Monday, September 23, 2013

5 hardest tech gadgets to repair

Recently, the repair commandos at shared with us their list of the 10 easiest-to-repair electronics. It's a useful list if you want to know which gadgets you can service on your own. But if it's controversy and indignation you want, this is the week you've been waiting for! Here are iFixit's top five hardest-to-repair laptops and tablets.

We have to wonder what the late Steve Jobs (who was so obsessive about making his gadgets user-friendly) would think to see a whopping four Apple products filling out iFixit's list of the least repairable laptops and tablets. Not surprisingly, a few of the top slots are taken up by the line of environmentally unfriendly Macbook Pros with Retina Display, which iFixit boss Kyle Wiens once slammed as "designed to fail."
It’s a no-brainer for someone looking to repair their own gear who isn’t a certified and extremely patient electronics genius what NOT to buy. That is, unless one intends to keep it only as long as the warranty stays in effect.

1. Apple MacBook Pro Ivy Bridge Core i7 2.3GHz 15" Laptop with Retina Display Microsoft Surface
iFixit Verdict: "Proprietary pentalobe screws, soldered and non-upgradeable RAM, a proprietary SSD, and a glued-in battery make the 15" Retina Pro the least repairable laptop we've ever seen."
Fixability Score: 1

2. Pro Ivy Core i5 1.7GHz 10.6" Windows 8 Tablet
iFixit Verdict: "The Surface Pro's display assembly is incredibly hard to remove, sealed in place with tons of adhesive. Once you have the cover removed, there are more than 90 screws inside to keep you from the rest of the components."
Fixability Score: 1

3. Apple MacBook Pro Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 3GHz 13.3" Retina Display Laptop
Category: Laptop
iFixit Verdict: "Slightly better than its 15" predecessor, the MacBook Pro Retina 13" still features a glued-in battery, proprietary screws and SSD, and soldered-in RAM."
Fixability Score: 2

4. Apple iPad mini WiFi Tablet
iFixit Verdict: "Components are held in place with either copious amounts of adhesive or tape, or incredibly tiny and easy-to-lose screws. Especially annoying, the Lightning connector is soldered to the logic board, so broken connector pins will mean replacing the entire assembly."
Fixability Score: 2

5. Apple iPad with Retina Display WiFi Tablet 
iFixit Verdict: "Just like in second and third generation iPads, loads of adhesive secure the screen and battery to the case. This makes it difficult to open the device for repairs, and especially difficult to remove the battery to install a replacement."
Fixability Score: 2

So what are your gadget repair horror stories, and which items belong on this list (or don't) based on your experience? If nothing else, the presence of four Apple items here, we would hope, should serve as a wake-up call to Apple CEO Tim Cook: Make your products more repairable, and thus less likely to wind up in landfills. In the meantime, learn all about the gizmos you can overhaul all by yourself, complete with how-to guides and instructions, at

It seems wise to me that if my intention is to use my tablet or laptop exclusively for work, play, research, dating or any other use I prefer to get from it OTHER than to work on repairing it, that I would be deliberately making a strenuous effort to be looking in other directions than the venues liberating these devices from their shelves, storerooms or distribution centers.

Source: Dealnews top ten electronic devices almost impossible to repair by Lou Carlozo 

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