Inside the Surface Pro 2

Inside the Surface Pro 2

Summary: What's inside the Surface Pro 2 tablet? According to iFixit, it's pretty much what was inside the original tablet, apart from a faster CPU, more RAM, and a larger SSD.


The new Windows 8.1-powered Surface Pro 2 tablet is Microsoft's latest entry into the crowded tablet market, coming only eight months following the release of the original Surface Pro. The team from iFixit have managed to get their hands on one of these new tablets and subjected it to a thorough teardown so we can see what makes it tick.

Teardown of the Surface Pro 2
(Source: iFixit)

According to iFixit, there's not much to distinguish the Surface Pro 2 from the original Surface Pro when it comes to hardware apart from the inclusion of a Haswell processor, the option to have more RAM, and a larger SSD.

The biggest change is the processor. The Surface Pro 2 comes equipped with a dual-core Intel Core i5-4200U which has a clock speed of 1.6GHz and can be turbo boosted to 2.6GHz. It comes complete with Intel HD 4000 graphics and has a TDP of only 15W, making it ideally suited for tablets. This is an expensive part too, and is listed on Intel's site as $287 when bought in quantities of 1,000.

Mainboard from the Surface Pro 2
(Source: iFixit)

The rest of the parts are a mixed bag. SK Hynix is the supplier of the on-board RAM and the RAM, the touchscreen controller is an Atmel part, and there are a bunch of other components by suppliers such as Winbond, Texas Instruments, Marvell, and Realtek.

The battery is the same 42Wh unit has was found in the original Surface Pro, which means that any battery life gains are down to hardware efficiencies. However, when it comes to the battery, the Surface Pro 2 lags behind not only the iPad and Android tablets, but also what Apple can squeeze out of the MacBook Air.

In a statement to ZDNet, iFixit claim that Microsoft has "beat Apple fair 'n' square, just not in a good way" by making a tablet that's more difficult to repair than the iPad. The display and battery are glued down with copious amounts of adhesive, the LCD and digitizer glass are fused together which means they have to be replaced as a whole, and the device has more than 90 screws holding everything together.

Copious amounts of adhesive are used to hold the Surface Pro 2 together, along with 90 screw
(Source: iFixit)

The Surface Pro 2 gets a 1 out of 10 on the iFixit repairability scale (where 1 is the hardest to repair), which is a worse score than the 2 that was awarded to the iPad.

Topics: Mobility, Tablets, Microsoft Surface

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  • Who cares?

    I build my own desktop systems and pop open my laptops to add memory and change the hard drives. I've had a Surface Pro since they first came out but have never been tempted to take it apart. I doubt many iPad, MacBook Air, or Android tablet owners open theirs up either.
    Sir Name
    • As long as

      As long as there's a reasonably quick and inexpensive service to swap out the battery when it no longer holds a charge I'm OK with it, myself. But that caveat is a pretty big "if."
  • You are just a moron

    Sorry for name calling, but your message has no value and mine is no better in this case, but at least I am done telling world that who you are. You make @danbi look more sensible.
    Ram U
    • the above for @Said Enough

      Ram U
  • Needs Better Battery Life

    Surface Pro 2 is a step in right direction but still not going to be a hit. Bit too pricey and battery life is still unacceptable. Microsoft should drop RT and continue to work on the Pro.
    • Bay Trail

      Microsoft needs a Bay Trail surface in the same enclosure as the Surface RT. I would buy it in a heartbeat if they sold it for, say, $699 type cover included. Based on what I'm reading the chip seems plenty fast enough for my needs, and the battery life would be out of this world given how much room they've got to work with.

      Alas Microsoft knows that would be the end of Windows RT, so it's not going to happen.
  • Inside the Surface Pro 2

    I'm not sure what the iFixit team was expecting to find when they opened up the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. The design is what makes it look so wonderful and reliability without a need for it to be opened and repaired. This is a great device.
  • Improvement of Perfection.

    The only thing I get out of this is Microsoft improves on perfection and DON'T open it up, you won't need to open it! Only Apple equipment needs opening. I like my Surface Pro 128GB and they're only getting better.
  • Irrelevant

    Yes, let's find some irrelevant facts to criticize Microsoft about!!! The battery is glued down, it makes a terrible Frisbee, and when I throw it like a boomerang, it does not come back!!!
    • Does this officially end the

      holy war against non-removable batteries, then?
      • nope...

        ... non removable batteries are a bigger con than printer ink...
  • This is a X86 tabletPC

    The Same x86 tabletPC we've had now for over a decade. It is different from your iPads or Android tablets thats derived from smart phone architecture. Not sure why bloggers continue to compare the two types of tablets. The SurefaceRT yes but this SurefacePro is a x86PC.
    • re: not quite

      It's actually an x64 machine since it has an i5 processor and runs Windows in 64 bit mode. Those Atom based tablets from Asus and others are x86 machines since they run Windows in 32 bit mode.
      Sir Name
      • Re: Those Atom based tablets

        Are you sure? Atoms are 64bit for years.
        That those tablets come with 32bit Windows is an Microsoft decision.
      • correction

        "x64" is an extension of the x86 instruction set (the technical name of the extension is x86-64). Regardless of the processor / operating system running in a 64-bit mode it would still be "x86" or more accurately x86-64, "x64" is just a nickname for it.