Glued front panel and battery, taped LCD causes low repairability score
A teardown of the new Apple iPad Air on the day of its launch has shown it to be difficult to repair. Just like the disassembly of the 2012 iPad and the new Retina MacBook Pro notebooks, iFixit has declared that the iPad Air can not easily be serviced by customers, and gives the tablet a low repairability score of 2 out of a possible 10.
Larger MacBook Pro less repairable than 2012 model
The latest versions of the MacBook Pro notebooks with Retina displays are both very difficult to repair, according to a new teardown by repair outfit iFixit. Though the internal design of the 15-inch model has received a few updates compared to last year's model, the 13-inch version is said to have a completely reworked interior.
More glue for battery, A7 processor, camera notably different
The team at iFixit have gotten a hold of a gold iPhone 5s and published a short teardown guide for the unit, revealing very few changes (as expected) from the iPhone 5 apart from a slightly bigger battery, a new processor and a new camera assembly, now revealed to be supplied by Sony. Apple has kept the camera at 8MP but increased the size of the sensor and pixels to be larger, allowing more color and light in.
Apple pushes iOS 7 Beta 6, fixes iTunes in the Cloud issue
Besting previous reports, iOS 7 beta 6 is now available to developers as an over-the-air (OTA) update. The update weighs in at 13.5MB, and is relatively small, compared to previous updates. The new build is 11A449d, replacing beta 5, with build 11A4449a. The update fixes an "issue with iTunes in the Cloud, where some purchases may download or play unexpected items." No other fixes are noted.
iFixit holding giveaway in the spirit of Independence Day
Today, iFixit, the self-repair advocate and tutorial site, announced its upcoming event, Liberation Week, running from July 1-5, 2013. iFixit seeks to combat planned obsolescence by giving users access to the information needed to repair and upgrade products. Citing Independence Day, iFixit will be giving away free iPhone Liberation kits - tools to open one's iPhone for self-repair access - to the first 1776 claimants. Stating that the consumer should have the right to open their phone, the kits includes a pentalobe screwdriver, so that users can replace the original screws with ones with standard Phillips head screws provided. Pentalobe screws are intended to be tamper-resistant, as there are no readily available screwdrivers with a compatible head. Also in the kit is a #00 Phillips screwdriver, to use in future openings of one's iPhone.
Kickstarter headset simple to disassemble, replace parts
The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is reportedly easy to fix, after a recent teardown. The score of 9 out of 10 from iFixit, though preliminary due to being a beta product designed for developers and not an item designed for end-users, with the speedy 10-minute teardown and relatively simple construction marred by cables kept together by tape and two "annoying" foam adhesive pads holding the LCD screen in place.
HTC One gapless design next to impossible to repair
The HTC One has been subjected to the customary teardown by iFixit. The HTC One, which has been delayed by over a month due to parts shortages and yield issues due the complexity of its construction, has picked up iFixit’s first ever score of 1 out of 10 for repairability. The repairers found that the One’s seamless, screwless design makes it almost impossible to remove the display to access the internals without damaging the rear case.
Sparing use of adhesive, easily replaced battery helps score
The BlackBerry Z10 is a highly repairable smartphone, according to a recent teardown by by iFixit. The repairability score of 8 out of 10 issued by the disassembly experts stems from a relatively easy to deconstruct handset using little in the way of adhesive, combined with its easy-to-replace battery.
Adhesive for waterproofing partly to blame
A teardown of the Pebble smartwatch found it to be a fairly unrepairable device, though its expected longevity is a saving grace. The team at iFixit declined to give the Pebble a repairability score due to its uniqueness, but did praise the combination of its low-power e-paper display and weekly charging cycle, which gives the non-replaceable battery a lifespan of between six and ten years.
Receives repairability score of 1 out of 10
The construction of the Microsoft Surface Pro has been judged to be highly unrepairable, after being dissected by iFixit. The repairability score of 1 out of 10 is the lowest on the firm's scale, and places it as harder to repair than many other competing products, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Samsung Galaxy Note, and the RT version of the Surface.
