Video Overview

Introduction

Just last week we tore down the Surface Pro 4, the tablet that can allegedly replace your laptop. Today we've got the Surface Book, a laptop that can, ehrm, replace the tablet that replaced your laptop. It's the first ever notebook from Microsoft, and with its trick detachable display and pressure-sensitive Surface Pen, it defies categorization—but not teardownification. Join us as we dismantle the Surface Book!

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Microsoft Surface Book, use our service manual.

Just what is a "surface book"? We check the specs for clues: 13.5” PixelSense multitouch display, with 3000 x 2000 resolution (267 PPI)
  • Just what is a "surface book"? We check the specs for clues:

    • 13.5” PixelSense multitouch display, with 3000 x 2000 resolution (267 PPI)

    • 6th Gen Intel Core i5 with dedicated NVIDIA GPU

    • 8 GB RAM

    • 128 GB solid-state drive

    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0

    • 8.0 megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p video + 5.0 megapixel front-facing camera

    • Surface Pen with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity

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The right edge of the Book's base houses a Mini DisplayPort socket and Microsoft's proprietary SurfaceConnect port. As an added bonus, the 3.5 mm headphone jack lives on the display, rather than the base, for your on-the-go audio needs—although we're a little confused by its placement at the top of the Book.
  • The right edge of the Book's base houses a Mini DisplayPort socket and Microsoft's proprietary SurfaceConnect port.

    • As an added bonus, the 3.5 mm headphone jack lives on the display, rather than the base, for your on-the-go audio needs—although we're a little confused by its placement at the top of the Book.

  • On the left edge, we find two full-size USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader.

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"Lift-off in T-minus 3...2... oh wait—the battery's low." With the battery dwindling, the Surface Book won't cooperate—forcing us to turn it off before we're, ahem, allowed to disconnect the display.
  • "Lift-off in T-minus 3...2... oh wait—the battery's low."

    • With the battery dwindling, the Surface Book won't cooperate—forcing us to turn it off before we're, ahem, allowed to disconnect the display.

  • What separates the Surface Book from the competition is the fact that (usually) you can separate it quickly, with minimal disruption to your work. Other devices tend to require you to power down every time.

  • Now that we've achieved separation, we might as well reconnect it, but backwards!

    • Microsoft envisions the Surface Book being used like a "creative canvas" in this orientation.

How did you override the low battery lock? My clipboard battery is not being charged by the base, so I want to remove it and try to charge it directly.

mohammed ayub - Reply

With the display disconnected from the base, we get a clear view of the Surface Book's docking connectors and teensy regulatory markings. The display uses the standard SurfaceConnect port to plug into the base, sipping power as needed.
  • With the display disconnected from the base, we get a clear view of the Surface Book's docking connectors and teensy regulatory markings.

  • The display uses the standard SurfaceConnect port to plug into the base, sipping power as needed.

    • Which also means you can charge the display's battery sans-base, in case you want to go board-free.

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Glancing over the top of the display, we're greeted by a familiar face. Like the Surface Pro 4, the Book's forward sensor array features an IR sensor, 5 MP camera, microphone, and ambient light sensor.
  • Glancing over the top of the display, we're greeted by a familiar face.

  • Like the Surface Pro 4, the Book's forward sensor array features an IR sensor, 5 MP camera, microphone, and ambient light sensor.

  • Likewise, we find an 8 MP, 1080p camera and microphone combo on the rear of the display, matching the hardware on the back of the Surface Pro 4.

    • Crummy pun incoming: Guess we read Microsoft like a book.

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We know our way past this display. It may be a bigger (and seemingly more flexible) pane of glass than we saw in the Surface Pro 4 teardown, but it opens with the same password: iOpener. The glass thickness measures in at 0.4 mm,  the same as on the Surface Pro 4.
  • We know our way past this display. It may be a bigger (and seemingly more flexible) pane of glass than we saw in the Surface Pro 4 teardown, but it opens with the same password: iOpener.

    • The glass thickness measures in at 0.4 mm, the same as on the Surface Pro 4.

  • Experience doesn't make it any less nerve-wracking. The Surface line has come a long way, but we'd love to see an upgrade to their opening procedure. Maybe something that doesn't threaten to send glass shards flying at the slightest misstep...

Do you open from the glass side or the bottom side? It's hard to see which side is facing up in the image.

