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You Can’t Open the Microsoft Surface Laptop Without Literally Destroying It

Repair specialists iFixit have dubbed the new laptop a ‘Russian nesting doll from hell.’
The Surface Laptop. Image: Microsoft

Microsoft's latest Surface Laptop may have earned glowing reviews from certain sections of the tech press, but don't tell that to iFixit.

The company, which provides repair tools and manuals for popular gadgets like the iPhone and PlayStation, has handed the Surface Laptop a score of 0 out of 10 in terms of user repairability, stating definitively that the laptop "is not meant to be opened or repaired; you can't get inside without inflicting a lot of damage."


iFixit's detailed teardown illustrates just how difficult it is to open the Surface. For starters, there are no screws, proprietary or otherwise, on the outside of the laptop. Instead, the laptop is literally welded together using a type of "plastic soldering" that is rare to see in consumer electronics.

Anyone hoping to get inside the "beautifully designed and crafted" computer will have to pry it open with a knife or dedicated pick in order to defeat Microsoft's plastic welding. Whether or not it's actually worth going through the trouble of defeating said welding is another matter, given that the "glue-filled monstrosity," as iFixit dubs the laptop, has none of the user-upgradeable parts you'd want to see in a PC, like memory or storage.

"It literally can't be opened without destroying it," the repair company concludes.

"If we could give it a -1 out of 10, we would," iFixit said in an emailed statement on Friday. "It's a Russian nesting doll from hell with everything hidden under adhesive and plastic spot welds. It is physically impossible to nondestructively open this device."

Prying open the Surface Laptop. Image: iFixit

The Surface laptops, perhaps with the exception of 2012's Surface RT, have earned generally positive reviews, with critics variously commending Microsoft (Microsoft!) for designing attractive-looking hardware that doubles as a reference point for its vision of what a modern Windows-based laptop should look like. Unfortunately for consumers, this seductive vision is apparently incompatible with being able to extend the laptop's useful lifespan on your own.