Teardown

Teardown analysis finds Apple’s new 9.7″ iPad is a repackaged iPad Air with a few differences

Repair experts over at iFixit tore apart Apple’s new iPad with a brighter 9.7-inch screen. What they discovered doesn’t come as surprise: the canonical iPad is basically an original four-year-old iPad Air with a more repairable screen and some new jewelry in the form of Touch ID, Apple Pay, Apple’s homegrown third-generation 64-bit A9 chip with the embedded M9 motion coprocessor and other minor updates.

Unfortunately, the device’s A9 processor is outfitted with two gigabytes of RAM. iPhone 6s’s A9 chip has two gigabytes of RAM as well, just like iPad Air 2’s A8X chip, so this may not be that big of a deal. On the other hand, it’s a letdown considering iPhone 7 Plus is rocking three gigabytes of RAM.

Teardown analysis suggests AirPods charging case quality issues might have caused delayed launch

Having torn apart Apple’s AirPods wireless earphones and their charging case, repair masters over at iFixit have now posted their initial observations. AirPods have so many components crammed into tight space that the they’re virtually not repairable or recyclable. As for the charging case, an X-ray analysis of its logic board reveals a few “quality issues” that may have contributed to the delayed AirPods launch.

Teardown confirms both 13″ and 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros have non-removable SSDs

iFixit on Friday published its teardown analysis of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (model number A1707), just two days after taking a peek under the hood of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Comparing the two Touch Bar-equipped notebooks to the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, which iFixit also disassembled, the repair site has confirmed that only the baseline 13-incher with a standard row of function keys has a removable SSD.

Teardown of 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar reveals “cosmetic” speaker grilles, other tidbits

After disassembling the base 13-inch MacBook Pro model without the Touch Bar, teardown wizards over at iFixit have now taken apart Apple’s Touch Bar-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro. From the inside, it’s an entirely different computer with a totally different design that has more in common with its 15-inch brethren. Among other things, the teardown analysis has found that the external speaker grilles in the top half of the case exist mostly for “cosmetic” purposes.

That’s because the improved sound is being projected from a pair of air vents on the sides of the case. By comparison, the base 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar does push sound through the speaker grilles as it lacks the air vents.

Other differences between the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and its cheaper 13-inch variant that lacks the Touch Bar include a differently laid out internal components to make room for the Touch Bar itself which, by the way, is hard to replace.

SSD in the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can’t be upgraded

After seeing in iFixit’s teardown that the base model of the new 2016 MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar had a removable PCIe SSD storage unit, many were excited at the possibility of aftermarket upgrade parts across the new MacBook Pro lineup.

But new images surfacing on the web this week after the first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar units began reaching the hands of buyers are showing that the Touch Bar models don’t follow suit and have SSD storage chips soldered into their logic boards instead.

iFixit tears down the 2016 MacBook Pro base model

iFixit officially got its hands on the 2016 MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar at the top of the keyboard, and their team has already completed one of the detailed teardowns the firm is known for.

The new MacBook Pro appears to contain a lot of new tech, highlighting large advancements in Apple’s pro notebook lineup.

Pixel XL teardown reveals modular components, earpiece mesh made of cloth & more

YouTubers like JerryRigEverything and repair wizards over at iFixit tore apart their Pixel XL smartphone from Google to peek under its hood, revealing easily removed battery, standard screws, the use of modular internal components that can be replaced independently and—quite surprisingly—the front-facing earpiece slit which is made of cloth.

Launched on October 4, both new Google-designed smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, are exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. Contract-free Pixels are available via Google’s online store and from Best Buy.

Apple’s iPhone 7 Lightning headphone adapter packs in a surprising amount of circuitry

Repair wizards over at iFixit along with their pals at Creative Electron gave Apple’s new $9 iPhone 7 Lightning headphone adapter a thorough X-ray treatment. The analysis has revealed a surprising amount of circuitry inside of the dongle.

Most notably, it packs in a pretty unique integrated circuit that’s most likely a built-in digital-to-analog (DAC) converter. There’s actually a lot going on in the diminutive adapter aside from the DAC, writes iFixit, including things like an integrated amplifier and an analog-to-digital-converter (ADC).

“We’re surprised how much electronics Apple was able to include inside this little cable,” said Creative Electron, which builds X-ray inspection systems for electronics.

iPhone 7 model A1778: Intel modem confirmed, 1,960 mAh battery, “incredibly thin” A10 Fusion chip

Following iFixit’s analysis of the components and internal layout changes in the iPhone 7 Plus, semiconductor experts over at Chipworks and TechInsights have performed a joint in-depth analysis of the chips in the 128GB iPhone 7 model “A1778” to identify the key integrated circuits at play.

The Apple-designed A10 Fusion chip is “incredibly thin,” Chipworks has discovered, thanks to TSMC’s InFO packaging technique resulting in a thinner package. Perhaps more interesting than that, the AT&T and T-Mobile edition of the handset indeed comes with Intel’s LTE modem inside versus Qualcomm’s that powers cellular connectivity in other hardware versions of the device.

iPhone 7 Plus teardown: 3GB of RAM, faux speaker grille, bigger battery & more

Repair wizards over at iFixit flew out to Japan to obtain their iPhone 7 Plus (in Rose Gold), performing their ritual teardown dance which has helped confirm what we’ve been suspecting all along: that a second grille at the bottom doesn’t house a second speaker.

Other interesting observations gleaned from peeking under the hood of the iPhone 7 Plus include a replaceable Home button, a lot bigger Taptic Engine than in the iPhone 6s, a bigger 2,900 mAh battery, dust and water-proofing measures and other tidbits.

iFixit tears down the 2016 Retina MacBook, finds minor hardware tweaks

Just last week, Apple launched the second generation of its Retina MacBook lineup with a bump in CPU and SSD speed performance, as well as in battery life.

iFixit has now torn down the new 2016 Retina MacBook to reveal what kinds of hardware gems could be hidden inside of the very familiar aluminum enclosure.

Unsurprisingly, they have torn down the new rose gold-colored model. For the most part, a lot of the internals are similar, although there are a few tweaks to the design and internal hardware that users will love and hate.

iFixit: 9.7-inch iPad Pro uses ‘gobs of adhesive’, making repair ‘miserable’

Repair wizards over at iFixit have torn apart Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad Pro (model A1673) only to discover that the device is extremely difficult to repair due to “gobs of adhesive” used to keep the components secured in place.

In addition to copious adhesive, the device’s smaller form factor, the addition of four speakers and some “weird cabling choices” have earned the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro a sad 2 out of 10 repairability score, same as the original iPad Air and a point less than the first iPad Pro. “We think this is the most glue we’ve seen in an iPad to date, making repair miserable,” concluded iFixit.