John Sideris - Reply

I finally found a supplier for anyone who wants to repair a cracked screen

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-qual...

eddielim - Reply

I had no luck with the above supplier, and tried two other suppliers for that same aftermarket screen. The one that I finally received was defective - the touch didn't work at all and the screen had lines all over it. Finally found one on eBay, available in the united states, identical to the original one and works great! Be wary of the aftermarket ones - the one I received was also missing the metal piece for the display cable clip to re-attached. It is hard to find a good one, I hope that in the future they will be more available and easy to get a hold of.

Shawn Carpenter - Reply

FYI, for anyone who is looking for a good working replacement screen, the seller that I purchased my replacement screen from has more available now, so they are becoming much more easy to get ahold of! and they are very well priced. If anyone is interested, the seller name is "cknappsalesinc" on eBay. They are located in the united states, and of all the replacement screens that I tried to buy (as mentioned in my previous post) they were the only ones that actually delivered a working identical replacement that wasn't missing any parts and worked 100 percent on the first try (and is still working with no issues six months later!). Don't buy any of the after market ones from China! They are missing the bracket for the display clip and may not even work on arrival as was my experience.

Shawn Carpenter - Reply

Never one to judge a Book by its cover, we're glad for a chance to peek under the, um, lid. Right away, we notice two cables tethering the display to the motherboard. Fortunately, they're conveniently located along one edge—meaning we really can flip this thing open like a book—and we easily dispatch their press-on connectors.
  • Never one to judge a Book by its cover, we're glad for a chance to peek under the, um, lid.

  • Right away, we notice two cables tethering the display to the motherboard. Fortunately, they're conveniently located along one edge—meaning we really can flip this thing open like a book—and we easily dispatch their press-on connectors.

  • Unfortunately, these cables lead directly under the motherboard, which looks to be upside-down.

  • We do get a look at a small fan channel, which pairs with matching foam on the back of the display to direct the air just so.

    • The timing couldn't have been better—we're still a little heated about the motherboard situation and need to cool off.

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Peeking out from beneath protective shielding, we find a chipset similar to that of the Surface Pro 4 display: N-trig DS-D5000 A0
  • Peeking out from beneath protective shielding, we find a chipset similar to that of the Surface Pro 4 display:

    • N-trig DS-D5000 A0

    • N-trig DS-A5048 B2

    • Novatek NT71394MBG 1520-ED KLNAH

    • Macronix MX25U4033E 1.8 V 4.0 Mb Multi-in, Multi-out Serial NOR Flash Memory

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Peeling up a thin foam layer confirms our suspicions—the motherboard is indeed upside down—smooth back up top, connectors and chips on the bottom. Our best bet about why this happened is that Microsoft wanted a smooth backing to support the large and rather flexible display. Surprisingly, said motherboard also sprawls throughout the entire chassis, resembling some kind of nightmarish Tetris piece.
  • Peeling up a thin foam layer confirms our suspicions—the motherboard is indeed upside down—smooth back up top, connectors and chips on the bottom.

    • Our best bet about why this happened is that Microsoft wanted a smooth backing to support the large and rather flexible display.

  • Surprisingly, said motherboard also sprawls throughout the entire chassis, resembling some kind of nightmarish Tetris piece.

  • What's more, there's no sign of connectors for any of the peripheral components.

  • At least the camera bar comes up without any trouble. Maybe we'll find some tasty treasure below.

The face down motherboard puts the CPU heatsink on the back side of the tablet (against the metal casing) to improve heat dissipation. That sounds like a better reason than flat support for the display panel.

jeromevuarand - Reply

C'est effectivement ce qui semblait le plus logique à faire, surtout lorsque l'on découvre le dissipateur thermique utilisé pour le processeur, ainsi que son ventilateur. Je suis curieux de connaitre les températures du modèle core i7...

Bastien -

While the rear-facing camera comes free without a fight, the rest of the sensor array crew is stuck doing some time behind (PCB) bars. Mugshots, from left to right:
  • While the rear-facing camera comes free without a fight, the rest of the sensor array crew is stuck doing some time behind (PCB) bars.

