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Seeing beneath Microsoft Surface

Posted: 12 Nov 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor? RAM? teardown?

We want to know if Microsoft's $499 Surface will make a dent in the tablet market. On a technical basis, its innards should be illustrative. So we turned to our friends at iFixit, who gave us a mini version of their Surface teardown.

The tablet is notable because it runs Windows RT, which is essentially a port of Windows 8 to run on ARM processor. It's also got a 10.6-in screen sporting the mobile-oriented Windows RT icons, as can be seen in Microsoft's publicity shot, below.

Turning to tech specs, Microsoft's Surface tablet is equipped with a quad-core, ARM-based NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, a high-resolution display of 1366x768 pixels, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB or 64 GB flash storage, and 720p high-definition front- and rear-facing cameras.

iFixit found it notable that the Surface has laptop-like connectivity, commenting that "nearly every edge includes ports and button." They also gave a shout-out to the "touch cover," which acts as a full keyboard when the tablet is in use, and protects the screen when it's not.

The following images are the iFixit teardown shots. (Use of this teardown, and images two through four, courtesy of Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit.)

Tough Torx

The iFixit folks found that they had to remove 17 pesky Torx screws to almost get the rear case off. The final step is to unhook the ribbon cable which tethers the battery to a connector on the motherboard.

Orange ribbon

This shot shows the large orange ribbon cable leading to the Surface's magnetic charging port. A microSDXC card slot underneath the kickstand is also attached to the ribbon cable.

Our final photo displays the fully disassembled Surface. ifixit, which focuses on DIY repair information, gives the Surface a 4 out of 10 repairability rating, mostly because of difficulties in removing the rear panel and keyboard connector, and because the LCD and glass are fused together, which means increased repair costs.

Images and most content for this teardown courtesy of Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit, used by permission.

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