This week Microsoft revealed a whole bunch of new hardware. There were groundbreaking reveals, like the Surface Duo and Surface Neo. There were also some incremental updates to existing devices.
Take the Surface Laptop 3, for example. There’s a new 15-inch model that ships with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. It’s got a USB Type-C port. It also has a modular design that makes it easy to disassemble and reassemble.
That may not necessarily the sexiest feature, but it’s one that is increasingly critical as companies like Microsoft look for ways to build more sustainable products.
It’s a welcome bit of news in an era when a lot of manufacturers think thin and light laptops are best crammed into enclosures that are frustrating to open at best and impossible to open without damaging at worst.
Apart from just meaning that the Surface Laptop 3 is a breeze to fix, its modular construction also means that some components (like the SSD) are easy to upgrade.
There’s a catch, however. Only authorized hands have Microsoft’s blessing to crack open the Surface Laptop 3. Do it yourself and you’ll void your warranty (unless, of course, you happen to be a technician employed by one of the MS-authorized repair companies).
Thomas B. Pahl, former Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said last fall that “provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services.”
Several states are also working on right-to-repair legislation. Hopefully they’ll start getting passed and companies like Microsoft can put their energy into building even better products. You know, instead of wasting it shaking fists and stomping around because we want to be able to tinker with something that we bought with our own hard-earned cash.
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