  • Mugshots, from left to right:

    • Ambient light sensor

    • Infrared emitter

    • Infrared camera

    • Front-facing camera

    • "Privacy light" indicator LED

    • Microphone

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It's time to begin some  Surface excavation! The front-facing camera and IR sensor are glued to the chassis and trapped beneath the motherboard assembly, which makes for some tricky prying. Next, we tackle tons of troublesome tape and deftly disconnect a tangle of connectors.
  • It's time to begin some Surface excavation!

  • The front-facing camera and IR sensor are glued to the chassis and trapped beneath the motherboard assembly, which makes for some tricky prying.

  • Next, we tackle tons of troublesome tape and deftly disconnect a tangle of connectors.

  • We arrive at the headphone jack, only to find that it's connected to the underside of the motherboard assembly by a lengthy cable.

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Some finagling frees the speaker connectors, allowing us to lift and remove the nightmare of a motherboard assembly. This is a motherboard only a mother could love...
  • Some finagling frees the speaker connectors, allowing us to lift and remove the nightmare of a motherboard assembly.

    • This is a motherboard only a mother could love...

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Prepping the motherboard for its glamor shot, we begin the arduous task of removing cables. Soo many cables. Modular construction means that replacing any particular interconnect cable will be cheaper, but a (more common) motherboard replacement will be a bit time-consuming.
  • Prepping the motherboard for its glamor shot, we begin the arduous task of removing cables. Soo many cables.

  • Modular construction means that replacing any particular interconnect cable will be cheaper, but a (more common) motherboard replacement will be a bit time-consuming.

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With the motherboard sunny side up, we take a moment to pull out its brushless, 0.5 Amp fan. Eager to get a taste of that sweet, sweet silicon, we also relieve the motherboard of its sprawling heat sink. The cooling system in the Surface Book bears a passing resemblance to the large copper plate tucked against the battery of the Surface Pro 4, but covers silicon instead of Li-ion.
  • With the motherboard sunny side up, we take a moment to pull out its brushless, 0.5 Amp fan.

  • Eager to get a taste of that sweet, sweet silicon, we also relieve the motherboard of its sprawling heat sink.

  • The cooling system in the Surface Book bears a passing resemblance to the large copper plate tucked against the battery of the Surface Pro 4, but covers silicon instead of Li-ion.

    • The display features a single oversized heat pipe, forming the top of a duct that uses the fan to pull heat away from the processor and major on-board components.

Avec un dissipateur thermique de cette taille (ou plutôt un bout de cuivre de quelques millimètres) et un ventilateur aussi sous-dimensionné, je suis impatient de connaitre la température du modèle core i7... Throttling assuré !

Bastien - Reply

  • Having done their time, the front-facing and infrared cameras are plucked from their prison by a pair of our favorite tweezers.

  • Grateful for our assistance, they agree to pose for a couple of shots.

    • The infrared camera (on the left) is used for facial recognition for Windows Hello.

    • The 5 MP camera to the right is perfect for your everyday selfie needs.

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We're on the home stretch—all that stands between us and total motherboard liberation is the 128 GB Samsung PM951 SSD. This memory module is giving us feelings of déjà vu—it's identical to the one we found in the Surface Pro 4 (although, unlike in the Pro, this aluminum SSD tray is literally just taped to the back of the motherboard): Samsung S4LN058A01 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe flash controller
  • We're on the home stretch—all that stands between us and total motherboard liberation is the 128 GB Samsung PM951 SSD.

  • This memory module is giving us feelings of déjà vu—it's identical to the one we found in the Surface Pro 4 (although, unlike in the Pro, this aluminum SSD tray is literally just taped to the back of the motherboard):

    • Samsung S4LN058A01 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe flash controller

    • Samsung K9CHGY8S5C 64 GB NAND Flash

    • Samsung K4E4E324EE 4 Gb (512 MB) DRAM

    • Texas Instruments TPS22966 5.5V, 6A, 16mΩ, 2-Channel Load Switch

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Finally a bare logic—err, motherboard. That black PCB à la Steve Jobs had us confused for a second.
  • Finally a bare logic—err, motherboard. That black PCB à la Steve Jobs had us confused for a second.

