Apple iPad Pro Tanks Repairability Rating In Teardown Report

Show of hands, how many of you are reading this from an iPad Pro? Anyone? Well that's weird, we were under the impression (provided by Apple CEO Tim Cook) that the iPad Pro was going to kill off the market for traditional PCs and "deluded" devices like Microsoft's Surface Book. Should Cook's prediction eventually prove accurate (it won't), a teardown analysis of the iPad Pro could be the most important thing ever (it isn't, but it's interesting, so keep reading).

As is often the case, the steady handed folks at iFixIt played the part of tech surgeon, this time with the iPad Pro as its patient. Right off the bat, they ran into adhesive -- a lot of it, which required applying heat to the tablet's edges. Once the glue loosened its grip, they were able to pry the iPad Pro open using a couple of plastic opening picks and a heavy duty suction cup.

Apple iPad Pro Open

Apple made a few design changes with iPad Pro. One of them is situating the logic board in the center of the tablet. This makes do-it-yourself (DIY) repair a bit more difficult than usual because the display cables also connect in the center, making it impossible to lay the tablet down to work on it. Instead, the new design requires supporting the weight of the display while removing the screws that secure the display cable bracket.

Previous iPad tablets like the iPad Air 2 devote a ton of internal space to a "proportionately massive battery," but in the iPad Pro, there's a "significant amount of room" for speaker enclosures, which occupy about half the space of the batteries. This gives Apple some headroom to increase battery capacity in a future version, should there be a need for it.

Apple iPad Pro Battery Pull Tabs

As for the one that's in there now, Apple's design team did its DIY customers a solid by including adhesive pull tabs under the pair of batteries. They're "even cooler than their iPhone counterparts" because of holes in the tabs that can be used with a spudger tool.

Apple iPad Pro Parts

The ease at which the batteries can be removed is a highlight of the iPad Pro, which helped it earn a 3 out of 10 Repairability score. That's slightly better than the iPad Air 2's 2 out of 10 score, though overall, the iPad Pro follows in the steps of its predecessors by being difficult to service. There's just too much glue used throughout, and the fused front panel both increases the cost of screen repair and adds a risk of damaging the LCD when opening it up.