Nexus 9 Dubbed A 'Mess Of Glue And Hackery' In Teardown, Scores 3 For Repairability

Editor's Update: 11:26AM EST - Though it may not exist in the original iFixIt article, to be clear, the "glue and hackery" comment was made in an email communication to us. And, to be fair, as an informed redditor pointed out, tablets are tough and the iPad Air 2 scored low as well. Still, it begs the question, could another partner have done better than HTC? ASUS or LG, perhaps? After all, the Nexus 7 (2013) did score a 7 out of 10.

If there's one thing that's becoming increasingly evident with each new gadget teardown, it's that tablet makers have an obsession for glue. Now before anyone gets riled-up over that statement, let us clarify that we're not saying firms like HTC or Google pass around jars of adhesive for extended sniff tests, but they sure do like to use gobs of glue to seal shut their mobile devices. Case in point is the newly launched Nexus 9.

As always, it was the fearless folks at iFixIt who tore into the Nexus 9 with the same giddy excitement as a kid going through his stash of collected candy on Halloween. And to be fair, things started off well enough, as they often (though not always) do, thanks in part to the device's easily removable back cover.

Nexus 9 Open

"Huzzah! The rear cover is held in place with various welcoming clips, instead of fierce adhesive. No tools are required to pop this cover -- just some sturdy fingernails," iFixIt noted. "All seemed to be going well, until we noticed the rear-facing camera was still lodged in the rear case."

That's what happens when you don't knock on wood, though no amount of ritualistic behavior intended to appease the gods of good fortune was going to be enough to make the Nexus 9 easy to repair. There's just too much working against it, such as the "insane amount of heat" and "patience" required to separate the LCD from the display assembly.

Nexus 9 Teardown

What's especially disappointing about the Nexus 9's construction is that it doesn't follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, which was fairly repairable. Instead, it was deemed that the Nexus 9 feels like a "mess of glue and hackery," as if HTC took the display and CPU and stuffed them into a "sack of other parts, and whatever stuck ended up in the Nexus 9." Oomph, tell us how you really feel!

Nexus 9 Parts

In the end, the Nexus 9 received a 3 out of 10 Repairability Score, meaning it's not likely you'll be doing many home repairs on the tablet. If you're worried that something might go wrong, you may want to look into extended warranty options.  That's not something we'd always recommend but in this case, it could be money well spent.