    • Intel SR2F0 Core i5-6300U Processor (3M Cache, up to 3.00 GHz)

    • Samsung K4E6E304EE-EGCF 16 Gb LPDDR3 1867 MHz SDRAM (4 chips for a total of 8 GB)

    • Marvell Avastar W8897, likely Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip

    • Freescale Kinetis KL17 MKL17Z256VFM4 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+

    • Realtek ALC3269 Audio Codec

    • Infineon Technologies SLB9665TT20 Trusted Platform Module

    • Intersil ISL95857 1+2+1 Voltage Regulator for Intel IMVP8 CPUs

Is a black PCB Apple-esque? Motherboard, memory, gpu, and expansion cards have been using black PCBs for years. That "a la Steve Jobs" comment is out of place.

Matthew Upchurch - Reply

Most of the comments are out of place. The whole thing is one big pun/metaphor/joke thread.

You can't even easily skip the jokes, because sometimes they are right within the steps, and sometimes useful information is within the information pin sections.

Drake Brawn - Reply

I think its a poke at the fact that while black looks more appealing green is known to be higher quality.

reigh - Reply

Any ideas what they use in the 1tb models? I can't find an m2 PCIe package that big online.

reigh - Reply

They are now available at newegg. I will be tearing mine open to fix the screen, might as well upgrade to the 1TB drive while I'm at it.

Shawn Carpenter -

But wait, there's more! ITE IT8528VG
  • But wait, there's more!

    • ITE IT8528VG

    • Winbond W25X40CL Serial Flash Memory

    • Macronix MX25L4006E 3V, 4 Mb [x 1/x 2] CMOS Serial Flash Memory

    • Winbond W25Q128FV 128 Mb Serial Flash Memory

  • On the back (front?) we find a handful of sensors, and some cryptic labels, but not a lot else...

SMBclk/data is for SMbus, similar to I2C. TI proprietary interface

Gabe Ayala - Reply

The Book's display battery is actually easier to remove than the cell in the Surface Pro 4. This is likely due to the fact that it's smaller and has less surface area—i.e. less adhesive. While the Surface Book is intended to be used while docked, its display packs a 18.0 Wh, 7.5 V, 2387 mAh battery and an alleged four hours of battery life.
  • The Book's display battery is actually easier to remove than the cell in the Surface Pro 4.

    • This is likely due to the fact that it's smaller and has less surface area—i.e. less adhesive.

  • While the Surface Book is intended to be used while docked, its display packs a 18.0 Wh, 7.5 V, 2387 mAh battery and an alleged four hours of battery life.

  • Judging by the Surface Pro 4's 38.2 Wh battery, and the iPad Air 2's 27.62 Wh, we expect to find a decent cell in this Book's base to meet the spec'd 12 hour battery life.

    • After all, 3000 x 2000 pixel displays have a habit of using a lot of power.

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The Surface Book features a "Muscle Wire Lock," that will keep your display securely fastened to the base, until it's time to undock and get more mobile. Muscle wire is one of many names for shape-memory alloy, a class of materials that can undergo deformation, and then return to a prior shape when heated. In this case, electricity is run through the wire, heating it up and causing it to contract. This pulls the black pulley inward, against the spring, lifting the lower arm of the linkage.
  • The Surface Book features a "Muscle Wire Lock," that will keep your display securely fastened to the base, until it's time to undock and get more mobile.

  • Muscle wire is one of many names for shape-memory alloy, a class of materials that can undergo deformation, and then return to a prior shape when heated.

    • In this case, electricity is run through the wire, heating it up and causing it to contract. This pulls the black pulley inward, against the spring, lifting the lower arm of the linkage.

  • That lower arm holds a very tiny rod captive. The rod serves as the grip, that holds onto the base unit's metal tab. When the linkage is retracted, the rod rolls out of the way and lets the base go.

Can we see how "muscle wire lock" linkages work?

Matt - Reply

Yeah. The description of that muscle wire lock, with no arrows or labels on the photo, left me totally confused. Too bad they go to all this trouble not only of tearing it down, but of making these high-res images and then not labeling them.

JL Software - Reply

It was the weirdest thing seeing these guys in action when I got my broken screen off. Nice to see an explanation of how it works, because I was so confused!

Shawn Carpenter - Reply

We're curious about the state of the audio components, so we extract the Book's Nevada-shaped speaker for closer inspection. Of course, our stately speaker has a twin: nega-Nevada. Thankfully, there's no tiny goatee to suggest it's an evil twin.
  • We're curious about the state of the audio components, so we extract the Book's Nevada-shaped speaker for closer inspection.

