Google’s Nexus 7 beats iPad 3 on repairability

Despite being only one millimeter thicker, Google’s upcoming Nexus 7 slate is more repairable than the new iPad, a teardown analysis by iFixit has concluded. Its components are assembled using standard tools, unlike the new iPad’s innards which are glued together.

A simpler assembly makes servicing the Google tablet fairly easy with standard plastic opening tools that make “cracking the Nexus shell like cutting through butter”

Compared to iFixit’s teardown of the new iPad, the Google tablet wins handily in the repairability department with a nice seven out of ten score. This compares to the Kindle Fire’s impressive eight out of ten repairability score versus just two out of ten for the new iPad.

Unfortunately, the LCD assembly doesn’t separate from the Corning display glass, making the cost of repairing shattered glass high because one will need to replace the whole display assembly, LCD included.

As for the battery inside the Nexus 7 (also quite trivial to replace), it’s a 4326 mAh, 16 Wh package that can last 9:49 hours.

The Kindle Fire, by comparison, has a 4400 mAh, 16.28 Wh battery – but only lasts 7:42 hours. Go figure.

The new iPad boasts a significantly larger battery which has a 11,500 mAh and lasts 9:52 hours for HSPA (9:37 hours for LTE). It’s worth pointing out Google’s product has no cellular connectivity, which helps with battery performance.

Component winners include:

 • Hynix provides 1 GB of H5TC2G83CFR DDR3 RAM, the same unit found inside the new Retina MacBook Pro
• Hydis makes the 7-inch, 1280×800 HD display model number HV070WX2
• Nvidia T30L Tegra 3 processor
•  Hynix HTC2G83CFR DDR3 RAM
• Max 77612A inverting switching regulator
• AzureWave AW-NH665 wireless module
• Broadcom BCM4751 integrated monolithic GPS receiver
• NXP 65N04 Integrated NFC Chip
• Invensense MPU-6050 gyro and accelerometer

It’s also worth knowing that iFixit sells servicing kits and that their CEO Kyle Wiens is quite an advocate for serviceable hardware.

Google’s tablet was co-developed with Asus and comes in 8GB/16GB varieties, priced at $199/$249.

Key components include NFC, WiFi, GPS, a seven-inch 1280-by-800 pixel resolution backlit display with 216 pixels per inch and IPS technology for wide viewing angles, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip with 1GB of RAM, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling (sorry, no rear-facing camera) and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software.

The full feature list is available here.

Here’s a video overview of the teardown.


The Nexus 7 was met with praise as journalists deemed it the most sleek, fluid and feature-complete seven incher to date.

Although Apple hasn’t attempted to assert patent infringement (yet), Nokia has gone out on a limb asserting the Nexus 7 violates its patents, but refused to tell whether legal proceedings were in the works.

WSJ and Bloomberg both gave credence this week to whispers that Apple is getting ready to mass manufacture a smaller and cheaper iPad in September, presumably to take on Google’s and Amazon’s device in the run-up to the holiday.

I wonder what’s your next tablet going to be?