Microsoft unveiled quite a number of notable Surface devices last month but there is always an odd one out. The Surface Pro 7 seems to have gotten the short end of the stick this year, being seen as an almost forgettable upgrade. But more than just the meager step up in specs and features, the device is criticized for sporting an already very outdated design. It turns out, that’s true inside as well.
We can imagine that the Surface Neo and Surface Duo will be repairability nightmares given their novel designs but we won’t know that until late 2020. This year, Microsoft at least gave fans a significantly more repairable Surface Laptop 3 and, despite its flaws, a decent Surface Pro X as well.
The Surface Pro 7, in contrast, feels like it comes from an age long gone, with a design that has remained unchanged for three to four years now. As iFixit found out to its disappointment, the internal design hasn’t changed either. The specs may have been upgraded a bit but they’re still glued and soldered together in the exact same way.
Getting the display off, which is the only way inside the tablet, is still a chore and a risky process with all the glue that holds it in place. The same is true for the battery, which makes it dangerous to replace the power packs. Some components are indeed modular but the parts that do matter, like the RAM or even just the SSD, are soldered down.
iFixit gives the Surface Pro 7 a score of 1 out of 10, which is exactly like the Surface Pro 6 before it. It’s definitely a disappointment considering the work Microsoft put on the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X. Hopefully, consumers’ reactions to repairability news will help convince the company that the Surface Pro line is long-overdue a design change inside and out.