  • Of course, our stately speaker has a twin: nega-Nevada. Thankfully, there's no tiny goatee to suggest it's an evil twin.

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Cue the intermission music! We're halfway through this Book, but we can hardly wait for chapter two!
  • Cue the intermission music! We're halfway through this Book, but we can hardly wait for chapter two!

  • Enjoy this initial layout, but the base-t is yet to come!

    • The best... the base... You get it? Yeah?

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  • Enough fun with the top bit, let's get back to basics, and tear into this base.

  • The lower case sits smooth and flush, with a very thin gap. We know what that means—time to warm the iOpener back up and get ready to pry.

  • While we wait for the iOpener to do it's thing, we do our due diligence and peel up those two wide rubber feet. And find channels for wide rubber feet. Alas, no screws.

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After some intense heating and very arduous prying, we finally get past the hefty adhesive holding the lower panel. Surprise! The battery comes right off with the lower panel à la Retina MacBook. With the power disconnected, let's get a closer look at this, the real power behind the Surface Book. With 51 Wh (6800 mAh at 7.5 V), the base battery provides nearly 3 times the juice as the tablet.
  • After some intense heating and very arduous prying, we finally get past the hefty adhesive holding the lower panel.

  • Surprise! The battery comes right off with the lower panel à la Retina MacBook.

  • With the power disconnected, let's get a closer look at this, the real power behind the Surface Book. With 51 Wh (6800 mAh at 7.5 V), the base battery provides nearly 3 times the juice as the tablet.

  • Both batteries combined give us 69 Wh, just a mite shy of the 74.9 Wh you'd get in this year's 13" Retina MacBook Pro.

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First out of this tiny MacBook base is an SD reader, blocking access to the I/O board. Well, that and a nest of cables. At last the board is free. Here's what it's packing:
  • First out of this tiny MacBook base is an SD reader, blocking access to the I/O board.

    • Well, that and a nest of cables.

  • At last the board is free. Here's what it's packing:

    • Freescale SC66 7334DC12

    • Realtek RTS5314 SD Card Reader Controller

    • Winbond 25X40CLIG Serial Flash Memory

    • Genesys Logic GL3520 USB 3.1 Hub Controller

If anyone has one of these SD Reader modules sitting around, ill pay good money for it. My reader has some bent pins, and this is just what the Dr ordered. Bueller? Bueller?

Brett Passmore - Reply

Appetite whetted, we pluck out the Book's GPU board assembly and its attached fan. We find a suspiciously Mac-like heat sink mounted to the base's GPU. Wow, this is really giving off an Apple vibe.
  • Appetite whetted, we pluck out the Book's GPU board assembly and its attached fan.

  • We find a suspiciously Mac-like heat sink mounted to the base's GPU.

    • Wow, this is really giving off an Apple vibe.

  • We've always said we could use a few more fans. With the heat sink out of the picture, the base's 0.30 Amp model is ours for the taking.

    • That would have been a lot of work just to clean a dusty fan. Let's hope that never happens.

C'est assez drôle, car le système de dissipation thermique de la carte graphique semble correctement dimensionné, idem pour le ventilateur, alors pourquoi celui du CPU est-il aussi ridicule ? Déséquilibre réel dans la conception de la surface book...

Bastien - Reply

Finally we reach the bottom of the stack and get a look at that fancy dedicated GeForce GPU. This is a custom job, that the internet has deduced is about on par with a GeForce 940M. Nvidia N16S-LG Custom GeForce GPU
  • Finally we reach the bottom of the stack and get a look at that fancy dedicated GeForce GPU. This is a custom job, that the internet has deduced is about on par with a GeForce 940M.

    • Nvidia N16S-LG Custom GeForce GPU

    • Samsung K4G41325FC 512 MB GDDR5 Graphics RAM (1 GB total)

    • Parade PS8330B Dual-Mode DisplayPort Version 1.2 Repeater

    • Pericom PI3PCIE PCIe Switch/Multiplexer

    • NXP CBTL06GP213EE Six-Channel Multiplexer for DisplayPort, HDMI and PCI Express

    • Freescale Kinetis KL17 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ Microcontroller

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For those of you keeping track at home, we have a touchdown!
  • For those of you keeping track at home, we have a touchdown!

  • Our screwdriver has scored six points of entry on either side of this Synaptics trackpad—er, five points? It looks like there is an empty space where a screw should be on either side. Interesting...

