Surface Laptop SE (2022) is very easy to repair with few tools.Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Microsoft's Surface devices often win accolades for their advanced, clean, minimalist designs, but those come at the expense of repairability. Instead of relying on visible screws, Microsoft often depends on glue and a chassis that is hard to open without destroying the device. A computer like Surface Pro 7 earned a measly score of one (out of 10) for repairability from iFixit — the same score shared by previous Surface Pros.

As a consequence, in October 2021, Microsoft was called out by As You Sow, a shareholder representative, which filed a resolution demanding that the company respond to the growing right to repair movement. Microsoft had a quick turnaround on the matter, which resulted in the complaint being withdrawn. In its response, Microsoft remarked it would take these immediate actions:

Complete a third-party study evaluating the environmental and social impacts associated with increasing consumer access to repair and determine new mechanisms to increase access to repair, including for Surface devices and Xbox consoles;Expand the availability of certain parts and repair documentation beyond Microsoft's Authorized Service Provider network; andInitiate new mechanisms to enable and facilitate local repair options for consumers.

The latter two were later addressed with a partnership with iFixit. The two companies announced official repairability tools for recent Surface devices, including Surface Pro 7+/8/Pro X, Surface Laptop 3 and 4, Surface Laptop Go, Surface Laptop SE, and Surface Laptop Studio. The tools are available to independent repair technicians and give consumers another low-cost way to do repairs on Microsoft products without much hassle.