Cracking open the Microsoft Surface Pro

Bill Detwiler cracks open the Microsoft Surface Pro and finds a laptop-like tablet that's extremely difficult to service and repair.


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skythra posted a comment   

If parts aren't designed to wear then there's no need to service. As for repair, that's a different topic but it's not exactly easy to come up with spare parts, which you would need for repair. In fact, inhouse, you would keep a spare tablet, and return the broken one for warranty if it's faulty. It seems ironic that despite the fact that the product is significantly different to laptops of old, the users are using them in a different way, and the manufacturers are building them differently, IT Support wants to try and keep clutching onto old solutions for issues that arise with new products. This is unsustainable and it comes down to a simple rule: Parts are small now. These aren't desktops from 1975, we can't just open them with our hands and pull out giant parts. We did back then, in the 80's and 90's because parts were expensive, but nothing like the cost of the $4000 dollar computer that they were in. In the thousands parts were cheap, and available and standardised for easy replacement. Bulky too. So it was cost effective to do that for the time and skill needed. Now though, parts are small, delicate, specialised and the computer cheap. Why would you as a professional spend 2-3 hours opening up, 'servicing' and then sealing up a tablet. My firm contracts IT professionals to clients at $165 an hour. Could you imagine anyone, no matter how simple a fix, paying $500 on labour and only getting the original working machine back at best? The tablet may have only cost that. Sure the Surface pro is more, but not a lot. The return on investment of time is low considering the skill required is very high which means a lot of training, and specialised equipment needed to do anything more basic than taking off the covers. Desoldering stations for circuitboards run in the multi thousands to be able to take out a chip. It can't ever be paid off.

My point is, the criticisms aren't real. And I don't like the product at all but the philosophy that we should have big chunky serviceable pieces of hardware that employs an extra tier of technicians to keep them running is stupid. Your kind is dying, move to sales, or move on.

Remember, IT Support is a support oriented industry. The solutions that are designed around a consumer, who actually creates the contents are the primary target. Support shouldn't be telling a consumer that "Oh i can't help you if it breaks so you shouldn't get something that is perfectly suitable to your task".

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