"Ravenscroft did not reassemble the device once stripped,"
The old Haynes manual rule applies. Reassembly is the opposite of disassembly. <Waves hand vigorously>
Microsoft has reminded us once again of a time when enthusiasts could get into the guts of their hardware with a teardown of its Surface Laptop Studio, all in the name of repairability. Youtube Video In a video uploaded to the company's Microsoft Surface YouTube channel, Colin Ravenscroft (senior DFX engineer), took viewers …
There was also their favourite step "..remove xxxx" - which often proved to have hidden complications.
eg my Series "A" Range Rover step - "remove back seat". Without mentioning you have to slide it forwards to disengage a metal tab underneath it. Fortunately it could be knocked back into shape after lifting the seat with some brute force. Even the correct slide action required brute force to disengage it.
There was also their favourite step "..remove xxxx" - which often proved to have hidden complications.
I was once facing the need to repair something I thought would be simple enough until the relevant section opened with "first, remove the engine".
Thankfully contortion, sliced and bruised arms, a whole lot of swearing, and an inordinate amount of time spent, including on building Heath-Robinson contraptions, proved it not to be an absolute necessity.
More than half the bolts I removed never got refitted but it was fine until rust finally did her in.
It's a model of manual writing that has been much emulated. I think every set of instructions I've ever needed to use has had at least one section where there is a key detail that isn't shown in the diagram and/or mentioned. Often it's the orientation of a key part that only reveals itself to be the wrong way round when the assembly is almost completed. (Unless it's IKEA furniture, In which case there will be several of these.)
My Haynes manual story is getting to the reassembly part and finding a note "You would have noted the orientation of this part on removal."
No, I did not, because you did not mention in the disassembly part that this was critical. One way round stops the motorbike from starting, the other is fine.
"...Sacrificing replaceable memory in pursuit of ever-thinner devices has never been a good thing for this writer..."
I agree. It is also not beyond the realms of engineers to design a slot on the edge of a PCB that would allow e.g. RAM or SSD to plug in therefore not raising the profile of the board. It's lazy and it's designed to get puchasers to overprovision when they buy.
...Sacrificing replaceable memory in pursuit of ever-thinner devices has never been a good thing for this writer..."
Making one dimension very small in relation to the other two leads to easier damage. A sheet of paper is really bendy, but a slab of corrugated cardboard isn't. A stronger box will have thicker sides.
As that part of society that doesn't wear a bra, I'm not looking for a device that can be stored in one. Right now I'm on the lookout for a rugged phone that can take some abuse. Being self-employed, having a working phone is vitally important.
> Headphone jack? No problem. More RAM? Er, about that...
Well, there is no money in headphone jack options, but there definitely is in RAM options. You can't allow those suckers to get precious RAM without you adding your mark-up...
As for the thin laptops, don't get me started. I'm about to buy a new one, and I want/need it chunky, big, with excellent cooling, beefy CPU, an absolute minimum of 32 GB of RAM, and I don't care if it weighs a dead horse, it's for working, not walking.
"I do carry mine rarely, and when I do it's just from the desk to the car,"
At that point it might make more sense to have a robust desktop machine(s) and just carry a SSD with your workspace loaded.
I held off for years getting a laptop so I wouldn't be asked to bring work home (on holiday, weekends, etc). I have one now as it makes sense for the type of work I do, but I still have a couple of much more capable desktop machines to do the heavy lifting.
> it might make more sense to have a robust desktop machine(s) and just carry a SSD with your workspace loaded
That only works if you move from a specific location to some other specific location, like home - work.
It doesn't work if you go every couple years for a couple weeks to some (or some other) place. You can't really afford to leave everywhere a full desktop machine you only use 1-2 weeks every other year. (They wouldn't like it either, imagine everybody doing this, they'd have to rent a warehouse to store them!...)
In short, it depends on your work.
"Looking forward to the edible computer...surely someone must be working on the ultimate recyclable tech?"
If only we had a major computer company with deep pockets and the name of an edible fruit, it might just be possible. A computer that gets eaten would play right into their "new shiny every 18 months" plan. It's a perfect match.
> I've used Surface tablets, and much like Macbooks, they're hugely overpriced, and just seem to be fashion accessories, rather than actual computers.
Your grammar is terrible. It isn't "much like" it's "much prefer".
I've used Surface tablets, and much prefer Macbooks, they're hugely overpriced, and just seem to be fashion accessories, rather than actual computers.
