[Bestbuy618 Laptop Channel] On October 2, Microsoft held a new conference and introduced a number of new products, including the Surface Duo folding screen phone, the Surface Neo dual-screen computer, the Surface Pro X, the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Laptop 3, and the Surface Earbuds wireless headphones. The Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3, and Surface Earbuds are possibly the most popular products. The Surface Duo folding screen phone and the Surface Neo dual-screen computer have received the most attention, but they do not overshadow the Surface Laptop. As Microsoft’s first traditional laptop form factor (the Surface Pro and Surface Book both have two-in-one attributes), the Surface Laptop has been stunning since its first generation, and this year marks the first time a 15-inch version has been added.
Unlike the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 with Intel’s 10th generation Core platform, the 15-inch (2256 x 1504 resolution, 201ppi, 3:2, PixelSense screen, support for touch and Surface stylus) Surface Laptop 3 uses AMD Ryzen 5 3580U processor with Radeon Vega 9 graphics card Microsoft Surface version or AMD Ryzen 7 3780U processor with Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics card Microsoft Surface version. The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 has metal and Alcantara palm rests, while the 15-inch version only has metal palm rests and aluminum shells. Both sizes of Surface Laptop 3 have one USB-C, one USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack, one Surface Connect port, and support for off-screen interaction with Surface Dial.
In terms of networking, the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 is Wi-Fi 6 compatible, while the 15-inch model is Wi-Fi 5 compatible. In terms of battery life, Microsoft claims that both devices can be used for up to 11.5 hours.
The previous two generations received a “0” fixability score from iFixit, so what changes will the new design bring to the Surface Laptop 3 in terms of fixability? The next step is to look through the disassembly. The iFixit teardown of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 3580U processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, and 256GB of SSD storage. X-ray photos reveal numerous dark blocks on the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3’s mid-frame, possibly a magnetic strip? The biggest difference in appearance between the 13.5-inch and 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 is perhaps reflected in the C-side material, after all, Alcantara is more snug and comfortable from a tactile standpoint (although this is a challenge when disassembling).
When compared to the 2019 MacBook Pro, the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 wedge protrudes and is slightly thicker, and the ports are slightly different, with USB Type-A. Surface Connect port is gradually becoming the logo of Microsoft PC, magnetic charging port is more secure and easy to use, not easy to drag the cable to cause the laptop to fall from the table. Of course, Apple has been using it for a long, long time before Microsoft. The disassembly of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 begins with the discovery of the screws “hidden” at the bottom of the chassis.
Unlike common laptop disassembly methods, you must begin on the C-side, not the D-side, to access the inside of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3. However, you must first remove the four screws on the D-side.
iFixit also mentions some glue between the C-side and the bezel. This, in my experience, is still unusual when it comes to laptop disassembly.
The Surface Laptop 3 can be taken apart “without breaking,” which is an improvement over its predecessor, and iFixit says the same method can be used to take apart the 13.5-inch model made of Alcantara! The C-side can be removed after the separation is completed, but here you must pay attention to the separation of the row of wires near the side of the spindle. However, as with other Surface products, the battery cables on this laptop are not directly accessible, but there is a “battery logo” printed on the top of the motherboard, which iFixit speculates may indicate a side of the pins connected to the battery?
The SSD in the module can be seen in the motherboard, secured to the M.2 slot by a single screw. One of the Surface Laptop 3’s speakers can be removed directly, while the other requires additional disassembly due to cables located under the cooling module. According to iFixit, Microsoft did not provide separate openings for the two speakers on the body, and the sound is transmitted through the gap in the keyboard.
When removing the cooling module, iFixit claims that the disassembly has not yet resulted in any irreparable damage. Additionally, iFixit discusses how the user can actually separate the screen once the C-side is removed.
The first step is to unplug the four cables that are wrapped around the spindle. According to iFixit, the cables connecting the screen to the motherboard are not modular, and if they become damaged, the entire display module must be replaced. Next, you must remove the protective cover covering the motherboard, but before doing so, you must be patient with some screws…
Once the motherboard has been removed, you can see that the side of the motherboard includes the following components: red box for the Microsoft Surface Edition AMD Ryzen 5 3580U processor; orange box for the eight on-board SKhynix H5AN8G6NCJR 8Gb DDR4 SDRAM
It’s now time to separate the battery. According to iFixit, despite the new design of the rest of the device, the battery doesn’t appear to have advanced, with the connector located beneath the motherboard, which certainly complicates disassembly, and dismantling the battery requires battling stubborn glue… Interestingly, iFixit discovered that the 15-inch and 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 batteries are identical at 45.8Wh, slightly higher than the initial Surface Laptop (45.2Wh) and Surface Pro 6 (45.2 The touchpad also contains the following chips: NXP/Freescale MK22FN512 Kinetis MCU and Synaptics S9101B touch controller.
There are still some components under the C-side, but due to rivets, iFixit had to abandon its attempt. If you want to repair (or replace) the keyboard and C-panel, you can still do so easily while keeping the touchpad, and there are modules such as a headphone jack on the back case. In addition, iFixit mentions that the Surface Connect cable will be better encapsulated, wrapped in black tape instead of insulation, and thus more reliable. This concludes the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 teardown.
According to iFixit, Microsoft is heading in the right direction by increasing repairability without increasing the size of the laptop. The final iFixit score for the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 is 5 out of 10 for fixability (the higher the score, the easier it is to repair), and it’s worth noting that the 13.5-inch version also receives this score.
According to iFixit, the Surface Laptop 3 has a more clever design than its predecessor, which is a significant improvement. One of the M.2 SSDs is a modular design that is easy to access and replace (in my opinion, almost all notebooks have SSDs like this, with onboard storage being in the minority after all), but the rare Torx Plus screws necessitate the use of professional tools to disassemble them. Furthermore, while the display module is easily accessible and disassembled, it is a single unit, which means that even if the liner and other small components are damaged, it must be replaced as a whole.
There are two other factors that make disassembly and repair more difficult: despite the numerous modular designs used internally, the complex layered structure is more difficult to deal with, and the battery is firmly attached by glue, making repair difficult.