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Is 'fixabilty' a factor for your next tablet purchase?

14
iFixit tears into tech to determine its "fixability" factor, as they recently did with the Microsoft Surface Pro.

When talking tablets, we're usually focused on tech: screen size, display quality, battery life, operating system and other specs greatly influence which slate we'll choose to ameliorate our gear kit. 

The folks at iFixit look deeper: by taking apart high-tech devices, they assess the quality of materials used, design considerations and ultimately offer up a repairability score, based on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the easiest to fix.

Today iFixit is sharing its list of best-selling tablets rated by repairability. At the top of the list, with a score of 9, is Dell's XPS 10. A modular, clean design held together by only 20 screws, iFixit found the tablet easy to dissamble.

The Microsoft Surface Pro fell last on the list with a score of 1. We recently shared the full teardown of the device, which the iFixit pros found to have the most adhesive they've ever seen on a small device.

While tech specs may still be at the top of your mind when purchasing a tablet, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens urges consumers to think about the "fixability" factor as well.

"We want people to make informed decisions, as their votes influence how hardware manufacturers choose to design in the future," Wiens said. "Some may care that their tablets are easy to repair and upgrade; others may not. Our hope is that through customers' votes, manufacturers will create long-lasting, easy-to-repair hardware that we can all love."

You can read iFixit's full list of tablets rated by repairability on their website.

Let's hear from you: Is "fixability" a consideration when you make a tablet or other tech purchase? 

Comments

Total comments: 14
healthbenefitsoff

Every year it changes model to a better and faster Tablet. Why would I want to fix the old one.
But anyway thanks for the information

0 upvotes
ARShutterbug

I only want a Tablet that can take a drop onto concrete and continue operating while exposed to pouring rain and extreme temperatures. Considering the price of a fragile iPad, I don't see any reason why not to go the extra step and get a Tablet that won't break when exposed to real-world conditions.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey

It's fun to see tear downs of gadgets, but there is no other legitimacy to what iFixit is doing. Trying to dress it up as news; "Oh no, the new iPad is almost impossible to repair, shame on Apple" is just shameless click-bait. As was your article, by the way...

0 upvotes
rondhamalam

Every year it changes model to a better and faster Tablet. Why would I want to fix the old one.

Just dump the old one and by the new model every year.

0 upvotes
chillgreg

umm no, and great plug for iFixit.

3 upvotes
Michael Ma

Yes, it would be awesome if I can fold it in half and put it in my pocket, and pull it out when I'm in need for a 10" tablet.

0 upvotes
windmillgolfer

Academic without corresponding information on the availability of parts. The only part likely to fail or deteriorate is the battery and I expect, a year or two after release of a tablet, there might be a need for a battery and, hopefully, they will then be made available. But unless they are relatively cheap, with the pace of development, buying a newer model might be themorelikely answer.

0 upvotes
HubertChen

Suggestion to iFixit:
Make a section for manufacturer where guidelines are offered how to build a product which scores high on iFixit repair rating. Create a forum where iFixit community can engage with manufacturer to further tweak such rules. This way iFixit hopefully can gain a larger influence with manufacturer to tweak new products for better repair ability.

0 upvotes
HubertChen

Repair-ability is important and it is a big factor when buying new equipment both in our family and office. I concur that Dell devices stand out in terms of modular design and easy access. During their ( still ongoing life cycle ) we have opened Dell Notebooks many times, either to upgrade parts, to service them ( such as clean fans and heat-sinks from dust ) or to replace aged parts, such as disks, fans or batteries. PCs in our office have an average use of 10 years with every few years being reassigned to new functions which they are still suitable despite their age. Without easy repair ability, half of them would be dead after 5 years, meaning doubling the filling up of junk yards and reducing your cash. We are a manufacturer and with our design experience we believe the use of glue and non replaceable batteries is a choice by the manufacturer to force more sales. Customers should respond accordingly and safe their money and our planet by buying serviceable products.

3 upvotes
Tan68

If I could find some serviceable spare part, I suppose I could try some type of repair...

While other things can go wrong, I think the most likely maintenance requirement is a battery change.

Being able to easily access the battery is important to me. Being able to buy a replacement battery is important.

For devices designed to not have user replaceable batteries but the batteries are accessible and they are not soldered in place, are replacements available? If the manufacturer doesn't want the user to replace the battery, do they use a proprietary battery not generally available? Information about that would be interesting to me.

Votes to influence manufacturer decisions... Being able to easily swap a battery in a cell phone is nice. Benefits should be obvious. Seems fewer phones allow this. People post comments that battery swapping isn't necessary and that captured batteries and covers that require tools allow for more better pretty designs. That battle may be lost.

2 upvotes
HubertChen

Dell is pretty good to have all parts which you want to service available even years after your purchase. They are on the pricey side, yet it is significantly cheaper to repair the Notebook / Tablet by yourself than to buy a new Notebook / Tablet. It is also often faster to repair than to buy a new Notebook / tablet and configure it and install and configure all your apps and copy all your data.

You have made an interesting point though. iFixit should include in their repair-ability rating how many of the important parts are available for end users to purchase as replacement and how reasonably is their pricing. My Display once got broken no my MacBook and replacement was a pricey as buying a new Notebook, which made it pointless.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yousaf

yes, Companies don't offer warranty beyond 1-2 years, and I'm writing this from a 8 years old device.

1 upvote
HubertChen

Agreed. Nowadays people feel it is surprising when a modern electronic appliance is still working after a few years. When people see me using my original iPod they can't help but engaging me with all kind of surprised questions. Yet I am from a generation, where it was common to use electric and electronic devices for 20 ... 40 years. The transistor radio in my parents kitchen was a present at their wedding and is still working today, the whole day and every day and I am now 45. It is now an antique and fun to use.

0 upvotes
tkbslc

It would be the tablet maker's responsibility to fix it, regardless, so I don't think this is a factor for me. If MS wants to make their repairs harder on their own repair facilities, that's going to affect their bottom line.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 14
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