New iMac gets 3 out of 10 in repairability
Computer and gadget repair site iFixit has performed the requisite teardown of Apple's new 21.5-inch iMac, gauging the new desktop's internals as well as the ease in repairing it. The repair company positive things to say about Apple's new desktop, calling its internals "commendable." Its repairability, though, is quite another story, with the 21.5-inch all-in-one scoring just 3 out of a possible 10 on iFixit's scale.
Surface ranks a bit above Apple's iPad for disassembly
Microsoft's new Surface tablet has received the requisite dissection by the device repair pros at iFixit. According to iFixit, Microsoft's tablet is a bit easier to disassemble than Apple's iPad, but less so than Amazon's Kindle Fire or Google's Nexus 7. In particular, the display appears to be difficult to access, requiring that the person doing the disassembling to go into the device from the back, removing most of its components in order to gain access.
EPEAT says it's not flawless, but is the most effective standard
EPEAT has issued an official response to iFixit founder Kyle Wiens' missive dismissing the standard as flawed in the wake of the organization's decision to grant the Retina MacBook Pro EPEAT Gold certification. In a letter sent to Electronista, EPEAT defends it decision, noting that it does not claim to be a flawless standard but that it is the most effective standard.
iFixit accuses EPEAT of 'greenwashing'
In a caustically-worded piece, the CEO of iFixit has decried both the EPEAT environmental certification program and Apple's Retina MacBook Pro in particular, claiming that the former's Gold certification of the latter constitutes "greenwashing," or a form of spin in which deceptive marketing is used to portray a product as environmentally friendly. He claims that EPEAT bent the definitions of its own rules in order to grant Gold status to Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, as well as several other "ultrabook" class devices from other makers. The result, he contends, is that the EPEAT is ultimately weaker, compromised to a degree that could bring the technology industry to an inflection point, with significant implications for the environment.
iFixit begins teardown work within an hour of first availability
The repair and disassembly experts at iFixit have completed a preliminary teardown of the new iPhone 5. Highlights of the teardown include confirmation of the Qualcomm MDM9615M 4G LTE processor and the Broadcom BCM976 used in the MacBook Air's trackpad, the latter of which has been repurposed for the touchscreen on the iPhone. Also notable is reverse disassembly in the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4 series -- the screen and digitizer come off first, rather than the back panel.
Dissection shows cleaner internal layout, unimproved battery
The seven-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD has been found to be a reasonably repairable tablet. The teardown of Amazon's latest tablet iteration by iFixit was shown to be internally different to the non-HD Kindle Fire, and with most components being relatively easy to access and replace, scored 7 out of 10 for repairability.
Modular design, clips, Phillips screws welcomed by iFixit
A teardown of the recently-released Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 shows the tablet to be fairly easy to repair. The iFixit team notes that the process is relatively simple compared to the iPad, since Samsung has opted to use Phillips screws and a number of clips and connectors. The Note 10.1 gets a repairability score of 8 out of 10, versus 2 for the iPad.
HP Z1's tool-less upgrade claims tested, proven
HP's Z1 Workstation has gone under the tools of the iFixit crew for a teardown and generated a first-ever perfect 10 score for reparability. It appears HP made good on its promise of offering the first 27-inch workstation that lets user upgrade its major components without any tools. The only comments against the Z1 was its relatively high starting price of $1,900.
2012 iPad given initial teardown
(Update 2: more details) Following the new iPad's Australian launch, iFixit has been conducting a teardown of Apple's tablet. The early look so far validate rumors surrounding the design, proving that Samsung is the initial LCD supplier and that a different display connector sits inside that prevents simply swapping in an older screen. Even more so than before, the inside is dominated by the three-unit battery, with the mainboard just a fraction of the inside.
iFixIt gives Droid 4 poorest 4 out of 10 score
The Motorola Droid 4 is the latest subject of iFixit's teardowns. The team managed to remove the non user-removable battery fairly easily, though the hardware QWERTY keyboard is oddly integrated into the motherboard and difficult to repair. This was the main reason iFixit gave the Droid 4 its lowest repairability score to date, at 4 out of 10.
