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iPad Air Tear Down Shows Abysmal Repairability Score

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News Posted: Fri, Nov 1 2013 12:44 PM
Based on a new report by J.D. Power, there's a good chance you'll be satisfied with the iPad Air, should you decide to grab one. Samsung ranks highest in customer satisfaction among tablet owners, but Apple isn't far behind. However, should something break out of warranty and you find yourself tempted to perform an autopsy, well, best of luck.

The folks at iFixIt grabbed themselves an iPad Air and went straight to work disassembling the device in its latest teardown analysis. The unfortunate reality is that most slates aren't real great about promoting DIY repair, and the iPad Air isn't an exception. On the plus side, its "Repairability Score" of 2 out of 10 isn't the worst we've ever seen.

iPad Air Teardown
Image Source: iFixIt

So, what makes the iPad Air such a bear to work on? For one, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device. What that means is there's a good chance you'll crack the glass during repair if you're not super careful. The tablet also got dinged for using "gobs, gobs, and goblins of adhesive" holding everything in place, with the battery proving especially difficult to remove, more so than in any previous iPad.

There's more. The iPad Air's LCD uses foam sticky tape to adhere to the front panel, which increases the risk of it shattering during disassembly, and you can't access the front panel's connector until you remove the LCD.

iPad Air Pieces

It wasn't all sour grapes. iFixIt found the LCD easy to remove once the front panel is taken off, and the battery isn't soldered to the logic board, so at least there's that. Still, if you're concerned about longevity, you may want to look into an extended warranty, either direct from Apple (AppleCare) or through a third-party like SquareTrade.
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This is exactly what Apple is shooting for.

Bulls Eye!

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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ajm531 replied on Fri, Nov 1 2013 9:33 PM

is anyone really surprised? has any of the ipads been very repairable in the past?

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Jun replied on Sat, Nov 2 2013 12:39 AM

Abysmal, haha. Yeah like the other two said, its kind of expected. As long as it works fine, I'll be excited to get one.

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