks volumes about how terrible it is at matching the computers its attempting to replace in both these categories: clearly it can’t be repaired, which means that little thought has been given to upgrading (meaning it’ll soon be obsolete), and even less thought has been given to its overall recyclability, meaning more of these devices will end up in a landfill, a problem for future generations I suppose.

But if environmental concerns don’t make you think twice about your technological choices, then I hope the value of such a device will, as I doubt I’m the only one who thinks $1000 is a lot to squander on such a disposable consumer product.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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