Microsoft’s New Surface Devices: A Leap Forward in Repairability

Microsoft is revolutionizing the repairability of its devices with the new Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. The tech giant has introduced QR codes on the internal components of these devices, making it easier for users and technicians to identify screws and driver types for specific components. 

Nancie Gaskill, the general manager of the Surface business, shared in an interview with The Verge that these devices have "easy serviceability with clear visual icons and built-in repair instructions." According to Gaskill, these changes make the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 the "most easily serviceable Surface devices ever."

This development is part of Microsoft's multi-year mission to enhance the repairability of its Surface devices. The initiative began after iFixit, a popular product repair site, labeled the original Surface Laptop a "glue-filled monster" in 2017 and gave it a repairability score of zero. Microsoft responded by improving the repairability of the Surface Pro X in 2019, which featured a removable SSD and more modular components.

In 2021, iFixit partnered with Microsoft to start selling official Surface repair tools. The collaboration bore fruit with the release of the Surface Pro 9 in 2022, which received a repairability score of seven out of 10 from iFixit.

The Surface Pro 10 now boasts replaceable components such as the display module, removable SSD, battery, motherboard (including processor and RAM), Surface Connect port, thermal module, microphone module, solid-state drive door, speakers, enclosure (bucket), front camera, rear camera, power and volume buttons, and kickstand.

The Surface Laptop 6 also features a list of replaceable parts, including the display assembly, keyboard, SSD, battery, motherboard, Surface Connect port, thermal module, audio jack, speakers, touchpad, enclosure, and feet.

Microsoft isn't alone in its focus on repairability. Lenovo recently collaborated with iFixit to make some ThinkPads easier to repair. The SSD and RAM slots are clearly marked inside Lenovo's latest ThinkPad laptops, and there are QR codes and indicators that point to the screws you'll need to remove.

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