Price excluding repairable Surface Laptop SE • The Register
Microsoft took its Surface enthusiasts back in time this week with a video showing how to take apart their Surface-for-Schools: SE laptop.
The Surface Laptop SE, aimed at the education sector, appeared late last year just after demand for Chromebooks plummeted due to market saturation in the United States.
The device has been touted both for its low price (starting at $ 249) and its repairability. While the installed operating system, Windows 11 SE, is supposed to be locked down, Microsoft wants engineers to be able to take devices apart to replace parts damaged or worn out by life in the classroom.
Cynics might point to the laptops of yesteryear as being at least as repairable, but compared to today’s glue-scalloped nightmares, the Surface Laptop SE seems a step in the right direction.
In the video, Branden Cole, senior DFX engineer at Design for Repair, used tools familiar to many iFixit aficionados. First, the Torx screws on the base were removed (Cole noted that it was not necessary to remove the rubber feet) before removing the keyboard and trackpad. A bit of tweezer action was needed for some cable removals, but the stripping process seemed relatively straightforward.
However, he highlighted certain elements that could hardly be repaired. Of course, the screen came off, as did the battery and things like the speaker module. But users hoping to increase RAM or storage, or even swap out the CPU, wouldn’t be out of luck – these are soldered to the motherboard and therefore out of reach of Cole’s Torx driver and tweezers. .
Overall, Microsoft has clearly taken a step in the right direction and (as we observed at the time) it would be good to see this fixable approach filter through the rest of the Surface lineup.
The video also shows that there is more to do – giving engineers the option to double the RAM would extend the life of the computer and perhaps a later version could incorporate the SSD swap shenanigans introduced. on its larger Surface siblings to provide an upgrade path from existing eMMC storage.
Still, some of Microsoft’s competitors in the industry could certainly learn a lesson or two from this approach. ®