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.
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.
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.
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.