If thin is in, then thinner must be…inner. Microsoft made serious strides, taking their Surface Pro series closer to the laptop frontier than ever before, while still keeping up with the tablet game. Result: a slim, uber-powered tablet with paper thin display glass, and severely limited upgradeability and repairability. The Surface Pro 3 traded the 2’s 90+ screws for some seriously hideous adhesive, and consolidated even more components into un-modular land. You’ll spend less time with a driver, but repairs won’t be any easier. The Surface Pro 3 inherited a repairability score of 1 out of 10, proving the more things change, the more they remain the same.
A cursory look is all it takes to tell us we’re gonna need to bring the heat for a display-first invasion. Unfortunately, the Pro 3′s weak point is just that—a point of weakness. As the glass cooled around an opening pick, it shattered. The Pro 3′s biggest advancement is a display that’s harder than ever to remove.
In disconnecting the display we find something novel: a springy metal bracketpinning the display connector in place. At the other end of the cable, another dubious connector with a sliver of a contact board in tow.
Safety first! We disconnect the battery before charging forth. This battery connector requires a relatively uncommon T3 Torx bit. This Surface is packing a 42.2 Wh, 7.6 V, lithium ion time bomb.
We find a cooling system more akin to one found in a laptop than a tablet: a beefy heat sink that draws into a single fan.
We’re happy to see that Microsoft still provides a microSD card slot. While it is not exactly all we hope and dream for in terms of expandable storage, it is a welcome inclusion.
1.9 GHz dual core Core i5-4300U with Intel HD Graphics 4400