iFixIt tears down Galaxy Nexus, gives it 6/10
The Galaxy Nexus has gone under the tools of the iFixIt team for a comprehensive teardown. The handset shipped with the battery removed, proving it's fully user serviceable. At the same time, the 3.7V, 1,750mAh battery doubles as the NFC antenna, with the ribbons running on its rear side.
iFixit iPhone 4S Transparent Rear Glass arrives
iFixit on Monday gave iPhone 4S owners a way to customize the look in a more permanent way with an updated version of its Transparent Rear Glass Panel in a special kit. Along with a see-through back adapted to the new layout, it comes with a Liberation Kit to help remove the stock opaque back, a screen protector for the front, and a Thirsty Bag to dry out the phone faster than a bag of rice if the phone gets wet. The install is strictly do-it-yourself but is billed as "easy."
iFixIt gives Nook Tablet a 6/10 repair score
The iFixIt crew has just obtained the Nook Tablet conducted its traditional teardown in search of its repairability and parts. The full color e-book reader has a unique built-in design element that is the carabineer clip on its corner. The microSD card slot is right beside it and it's surrounded by two small circles that hide screws.
Amazon Kindle Fire dissected by iFixit
A new teardown of the Amazon Kindle Fire has shown a relatively easy device to fix. Netting an eight out of ten score from iFixit, the Android tablet had an easy-open back and could use just one Philips screwdriver to get to nearly every fastener. Amazon was also shrewd in keeping the amount of glued-together components to a minimum, making it cheaper to replace the LCD, battery, or mainboard without having to swap multiple parts at once.
iPhone 4S uses newer dual-mode chip
(Update: RAM confirmation) A still-ongoing teardown of the iPhone 4S has shown that the internal upgrades come from more than just the A5 processor. The now officially dual-mode phone is using a Qualcomm MDM6610, a slight upgrade from the MDM6600 seen in the iPhone 4 just eight months ago. What Qualcomm has done, if anything, with the new model isn't known, but both the old and new chipsets can handle the 14.4Mbps HSPA 3G on carriers like AT&T as well as EVDO Revision A on CDMA networks like Sprint's or Verizon's.
iPod nano 7G look shows new flash memory
A new teardown of the seventh-generation iPod nano has uncovered more changes than the otherwise modest update would suggest. iFixit discovered that Apple has switched from its favorite flash memory suppliers, Samsung and Toshiba, to SanDisk. While SanDisk has often partnered with Toshiba in the past, the step will see the company for the first time end up making flash memory for the iPod it had said it could defeat years ago.
27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display torn down
Apple's 27-inch, $1,000 Thunderbolt Display has been torn down by the iFixIt team. No special tools were needed to take the screen apart, with suction cups, Torx T6 and T10 screwdrivers and spudgers all that's required. The team was impressed by the easy disassembly process and gave the monitor an 8 out of 10 repairability score.
iFixit Mac mini Dual Hard Drive Kit
iFixit took the results of its Mac mini teardown to heart on Friday and put out an upgrade kit for buyers. Its Mac mini Dual Hard Drive Kit lets those who bought the 2011 Mac mini add in a second drive if they didn't either build-to-order the solid-state drive or opt for the server version. The kit includes a needed special SATA cable as well as the mounting equipment, a 26-piece bit driver, a spudger, and iFixit's own mainboard removal tool.
Mac mini 2011 shown easy to access for 2nd disk
A second teardown of Apple hardware took place Thursday at iFixit that showed Apple's new Mac mini might allow for a second hard drive to be added after the fact. The design for all users is fundamentally similar to the Mac mini server from last year and, on those with a single drive, leaves a completely blank space for the second disk. Apple has left it open enough that the only obstacle is finding a second SATA cable that would fit the empty but available port.
iFixit and ABI deconstruct the Galaxy S II
A new teardown by iFixit has revealed much of the construction of the Galaxy S II and has been joined by a similar look by ABI Research that has revealed some genuinely new parts. While the battery life is unspectacular given the Samsung-made 1.2GHz Exynos chip, the Android 2.3 flagship uses a low-power Infineon XMM6260 baseband chip to keep the power consumption down while reaching full speed. A new CMOS antenna switch, and an all-in-one power amplifier that condenses multiple bands into one also help Samsung manage the smaller size.
