Xbox One S Teardown Reveals Microsoft's Secrets For Thinner, Cooler, Slightly More Powerful Console

Xbox One S Open

The technology teardown specialists at iFixIt wasted no times getting their eager mitts on Microsoft's brand spanking new Xbox One S console, a slimmed down version of the original with a few notable upgrades, including a GPU that's clocked around 7 percent higher. So what's it like playing a real life game of Operation on the Xbox One S?

It's similar to tearing into a Day One Edition Xbox One released three years ago, though not entirely the same. Things have been rejiggered in downsizing the Xbox One's physical dimensions. However, before getting inside, you'll need to remove/destroy the tampering sticker that lets Microsoft know you've been mucking around with the console's internal bits.

Interestingly there are no screws holding the chassis together. In there place are stubborn plastic security clips that require "a little extra oomph" to pop open. After that, be ready for some "intense prying" to get the bottom cover off en route to the promised land. One word of warning though—plastic clips aren't necessarily built to handle being pried multiple times, so don't be surprised if at some point the bottom chassis no longer clips into place.

Xbox One S Components

Once inside there are some green screws that need to be removed in order to free the primary assembly from the upper case. That's where most of the good stuff is located. Microsoft thoughtfully numbered and labeled the components inside to make identification and ordering replacement parts a little easier. And though most users will never crack open their Xbox One S, there's a treat inside—Master Chief is engraved on the plastic bracket holding the optical drive in place. Cool.

Tearing into the Xbox One S isn't all that difficult. One of the highlights is that only a few tools are required to take the whole thing apart. It also earned kudos from iFixIt for its "clean, no-nonsense modular design" that makes it a cinch to replace the drives, fan, heat sink, internal power supply, wireless board, and front daughterboard.

Xbox One S Teardown

The only real negative—and it's a bit of a bummer—is that replacing the hard drive both voids the warranty and requires some "difficult hackery to make it serviceable." All said and done, the Xbox One S earned an 8 out 10 Repairability Score. Well done, Microsoft.