Microsoft Surface Go Teardown Reveals A Nightmare Of Glue And Utterly Dismal Repairability
Initial impressions of Microsoft's smaller Surface device, the Surface Go, are overwhelmingly possible with several reviews heaping on the praise. There is a lot to like about a more portable and affordable Surface. There are also compromises that come with form factor. Those compromises are highlighted in a new teardown analysis that reveals a sticky situation for DIY repairs.
If you have the right tools, cracking open the Surface Go is not that difficult, though you will have to wrestle with adhesive right from the get-go. One thing that works in the Surface Go's favor, however, is its smaller size compared to other Surface products. It also has a sturdy display, so prying it off is not all that scary, it just requires some patience.
Once inside, the battery makes an immediate appearance. Great news, right? Unfortunately, there are two giant pads of adhesive gripping at the battery and holding it in place. To put it plainly, glued in batteries stink. They make replacing a dead or dying battery a chore, and they increase the cost for recycling centers at the end of the device's lifespan.
Digging further into the Surface Go reveals less adhesive, but is challenging nontheless.
"Our journey beneath the Surface doesn't get any easier as we move on to the motherboard. Thankfully there's no glue here, but we're forced to excavate our way through seemingly endless layers of shields, tape, and hidden screws in order to unearth the board," gadget teardown and repair specialist iFixIt notes.
Even after freeing the motherboard, there are fabric stickers and shielding hidden underneath. It makes getting at the guts difficult.
At the end, the Surface Go earned a dismal 1 out of 10 Repairability Score, with 10 being the easiest to repair. It lost points for the sheer amount of glue and lack of modularity, especially on high-wear ports. As with a growing number of thin and light devices, the Surface Go trades ease-of-access for a premium design. If you are worried about something breaking, you might want to consider an extended warranty.
Images Source: iFixIt
Images Source: iFixIt