Teardown Shows Rugged ASUS Chromebook C202 For Students Is Head Of Class In DIY Repair

Despite its rugged exterior designed to protect it from the unforgiving clumsiness of grade school kids, the ASUS Chromebook C202 is surprisingly easy to operate on and repair at home. That's the takeaway from iFixIt's latest teardown, which noted that "opening the C202 was easier than sticking a straw in a juice box." Presumably they're talking about an actual juice box and not a Capri Sun, the latter of which is the bane of any thirsty child looking for a quick hit.

ASUS Chromebook C202 Pry Open

The Chromebook C202's friendly serviceability isn't by accident. ASUS intentionally designed the C202 to be both "classroom-rugged" and easy to disassemble and repair, should the need arise. Both are touted as features of the C202, and to prove it, ASUS happily volunteered one of its units for a teardown.

Things got off to a stellar start. One of the first things you'll notice when flipping the C202 on its back is a warning label, though it says nothing about trashing your warranty if you decide to open this sucker up. That's quite the refreshing change of pace, though it's not the only highlight. While you're required to remove a couple of rubber covers to crack open the C202, you'll find standard Phillips screws holding the chassis in place, not adhesive or proprietary screws. It's like ASUS read the manual on how to design an electronic gadget as written by Apple and then did the complete opposite.

ASUS Chromebook C202 Open

From there, getting inside the C202 is just a matter of prying open the spill-proof upper case, which is secured to the base with a series of plastic clips. Once you've freed the top portion, you'll find that the keyboard and trackpad are tethered to the motherboard via ribbon cables, but "with plenty of slack to flip the upper case over and safely disconnect the ZIF connectors."

There are a lot of modular parts to the Chromebook C202, including the power jack on the I/O board, a common point of failure. The only real inconvenience—and it's a minor one—is a hefty heatsink bracket that ASUS slapped on top of the battery. However, it's held in place with Phillips screws, so getting to the 38 Wh lithium ion battery isn't all that difficult.

ASUS Chromebook C202 Parts

When all was said and done, the ASUS Chromebook C202 walked away with a mighty impressive 9/10 Repairability Score. There weren't many complaints to muster up—linear assembly means possibly having to remove a bunch of components to get to the part you're servicing, and the RAM and flash storage are soldered to the motherboard.

Beyond those two quibbles, ASUS impressed by equipping its Chromebook C202 with standard Phillips screws and avoiding the use of adhesive. It also won praise for the laptop's simplistic design and modular construction.