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Apple iPads And Microsoft Surface Tablet PCs At The Bottom Of The Pile For Repairability – iFixIt

iFixIt rates tablet devices for their relative ease or not of repairability, and both Apple’s iPads and Microsoft’s Surface tablet PCs score miserably.

A device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity. In decending order of repairability:

Dell XPS 10
Easy to open. Easy to remove battery.
Color-coded screws and labeled cables inside.
LCD is fused to the glass.
Rating – 9

Amazon Kindle Fire
Device is easy to open.
No proprietary fasteners.
Simple design with standard Phillips screws.
Glass panel is fused to frame.
Rating – 8

Dell Streak
Device is easy to open.
Battery is easy to replace.
LCD is fused to the glass.
Rating – 8

Motorola Xoom
No proprietary fasteners.
LCD and front glass are not fused.
57 screws means a long disassembly time.
Rating – 8

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
Modular design and easy to remove components.
Front glass is not fused to the LCD.
Heat gun is needed to replace the LCD.
Rating – 8

Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Easy to open. Easy to remove battery.
Color-coded screws and labeled cables inside.
LCD is fused to the glass.
Rating – 7

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch
Device is easy to open.
Only 12 screws.
Battery is easy to replace.
Front glass, GlowLight LEDs, and digitizer are fused together.
Rating – 7

Google Nexus 7
Device is easy to open. No proprietary fasteners.
Battery is easy to replace.
LCD does not separate from front glass.
Rating – 7

Apple iPad 1
Front panel is held in place with clips.
LCD is not fused to the display glass.
Battery is difficult to remove and replace.
Rating – 6

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet
LCD is not fused to front panel assembly.
Excessive adhesive and adhesive strips.
Battery replacement requires removing motherboard.
Rating – 6

Google Nexus 10
Easily removable battery. LCD is not fused to glass.
The opening procedure is a very difficult process.
Several components are attached by both screws and glue.
Rating – 6

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9″
With just a few clips, the device is very easy to open.
Heat gun is needed for fused LCD and front glass.
Battery and cables are adhered to case.
Rating – 5

Microsoft Surface RT
Once the device is opened, the battery is easily replaced.
Difficult to open device.
LCD is fused to the front glass.
Rating – 4

Apple iPad 2
LCD is easy to replace once the front panel is removed.
Battery is difficult to remove and replace.
High chance of cracking the glass during disassembly.
Rating – 2

Apple iPad 3
LCD is easy to remove once the front panel is removed.
Excessive amounts of adhesive holds everything in place.
High chance of cracking the glass during disassembly.
Rating – 2

Apple iPad 4
LCD is easy to remove once the front panel is removed.
Excessive amounts of adhesive holds everything in place.
High chance of cracking the glass during disassembly.
Rating – 2

Apple iPad Mini
LCD and glass are not fused together.
Excessive amounts of adhesive makes any repair difficult.
Hidden screws complicate disassembly.
Rating – 2

Microsoft Surface Pro
Battery is not soldered to the motherboard.
Tons of adhesive holds everything in place.
Opening the device risks shearing the display cables.
Rating – 1

You can check it out and find individual device teardown reports and manuals at:
http://www.ifixit.com/Tablet_Repairability

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