Thunderbolt cable torn down by iFixit
An uncommon teardown of Apple's new Thunderbolt cable has confirmed that the $49 price comes from the quality of the components Apple needs. iFixit found that Gennum GN2033 chips are in place at each to handle the data traffic and make it an active cable, not just a passive relay. Ten additional chips are also in place for unknown purposes but which help add to the price.
iPhone 4 has same Audience anti-noise as Nexus One
A follow-up teardown at iFixit has revealed that the iPhone 4's noise cancellation is the same as in the Nexus One. Previously unidentifiable, a mystery chip on both has been given a close look in a ChipWorks scan and is now known to be an Audience A1026 audio signal processor. Both the Apple and Google phones are well-known for their near-ideal ability to filter out background noise and are now know to have accomplished that by using the same hardware.
iMac 2011 gets iFixit teardown
An expected iFixit teardown of the 2011 iMac update has shown relatively deep upgrade options for the all-in-one. Although it requires the more difficult step of removing the logic board, the desktop's main processor and graphics are both removable. The AMD Radeon HD video is located on a typical removable card and could theoretically be swapped without trouble from Apple, but a sticker on the Intel processor shows that its heatsink can't be removed without voiding the warranty.
iFixit intros transpartent ATT iPhone4 back
iFixit introduced a still-rare product of its own on Monday through a transparent iPhone 4 case. The back, currently only for GSM models, gives those comfortable with voiding the warranty and replacing the back a way of showing the "sweet innards" of the phone without affecting its performance. The new material is also clear plastic rather than glass, making it less prone to shattering and cheaper to replace if it breaks without hurting the phone inside.
iFixit tears down Wi-Fi iPad 2
(Update: done) iFixit on Friday conducted a teardown of the Wi-Fi iPad 2 providing hard details of the tablet. The look revealed that the battery is slightly higher capacity than on the old model, at 25Wh versus 24.8Wh, despite the new frame being much thinner. Its design is dominated almost entirely by the pack where it used to be just the largest part.
Nintendo 3DS torn down by iFixit
The Japanese 3DS was given a teardown in the US on Thursday by iFixit that revealed a very intricate build. Despite having an easily swappable battery and standard Philips screws, Nintendo's system was found very difficult to fix since there were many small parts that could easily break. Ribbon cables were wrapped around the 3DS' inside by robots in a way that a human couldn't easily detach, and many of the connectors use zero insertion force (ZIF) sockets that make it hard to tell if it's plugged in until it's completely reassembled.
Motorola Xoom torn down by iFixit
Motorola's just-launched Xoom has received a customary teardown that has revealed an unintentional link to the iPhone and just how simple the 4G upgrade process wil be. iFixit found that the Android 3.0 tablet, despite being EVDO-only right now, has the same Qualcomm MDM6600 modem as the Verizon iPhone. The method suggests the Verizon Xoom is the same model as the one shipping worldwide and that other countries will get 14.4Mbps HSPA+ 3G instead.
Shows large dedicated Thunderbolt chip
The iFixit team has wasted no time in tearing down Apple’s fresh Macbook Pro 15-inch Unibody Early 2011 model just released yesterday. The point of most interest surrounded the discovery of a very large controller IC for the new Thunderbolt 10Gbps I/O. The team plans on handing the part over to Chipworks for an x-ray to see what lies inside what it found to be the fourth largest chip after CPU, GPU and logic-board controller.
