NVIDIA Shield Teardown Exposes Handheld Gaming Device's Delicate Guts

We already gave NVIDIA's Shield handheld gaming device a pretty thorough once-over in our official review, though one thing we didn't do is disassemble the gadget and take a look at its guts. It's not that we didn't want to, but such operations are best left to the fearless folks at iFixIt, who post some of the best teardowns you'll find on the web. As luck would have it, they got their paws on a Shield device of their own and proceeded to take it apart.

The 20-step teardown reveals that Shield is fairly easy to crack open. It's kind of like opening up a traditional gaming controller, only what you'll find inside is more complicated. Much more complicated, in fact, as it's crammed full of pieces and parts and circuit boards, and all kinds of things that would a make a rookie DIY repair dude shake in his boots.

NVIDIA Shield Disassembled

One thing worth pointing out is the massive battery pack responsible for the handheld's "crazy-long battery life." The folks at iFixIt dug up a three-cell, 3.7V, 7350mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that's housed in each side of the controller connected by a small circuit board. Wedged in between the batteries are several other parts, including a brushless fan that's a "breeze to replace" in case it fails.

When all was said and done, iFixIt gave NVIDIA's Shield a rather average 6/10 Repairability score. On the plus side, iFixIt notes that the Shield's durable design will stand up to regular gaming, and the modular base means lower repair costs. At the same time, there's a "lot of room for improvement in repairabiilty" due to the complicated design, "stubborn adhesive" that makes display repair risky, and a battery placement that's difficult to get to.