Microsoft Builds Surface Book Upside-Down

Once upon a time, Microsoft shared with the world their first ever notebook, the Surface Book.
 Of course, iFixit took it apart to see just what made it tick. Here’s where the plot twist comes in: the motherboard sprawls across the entire chassis, and it’s upside-down. Meaning smooth-side up, connectors-and-chips-side down. We assume this was meant to provide support to the larger-than-usual display. It also means getting most anything out requires getting ​everything out. Now that’s a sad ending.

Internals of the Microsoft Surface Book

Surface Book teardown highlights:

• The battery in the base hefts in at an impressive 51 Wh, providing nearly 3 times the juice as the tablet. Combined, the batteries in the base and tablet give us 69 Wh—just a mite shy of the 74.9 Wh you’d get in this year’s 13″ Retina MacBook Pro.

• The Surface Book features a “Muscle Wire Lock” that keeps the tablet fastened to the base until you’re ready to undock it. Muscle wire is a bit like an animagus; it can deform and return to a prior shape when heated. In this case, electricity heats the wire causing it to contract, lifting the lower arm of the linkage. When the linkage is retracted, a tiny grippy rod rolls out of the way and lets the base go.

• Our model includes a dedicated GPU in the base, which grants you that extra processing power when you need it. The GPU is a custom Nvidia GeForce chip labeled n16s-lg-s-a2; we’ve heard it’s comparable to a GeForce 940M.

This was a lot of device to take apart, and you’re just getting the highlights here. Step on over to the full teardown for more analysis and more photos of the disassembly process.