Microsoft is back in black with the Surface Pro 6. The Pro line adds more processor cores (and more heat) seemingly without much additional heat management. We found some new heat spreaders, but still no active cooling in our Core i5 base model. Pardon the pun, but hot on the heels of the MacBook Pro 2018’s “will throttle unless placed in a freezer” fiasco, we wonder how this design decision will play out. So far benchmarks are looking good (maybe Microsoft hit the Goldilocks zone), but only time will tell.

Five years after the first Pro, and on the wings of the cool modular Studio rumors, we were hoping the Surface line had grown and matured. But alas, we found the same glued-shut (dare we say disposable?) 1/10 repairability score tablet we’ve seen for the past few years. No upgradability, no USB-C, a glued-in battery with a limited life—but hey, it comes in black.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Teardown highlights:

  • The box said “6” but we keep seeing “5.” The case is unchanged, and noticeably absent is the ever-popular USB-C port that found its way onto the Surface Go. Is the Go intended to align more closely with phones? Or is it testing new hardware for its big brother?
  • With such a similar form factor, we hoped the display would be cross-compatible with the Surface Pro 5. Spoiler alert: it is! We swapped a Pro 5 display to our Pro 6 teardown unit and it worked like a charm.
  • Surprise! The battery is also identical to the battery in the Pro 5, weighing in at 45 Wh (7.57 V x 5940 mAh). That’s a whole lot bigger than the Surface Go’s 26.12 Wh battery and even bigger than the iPad 6’s 32.9 Wh battery.

 

Samantha Lionheart is a content curator and guide photo guru at iFixit. She enjoys tea, cats, and thinking too much about movies.

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