Google Home Teardown Reveals Chromecast Roots, Hassle-Free Modular Construction

Google Home Opened

Google Home is Google's answer to the Amazon Echo, both of which are smart home speakers that will happily play music and perform a plethora of other voice-activated tasks. You can think of these things as intelligent hubs for smartly connected homes equipped with a range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but happens if they break down out of warranty? Good news, folks—like Echo, a teardown analysis suggests that servicing Google Home isn't all that difficult.

The teardown fanatics at iFixIt already put Echo on the operating table and, post surgery, awarded the smart speaker a 7 out of 10 Repairability Score. Since then, they've gotten their mitts on Google Home and promptly took the gadget apart, turning a stylish home accessory into a pile of parts.

Getting inside Google Home starts with removing the magnetically attached base. It's a no-fuss process, though once removed there are four Torx screws hidden "deep in the speaker recess." A long, thin screwdriver comes in handy here. Once the screws are out, the lid separates will little trouble exposing the guts of the smart speaker.

Google Home LED Board Google Home LED Board Tape
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A "pesky interconnect cable" runs from the motherboard up to an LED board that sits tucked inside the lid. Removing the interconnect cable isn't all that difficult, though the board itself is a nuisance to extract due to copious adhesive tape holding it in place. Doesn't look fun, does it?

A deeper dive inside Google Home reveals some familiar components, ones that can also be found in Google's Chromecast dongle. Specifically, the Marvell CPU, Toshiba NAND flash memory, and Samsung RAM are all the same.

Google Home Parts

When all was said and done, Google Home earned itself an 8 out of 10 Repairability Score, edging out Alexa by a point. The only real knock against Google Home is that the touch board is so strongly taped to the lid. Otherwise, it earned kudos for having minimal moving parts (which means minimal points of failure), using standard screws, and keeping things mostly modular.