What's inside the Surface Dial? Microsoft's new input device gets the teardown treatment

Earlier this week, the legendary iFixit team took an intimate look at Microsoft's Surface Studio, disassembling the new all-in-one desktop PC, and revealing a rather unexpected discovery. Now, it has turned its attentions to another of Microsoft's newest devices: the Surface Dial interaction tool, which was unveiled alongside the Studio in October.

Described by Microsoft as "a new tool for the creative process", the $99.99 Dial works best with the Surface Studio, allowing users to interact with interface elements directly on the PC's 28-inch display by pushing down or rotating the Dial. The Dial can also be used with other Windows 10 devices, albeit with different levels of support.

As ever, iFixit has meticulously deconstructed the Surface Dial, piece by piece, to reveal its inner workings. But even before they really got into it, they were pleasantly surprised to note that the battery bay is extremely easy for users to access, under the 'sticky rubber foot' of the device, which is held in place by magnets.

They also complimented Microsoft on "the Dial's solid construction", although that did make it a bit of a challenge to dismantle it. "Some aggressive prying led to aggressive snapping which led to aggressive... well, let's just say the midframe didn't come out with a fight," iFixit explained.

Indeed, that tight construction, and the methods Microsoft used to assemble all of the components have resulted in a fairly low iFixit Repairability Score of 4 out of 10: "While it is durable, and repairs are unlikely, the components most likely to fail can't be replaced without damaging the device."

To see all of the Surface Dial's innards - including a close-up look at its Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 Bluetooth Low Energy SoC, and haptic vibration motor - check out the full iFixit post here.

Source and teardown images: iFixit via OnMSFT

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