  • We make a beeline to tackle the single remaining screw on the bottom of the trackpad, punt the trackpad connector, and head for the goal (or at least a place with fewer sports metaphors).

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Now it's time to get twisted and unhinged. We spin a handy Torx precision driver to free the segmented hinge from the base. The cables slide free of their basic home fairly easily, but then disappear into the spine of the hinge...
  • Now it's time to get twisted and unhinged.

  • We spin a handy Torx precision driver to free the segmented hinge from the base.

  • The cables slide free of their basic home fairly easily, but then disappear into the spine of the hinge...

  • The segments are secured with various screws, so hinge, spine, and cables are likely replaceable, should they wear out.

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All your base are belong to us. But don't worry you get a cool layout out of it! The Microsoft Surface Book (as a whole) earns a reparability score of 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair). After the difficult opening procedure, the SSD can be replaced. So too the glued battery in the display. However, the base battery is very heavily glued.
  • All your base are belong to us. But don't worry you get a cool layout out of it!

  • The Microsoft Surface Book (as a whole) earns a reparability score of 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • After the difficult opening procedure, the SSD can be replaced. So too the glued battery in the display. However, the base battery is very heavily glued.

    • The display assembly consists of a fused glass panel and LCD, and is difficult to remove and replace.

    • The processor and RAM are soldered to the motherboard.

    • Strong adhesive holds many components in place, including the display, base cover, and both batteries.

    • Many components are on the backs of their respective boards, requiring motherboard removal to replace simple components.

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34 Comments

Absolutely insane that an up to $2700 device that is being advertised as a laptop replacement requires so much to even get to the SSD. What in the world were they thinking even gluing the cover on the BASE!?! They should have at least made the base openable via screws and put a second m.2 slot in the base for storage upgrades. Since the screen release is already software based, making it a hot-swap drive would have been easy.

This device just gets more and more disappointing. The price is absolutely insane compared to even macs, the battery life pathetic without the base making the tablet mostly useless itself, now you can't even realistically upgrade the SSD. Wow microsoft, just wow.

avboden - Reply

Please keep in mind that Microsoft (and Apple) use smaller & lighter components and glue, to save space, weight and cost. Screws are bigger, heavier, and are more expensive during the manufacturing process. Hatches that provide easy component upgrades also add to size and weight, not to mention, potentially, disturbing the "design aesthetic".

Also remember that the companies don't want you to upgrade it easily... If you could remove a screw and double your SSD from 128 to 256, for about $80, how could they get you to pay $200 more for the 256 version (which they make more profit on)?

In the end, easy upgradeability comes with sacrifices in the form of extra size, weight & other design trade-offs. Unfortunately, the market has spoken, and they want thinner, lighter, & "more eligent" devices like the Surface Book.

Until there are enough people willing to vote with their wallets to get upgradeablity over "thinner, lighter & prettier", nothing will change...

Atricius -

No. The price is on par with its direct competitor, the 13" Retina MacBook. For about the same price you get a device with slightly less weight, a larger and higher-res screen, similar battery life, a newer CPU (though with comparable performance for most tasks), a touch screen, and the ability to detach the screen and use it as a "clipboard". And for a price premium, you can add a dedicated GPU (which brings the weight up to be identical to the rMBP).

Seems like a reasonable offering. As for the 3-4 hour battery life of the screen on its own, that is 3-4 more hours than any MacBook's screen gets when it is detached.

bhpaddock -

It is to bad companies are not making it easy to upgrade one, if not both, memory dimm(s), the video card and the m.2 ssd. I have not purchased a new macbook pro since I can no longer upgrade it. I would purchase a new one, for the upgraded cpu, but it isn't worth the price since if I can't upgrade the storage and the memory.

swt0r - Reply

Both this and the new macbook seem like pretty clear cases of companies intentionally blocking any meaningful upgrades.

I mean, I realize the absurdity of complaining about premium hardware not being premium *enough*... Still, it's hard not to be annoyed by the overt price gouging for incremental SSD/RAM upgrades.

Peter Adkisson - Reply

It's actually a pretty clear case of going for clean aesthetics, functionality (optically bonded display+touch stack) and lighter weight, versus repairability.

bhpaddock -

Didn't the Mac Book Pro 13" early 2015 and the new MacBook also got 1 out of 10 scores?

mvillar24 - Reply

effectivement, réparer un macbook pro semble facile à côté de la surface book...

