Surface Laptop 3s are repairable, but Microsoft doesn’t want you to do it

Yesterday, Microsoft held its annual Surface hardware event, and as usual, the company unveiled several new devices that are currently in the works. The latest announcements include news on the Surface Laptop 3.

During the presentation, Microsoft claimed that the third generation of the Surface Laptop would be a thin and “easily repairable” laptop. “We continue to focus on the purity of this design, which was critical. But we also — for our commercial customers — we wanted to add the elements of serviceability, repairability, the thing that matters for customers,” Surface head Panos Panay explained.

Panay lifted the keyboard away from the body of the computer, exposing the module-inspired design. Indicating that the Surface Laptop 3 would be easily repaired in the event the laptop was broken. Panay cautiously yet vaguely explained that there are “some tools to make that happen.” After a recent article by Gizmodo, however, it appears that there is a significant caveat when it comes to repairing the laptop.

Microsoft Surface laptop 3
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13-inch in Sandstone Joel Chokkattu / Digital Trends

The website received a confirmation from Microsoft that if you open up your laptop and attempt to repair it, you are waiving your warranty on the device. This means that although the Surface Laptop 3 is repairable, unfortunately, the device is not right-to-repair friendly.

Microsoft is no stranger to producing products that prove to be anti-right-to-repair. The first Surface Laptop is one of many Microsoft products extremely difficult to repair on your own. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning last year to Microsoft and other manufacturers in response to these anti-right-to-repair practices.

However, the most important thing to keep in mind is that, based on the language Panay used in addressing the benefits of self-repairing, the laptop may actually be available exclusively for commercial customers. While everyday users will still face obstacles when it comes to fixing a device they shelled out hundreds of dollars to own.

Despite the obstacles faced when it comes to the right to repair the Surface Pro, Nathan Proctor, leader of the Right to Repair campaign, cautiously welcomed the new direction Microsoft appears to be heading in, saying of Microsoft that “it’s definitely moving in the right direction.”

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