© Apple Electronics Production | March 05, 2013

Dell top; Microsoft flops

iFixit has looked at 18 tablets and ranked them on repairability. While Dell comes out best with its XPS10, Microsoft and Apple finish the list.
Apple's iPad might be the world’s best-selling tablet, but … if you look at repairability - aka how well you can open it, fix the problem, close it again and then USE it - the tablet actually scores a dismal 2 point (out of 10). Only one company is worse: Microsoft was left with just 1 point for its Surface Pro.

"Every time you walk into an electronics store, you're making a choice. Every gadget you buy is a vote cast. We want people to make informed decisions, as their votes influence how hardware manufacturers choose to design in the future. Some may care that their tablets are easy to repair and upgrade; others may not", writes iFixit founder and CEO Kyle Wiens.

The List:
  • Dell's XPS 10 came in on a close to perfect score. It is 'easy to open, the battery easily removed. Colour-coded screws and labelled cables inside make the repair job so much easier.' Downside? The LCD display is fused to the front glass, which is adhered to the plastic display bezel. Fixing a cracked screen will most likely require replacing all three components as a single assembly. Nevertheless, the tablet received 9 repairability points from the iFixit crew.
  • The Dell Streak, the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0. all received 8 point.
  • Making our way slowly down the list, we find the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch and Google's Nexus 7 - all of which received 7 points.
  • Apple's First edition iPad, the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet and the Nexus 10 come in close behind with 6 on the repairability score board.
  • Entering the lower ranks, we find the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9'' (5 points), the Microsoft Surface RT (4 points).
  • The absolutely least repairable tablet, per iFixit, is the Microsoft Surface Pro, which scored a 1. That is even worse that our Cupertino-based high flyer Apple.
  • The Apple iPad Mini, iPad 4, iPad 3 and iPad 2 all received a repairability score of 2. And all of them got the same write-up: LCD is easy to remove once the front panel is removed (that is a plus); Excessive amount of adhesive holds everything in place; High chance of cracking the glass during assembly (these are the negatives).

It seems that Kyle is right about one thing though, more people should care about repairability. The growing mounts of landfills with electronic waste should send a warning. Looking at the sales figures, one might easily come to the conclusion that people follow the hype.

During 4Q/2012, Apple shipped 23 million tablets. Samsung shipped 8 million, Amazon 6 million, Asus 3.1 million and Barnes & Noble 1 million. Dell, which tops this iFixit list, did not even make it into the ranks.

Source: iFixit
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