The expectation when purchasing a pricey augmented reality headset (or any augmented, virtual, or mixed realty headset, really) is that you'll never need to take it apart to troubleshoot a faulty component. Nevertheless, it is nice to know you can, should the need or desire to arise for any reason. And that is the case with the Magic Leap One, as a new teardown analysis reveals.
Magic Leap's AR goggles recently launched to developers with a $2,295 starting price. That's obviously way above what consumers expect to pay for an AR headset, but considering it's a developer release (more specifically, the Creator Edition), it's not out of line with the competition—the developer version of Microsoft's Hololens sells for $3,000, or $5,000 if splurging on the commercial package.
As to taking it apart, the teardown specialists at iFixIt did what they did best, which is take a new piece of hardware and gut it for all the world to see. They encountered Torx screws and a whole lot of adhesive along the way, the latter of which makes DIY repairs tricky.
"Disassembly is mostly nondestructive—on paper, anyway. With this much glue on this many fragile components, you'd better have buckets of patience and a very steady hand," the teardown gurus noted.
On the plus side, the speakers are easy to remove and replace with just a single screwdriver, so if one of the speakers blows, you're not up the proverbial creek without a paddle. The Magic Leap One also earned kudos for using standard Torx and Phillips screws in all of the threaded fasteners.
Sadly, replacing the battery is a no go, at least for most people. It requires taking out the motherboard, and then "tiptoe[ing] your way past several intense glue barriers." That's a shame, as batteries don't last forever.
In any event, the Magic Leap One is an interesting piece of kit, just not one you are likely to repair yourself in the event something breaks. It's backed by a one-year warranty, with an extended warranty option available.