Set part of phone on fire to test magnesium claim
Following yesterday’s teardown of the Motorola Atrix, the team at iFixit have stripped a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S 4G of all its dignity and reduced it to a pile of pieces in their latest teardown. This time, there was the added twist of setting a piece of the Galaxy S 4G on fire to demonstrate that the structure of the phone was in fact comprised of magnesium, for weight reduction, as Samsung had claimed.
HTC Surround uses many Nexus One components
The crew at iFixit has gone ahead and taken apart an HTC Surround handset. The exploration provided insights about the Windows Phone 7-powered device's similarity to existing devices as well as its breaks. Much of the hardware it contains is shared with the Nexus One, it said, including more than just the Snapdragon processor.
Guides for repairing a wide variety of devices
iFixit has brought its free repair guides to the iPad in the form of a native app, Repair Manual. The utility provides access to thousands of guides for MacBooks, iOS devices, game consoles, a wide variety of digital cameras, and hundreds of cell phones.
Hardware otherwise similar to Galaxy S
The crew at iFixit has already dissected the Nexus S handset, borne of direct collaboration between Google and Samsung. The teardown reveals a list of internal components mostly similar to other high-end Android offerings already on the market, but with a few interesting additions. The handset shares many of the same features as Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones, including a 1GHz ARM A8 Hummingbird processor and AMOLED display.
Samsung Galaxy Tab gets US teardown
Samsung's Galaxy Tab was given an American teardown today by iFixit that contrasted the similarity to Apple on the outside with the difference inside. The design is "definitely mimicking Apple" in its shell and has a proprietary dock connector that's virtually identical to the 30-pin layout. Samsung has also unintentionally duplicated Apple's sealed-in design since users need two separate tools to pry open the plastic frame, although it doesn't have retaining clips that could be broken.
Nokia N8 torn down by iFixit with surprises
iFixit today conducted a teardown of Nokia's just shipping N8 smartphone and discovered an unusually repairable device. Despite being wrapped in aluminum and officially unserviceable by the owner, the N8 actually has a completely stock battery that can be pulled out by anyone removing the bottom plate with a Torx T4 screwdriver. Virtually all components that aren't part of the mainboard can be replaced with the exception of the front and back cameras.
Apple TV torn down by iFixit
DIY repair shop iFixit this afternoon finished a teardown of the new Apple TV. The close look reveals that the hub has the same variant of the A4 processor as the iPod touch and has 256MB of RAM, rather than the 512MB of the iPhone 4. Apple has also put just a single 8GB Samsung flash chip to both hold the OS and cache movies during the streaming process.
iPod touch for 2010 already dissected
iFixit continued its investigation of the latest round of iPods today with a teardown of the fourth-generation iPod touch. Going deeper than the FCC look, the repair shop confirmed that the Wi-Fi antenna has been moved to the front, eliminating the need for the black plastic window on earlier models. It also confirms that Apple is using Toshiba flash memory for the main storage on the iPod; other Apple devices usually depend on Samsung.
Parts and tools store also launched
iFixit has expanded its repair guides with a range of new content geared for game consoles. Users will be able to access free repair manuals for every major game console, with step-by-step instructions alongside thousands of pictures.
Dell Streak dissected by iFixit
Well-known repair shop iFixit today posted a teardown of the Dell Streak. The Android tablet is put somewhat in contrast with Apple as it's considered relatively accessible. The back cover for the battery and microSDHC slot comes off easily, and the construction is such that both taking apart and reassembling the Streak is easy.
Most components similar to original Droid
Motorola's Droid 2 has already been dissected by the iFixit team, revealing the new CPU and overall construction. Texas Instruments' 1GHz OMAP processor is tucked underneath the DDR Mobile RAM on the motherboard, which also now holds 8GB of on-board flash memory.
Mac mini 2010 much easier to work with
A customary teardown of the new Mac mini has revealed how relatively easy it is to get at the components compared to earlier models. Beyond the user-accessible RAM slots, the unibody aluminum case is actually more accessible than the original. The putty knife isn't needed any longer and instead is replaced by either a custom Apple tool or a pair of Torx screwdrivers; unscrewing at two points lets the entire logic board and ports slide out as one piece.