Bastien -

This is such clickbait. All ultrabooks / tablets / hybrids are difficult at best for a common user to tear down. This has been an issue since the iPod first hit the market, so why it's a surprise to anyone is a headshaker to me.

DS Paladino - Reply

Nobody cares! Seriously. These things are generally purchase w/ a 2 year warranty, and good portion the consumer base upgrades before that.

bryan - Reply

Well, I was excited by the concept, but that is a deal breaker for me. Repairability (at the very least easy access to battery) and upgradability (at the very least easy access to the ssd) is a must for a laptop this expensive... Thank you iFixit for yourvery useful work.

frederic - Reply

I am ALL about DIY repairs and upgrades but you absolutely HAVE to set that aside when buying any ultra-thin or light computer device. So many of the details that are pointed out here are just not in line with reality. ALL laptops are very hard to repair, and when you get down to ultra-thin versions, let alone a tablet hybrid, what would one really expect? And criticism for having chips soldered on the MB? Exactly how many laptops in the last 5-10 years actually have chips that use removable/replaceable processors? I'd be surprised to find even 1. If you want easy servicing then buy a tower case workstation. Those get really heavy to carry though...

Douglas Bowker - Reply

I don't agree. If we can have smartphones with removable batteries, we can definitely do it for ultrabooks! Google is even talking about upgradable smartphones (storage, sensors, battery, etc.). Also, I would point out that some great ultrabooks on the market have user removable batteries and easy upgradable memory and storage especially in the pro segment where the customer (IT departments) ask for easy repairability. So if the consumer care a little more about the repairability of their electronics, we can hope that manufacturers will take this into account. This is where iFixit does a great job by raising awareness about repairability (giving grades is a great way to do it) and decreasing the difficulty of actually repairing/upgrading our consumer electronics with detailed guides.

I'm sorry but I'm not all in to thinness when it means planned obsolescence!

frederic -

Actually a staggering quantity of notebooks still use socketed processors, just not in the thin and light category. It actually comes down to the specific Intel product line, some CPU's are only sold in one package, some are sold in multiple packages; therefore some must be soldered (typically ULV and SULV products) and some must be socketed (typically high performance applications, such as mobile workstations [i7 Extreme Mobile]).

Graeme Evans -

I can understand one of the reasons it is so complex to tear down the system is for safety purpose. It is not so much different from most tablets though. It means professionals are required to fix it when it has problems and that is not bad while looking at how pricey it is.

Patrick Johnson - Reply

What I think is wrong .

They failed to include an Intel Alpine ridge controller. If they had done this they could have had Thunderbolt connectivity, USB 3.1 and USB C connectors.

Failure to include Intel LGA 1151 increasing the number of PCI 3e bus ports.

Now having a PCI 3e bus. You want a good PCI 3e SSP. Not a slow Samsung PMD 951. The Samsung 950 Pro would have been better delivering 2500 MB/s instead of 1500 MB/s on reads.

Why use a Marvel Avastar Combi WIFI/Bluetooth IC when really good ones are available.

Full sized SD Card reader but unfortunately not full depth. It could have been there was space!

Form factors. The screen is nice but the bezel is too large. Earphone Jack top of the screen, not good.

In the main I think they have got most of the other components in the product about as correct as they should be for the money.

UltraBook Fan - Reply

Finally I can see is from the inside. Thanks for the pictures!

You can’t help but love the specs. http://www.interwebcom.com/microsoft-sur...

But I found the Surface Book a bit awkward while converting it from laptop to desktop mode.

The older Surface tablets connect to the Type Cover keyboard via fabric hinge. It works pretty well, but there’s always a tiny bit of flex. Worse still is the kickstand, which Microsoft has never quite figured out how to prevent it from digging into your thighs. The hinge solves all that, holding the monstrous tablet securely. It doesn’t wiggle. Internal, toothlike hooks help secure the tablet to the base.

Miroslava Belkovets - Reply

Hey guys, I have a problem with my surface book that seems to be something in the hardware interfering with touch & pen input in a localized area. I've used this guide to try and identify what is right behind the problematic area, but can't quite figure it out. Any ideas?