If you think a MacBook is a fashion accessory and not an actual computer, you've never used one. Current M1Pro MBPs kick the guts out of any Windows laptop out there in terms of sheer performance and getting the job done, and in terms of looks are resolutely utilitarian; absolutely no frills whatsoever so not even close to a 'fashion' anything.
Yup. Steam, Epic Games, Rockstar Launcher, and the Xbox app will all run. And even through an emulator it'll beat pretty much all Windows laptops that aren't specifically designed for gaming. 2560x1440 through Steam at max settings 60fps pretty much across the board (except Sekiro). The M1Pro chip really IS that powerful.
Hmm. I can't get 60FPS at 2560x1440 on some modern games using a Geforce 3080.
Did they try any recent games? MGS:V is fantastic but it's also 7 years old.
I notice the linked article also admits that no, I can't install and run Halo Infinite or some other games.
https://macresearch.org/play-forza-horizon-5-on-mac/ looks like a lot of messing about, assuming it actually works.
I'll stick with Windows, thanks.
They're also made like crap. Totally non-repairable. Even apple cared up the wazoo, if something goes south you get a replacement, not a repair. As all memory, RAM and storage is soldered on, anything not saved elsewhere is gone baby gone. As with most of their products forget recycling as disassembling even rough takes too long.
“ Sacrificing replaceable memory in pursuit of ever-thinner devices has never been a good thing for this writer.”
I have never understood the fixation with making everything so thin. If it’s credit card sized then fine; you may as well make it credit card thin as well so you can keep it in your wallet. But for everything else it’s pointless. Just think how much more battery life your average phone could have if it was just a bit thicker. And how much easier to hold it would be!
On a laptop, it’s even sillier. Within reason, who gives a monkeys how thick it is? Laptops started off being about 50mm or so thick and nobody complained then. Make it lighter, fine. But so thin it bends? No thanks
Fashion statement. Apparently most people buy into the crap because when you look at the laptop selling web sites (I'm currently looking to buy a laptop, a fat one), "slimness" is the first characteristic they mention: Nowadays you don't buy a laptop model because it's capable of running your workload better than the others, but because it's slim. *facepalm*
"What is the use case for a thinner laptop?"
Advertising. When it's 6 months since the last model update and you have nothing more than more compact guts, you can advertise "26% Thinner" in bold type. I don't want to go back to the old Kaypro and Compaq luggables , but a folding computer as thin as a sheet of paper doesn't improve my life at all. Somewhere in between there is a happy medium. Like others have stated, increased battery life is far more important. The power point in the car shuts off with the ignition so if I have the laptop processing files, I need enough battery to bridge the time I'm shopping or having lunch, in a meeting, etc.
Indeed: My current travel load for 'lug stuff into the office' consists of a messenger bag with roughly 20 pounds (9KG) of assorted technology, 'quick fix' tools, and distractions crammed into it. another kg of laptop is nothing at that point.
and that's the laptop bag- if I need to take a tool kit in? I generally break out a hand cart for the tools and the bag to ride on at that point...
My Dell E6410 is rugged and pretty easy to take apart. Second-hand ones are cheap enough to cannibalise if necessary. A pity the headphone jack is part of the motherboard though. Still - tiny USB audio dongles are cheap.
Have a little collection of E6410s. Primed for when the neighbours'
fragile shiny ones pack up and they are arguing with a shop about repair/replacement.
But they make replacing the SSD, fans, audio jack and speakers easy? I've replaced all those things combined a total of zero times in my life, but every laptop I've owned has needed a replacement battery at least once.
That's Microsoft for you!
I'm a fan of making the headphone jack an easy replacement. It can be vulnerable. Batteries should always be replaceable by the user with an easy way to send them off for recycling. Small electronics doesn't have the space or budget for a battery management system like an EV so the packs last about 2 years. I really expect to get more use out of a portable device than 2 years. I look at things like Airpods as a monthly rental. The rule of thumb is to divide the price by 24 months for what they will cost on a monthly basis before needing to be binned. I picked up some full sized bluetooth headphones that I can open up and perform a battery replacement. I've been burning myself with a soldering iron since school so it's not a problem for me.
In the latest in bogus, Dell's newewst Precision workstation laptops no longer have an ethernet port cause.... thin and light? WTF? Their newest Anienware gaming laptops still get ethernet ports.
Dell, along with Lenovo and HP end users must, at least partially disassemble their MOST expensive, presumably advanced laptops designated as WORKSTATIONS, in order to replace or upgrade RAM. Typically at least 2 of 4 slots are buried under the keyboard.
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