Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Teardown

Only eight months have passed, and we already have a new tablet from Microsoft. Well, sort of. The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is all but identical to its February brother, with an indistinguishable and equally difficult to repair body. So what gives? The only differences deserving of a “2” on the box are the new Intel Haswell processor, and options for more RAM and a larger capacity SSD (oh, and they made the motherboard a shade of blue this time around). So to everyone who bought their ancient original Pro, don’t sweat it.

Opening the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 during the teardown

But we have to hand it to Microsoft—they beat Apple fair ‘n’ square, just not in a good way. The display and battery are glued down with even more adhesive than an iPad, the LCD and digitizer glass are fused, and the device has more than 90 screws holding everything together. The Surface Pro 2 still retains its terrible 1 out of 10 on our repairability scale, which according to our mathemagicians is 100% worserer than the iPad’s score of 2.

Read the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 teardown!


• We slowly but surely free the Surface Pro 2’s display, trapped like a baby diplodocus in a treacherous tar pit of black adhesive. Think we’re joking? See the images below.

• At first glance things look eerily similar to last time, although the motherboard is a pretty new shade of…blue? Green?

• We’ve got storage! This time around, Microsoft shifts from a Micron/Marvell SSD to an SK Hynix HFS128G3AMNB 128 GB mSATA 6.0 Gbps SSD, using the following hardware:

  • SK Hynix H27QEGDVEBLR 32 GB NAND Flash (four ICs for 128 GB total)
  • SK Hynix H5PS2G63JMR 32 MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Link A Media LM8700AA SSD Controller

• With the power of a laptop in a tablet, there’s bound to be a lot of silicon:

  • Intel Core i5-4200U Processor
  • SK Hynix H9CCNNN8JTML 1 GB Mobile DDR2 RAM (four ICs for 4 GB total)
  • Atmel MXT154E Touchscreen Controller
  • Atmel UC256L3U 32-bit AVR Microcontroller
  • Realtek ALC3230 Audio Codec
  • Marvell Avastar 88W8797 Integrated 2×2 WLAN/Bluetooth/FM Single-Chip SoC
  • MXIC MX25L4006EZNI 4Mbit SPI Flash
  • Texas Instruments TPS5162 (ACTIVE) 2-Phase DCAP+ Step-Down Controller
  • Texas Instruments TPS51367 Integrated FET Converter
  • Winbond 25Q128FVSQ Serial Flash
  • Winbond 25X05CL Serial Flash
  • Winbond 25X40CL1G 4 Mb Flash

• There are over 90 screws inside this device. Mechanical fasteners are great, but frankly, we draw the line at 89.

• Microsoft still adheres the battery to the rear case and still warns users not to remove it (pretty ironic, considering they clearly know their way around a user-friendly means of securing a battery—screws).

• The two battery cells are wrangled by a Texas Instruments BQ30Z55 cowpoke battery pack manager.