I'm not asking for technical support, just whether that area correlates to any part you've explored during your breakdown!

Issue in more detail on the Microsoft Support Forum: https://goo.gl/YyWlLc

Photo of exact area: https://imgur.com/o7oFQAt (The connection ports are to the right)

Jerome Cousins - Reply

While I get that people want to upgrade and replace things on a computer, having sockets instead of having them soldered on means sacrificing on weight and dimensions, i.e making it thicker and bulkier. By soldering on the RAM and CPU, they can make it much thinner. Imagine having a phone in which you can replace the CPUs and stuff. Its going to be thick and bulky to accommodate for sockets. If you want something you can upgrade and teardown easily, go buy a laptop. If you want something lightweight and thin, you're going to have to sacrifice replaceability and openupability.

David Shen - Reply

It's not true, sockets can be very thin (look at you pc) and memory/gcard specific slots are easily to attach to mb. The only problem is ->cash<-. When buying new processor you can buy it from intel directly and not from micro$oft, If its glued to mobo... vell you buy all the stuff again from m$ - witch normal thinking ppl won't do.

termitek12 -

"Absolutely insane that an up to $2700 device that is being advertised as a laptop replacement requires so much to even get to the SSD. What in the world were they thinking even gluing the cover on the BASE!?! They should have at least made the base openable via screws and put a second m.2 slot in the base for storage upgrades. Since the screen release is already software based, making it a hot-swap drive would have been easy.

This device just gets more and more disappointing. The price is absolutely insane compared to even macs, the battery life pathetic without the base making the tablet mostly useless itself, now you can't even realistically upgrade the SSD. Wow microsoft, just wow."

Totally agree - ram, processor, graphic cardd, HDD/SSD should be EASILY recappable. Otherwise you just bought a piece of machine that you can throw away after 2-3 years.

termitek12 - Reply

How do u get past the power on password on the hp mini

Nick Deren - Reply

Wow, I love this machine, I had no idea of the guts of this thing.

T Young - Reply

It's an amazing, nearly perfect machine. Until it breaks. Microsoft absolutely will not fix it. They only exchange it, and if you don't have a protection plan it's a minimum of 600 dollars. Geek squad told me they could get it fixed for 300, but upon arriving and after looking up my information they said 'never mind, it's out of warranty and can't be sent in for repairs'. So, now I'm pretty much forced to have to attempt to do it myself.

Shawn Carpenter -

So does this mean that the memory can be upgraded?

deshanbaptiste - Reply

does somebody know where to get spare parts for the surface book? I'll need to replace the screen since it has been damaged and the device is out of warranty.

Mechalos - Reply

It is still very hard to find a reliable place for replacement screen. Prices range from 250 to over 400 dollars. The best luck I had was checking on eBay regularly until I found one that shipped from the united states with an available protection plan. It was an identical replacement to the original. Before I found this, I actually did buy an aftermarket screen from an individual in China, it took over a month to receive and was not only defective but was also missing the metal piece that the display cable clip connects to. Unfortunately, the person who I purchased the good screen from only had five available and they are all sold. So, just keep looking on eBay, make sure it isn't the generic aftermarket one from China, and you should be able to get it for less than 300 dollars.

Shawn Carpenter -

can anybody tell me where i can get teh surface book batteries both the batterries on my device are not charging and showing 0 %

Salman khan - Reply

I am wondering where I can purchase the adhesive strips to put the screen back on? I have yet to take mine apart, however I am wondering if there is a certain adhesive stip that needs to be purchased in order to properly seal the screen to the housing. My plan is to upgrade my NVMe SSD to a 1tb.

J Jesus Perez - Reply

I spilled coffee on my keyboard and now its basically toast. What options do you guys/girls recommend?

clay - Reply

I have a surface book from the Switzland store, is it possible to replace the keys as they do not follow the UK keyboard layout

Paul - Reply

Following on from J Jesus Perez's comment, anyone know if it's possible to get seal kits for the Surface Book, or can anyone recommend a glue / adhesive to use when putting it back together again? Successfully taken mine apart to get to the failed SSD, but could do with some guidance on how to make sure it seals properly when I re-assemble. Many thanks in advance.

Richard Burnley - Reply

Use electronics grade silicone adhesive

Tim Laws -

Dear

Can you help me by advising how to change the batteries located in keyboard

EB9 FR - Reply

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