Microsoft Surface Pro 11, Surface Laptop 7 repairability gets thumbs up from iFixit

It has only been a month since Microsoft unveiled its latest Surface-branded computers, and while the tech industry was awash with discussions on the company’s aggressive Copilot AI push and ARM-based Snapdragon X silicon, the products’ design may have left some people less than impressed. The Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop, for all intents and purposes, look exactly like their forebears, making one wonder if Microsoft has run out of creative juice or is desperate to milk its current design until it runs dry. Fortunately, that isn’t the end of the new Microsoft Story, as it turns out that the latest Surface Pro and Surface Laptop computers have one “invisible” upgrade it didn’t really talk about much: an easier repair process that has even the meticulous and stingy iFixit impressed.

Designer: Microsoft (via iFixit)

Laptops have come a long way from being impregnable fortresses that made even the smallest repairs or upgrades a hellish experience, though there are still some companies living the past in the present. Initially, the Surface Laptop was part of that group, requiring cutting through fancy Alcantara fabric just to open the laptop to replace a battery or upgrade the storage. This year’s design almost makes a complete U-turn with a bottom plate that’s only held down by four screws and magnets; no adhesive in sight. Even the battery can be easily removed by just removing screws and a few layers of parts blocking those.

Tablets are even worse news for repairs, especially with displays that are glued on top of the frame. To its credit, Microsoft has at least made changing the Surface Pro M.2 SSD painless by having an accessible magnet-locked panel to get to that storage instantly. The 11th-gen model takes things further by employing as little adhesive as possible, though you still have to go through the risky process of removing the screen first. Fortunately, getting to important parts like the battery is less of a grueling task, especially since it’s only held down by screws as well.

Even more impressive, however, is the fact that Microsoft officially supports such self-repair processes. It has made repair guides publicly available since day one and has even clearly marked out the number and types of screws that hold certain components in place. It’s far from perfect and definitely not on the same level as a Framework laptop, but it’s still an unexpected yet pleasant surprise, especially considering it’s Microsoft we’re talking about.