Teardown reveals Microsoft Surface Studio has limited user upgradeability
The repair experts over at iFixit have published a teardown of Microsoft’s new Surface Studio, showing off the components that make up the innovative machine geared towards creative professionals. The Surface Studio is a unique All-in-One (AIO) device with a 28-inch 4500 x 3000 touchscreen attached to a fairly powerful and compact base. The Surface Studio can be equipped with:
- 6th Generation Skylake Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor (SKU unknown)
- 8, 16, or 32 GB of RAM
- up to 2 TB of "Rapid Hybrid Storage"
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M (2 GB GDDR5) or GTX 980M (4 GB GDDR5)
The base also sports four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a mini DisplayPort, a full-size SD card slot, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The teardown revealed that the CPU, GPU, and RAM are all soldered onto the motherboard and are not replaceable. Users won’t be able to upgrade these components after purchase, so they will need to make sure to customize the machine to their expected workload from the outset.
iFixit also found that the storage options are replaceable, as there are slots for both an M.2 SSD and a standard SATA HDD or SSD. Interestingly, the machine that was disassembled had a slower 5400 RPM HDD connected via SATA II instead of the more common (and faster) SATA III. It is currently unknown if the interface is capable of SATA III 6 Gb/s speeds, or if the connection is indeed limited to SATA II at 3 Gb/s.
Overall, iFixit gave the Surface Studio a “Repairability Score” of 5 out of a possible 10. The device seems to be fairly repairable, with plenty of pieces (including the display) able to be replaced independently of others. Earlier teardowns of Microsoft’s original Surface Book and Apple’s new Macbook Pro with Touch Bar, also targeted at creatives, both yielded abysmal repairability scores of 1 out of 10.