Items tagged with iFixIt

You're not bringing home a Mac Pro for less than three large, and when spending that much on a computer, the expectation is that it will work and work well for a long time to come. Fair enough, but eventually you'll either want or need to dive in; it could be out of sheer curiosity or because a stick of RAM went bad. When that time comes, you'll be happy to know that Apple's cylinder shaped powerhouse is mostly easy to take apart. The folks at iFixIt got their hands on Apple's entry-level model priced at $2,999. This is the configuration that comes with an Intel Xeon E5 quad-core processor with 10MB of L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz, 12GB of ECC DDR3-1866 memory (3x4GB), dual AMD FirePro... Read more...
After reading the title, you might be thinking, "OMG why does HotHardware hate tablets?!?!" Don't get us wrong, we think tablets are great for what they're designed to do, but when it comes to servicing and/or upgrading parts on your own, they don't hold a candle next to a traditional PC. Teardown after teardown reveals liberal use of adhesive and other challenging factors, as tablets just aren't built to be cracked open like a desktop. Underscoring this point is iFixIt's teardown analysis of Valve's prototype Steam Machine, a full-fledged PC in a console-like shell. If the Steam Machine design represents the future of PC gaming, rest assured, you'll still be able to upgrade and replace components... Read more...
This is a big month for console gamers. Sony last week launched its PlayStation 4 to retail, and tonight at the stroke of midnight, stores like Best Buy will begin selling Microsoft's Xbox One. That means the next-generation console wars will be in full swing, and while gamers debate exclusive titles and which has the superior mix of hardware, one question we can answer is which one is easier to repair. According to iFixIt's teardown analysis of the Xbox One, both it and the PlayStation 4 are equally easy to service at home. The PS4 received the teardown treatment a week ago and earned an 8/10 "Repairability Score" for being so easy to open and navigate, especially since there wasn't an ounce... Read more...
After seven long years, Sony today finally launched to retail another flagship game console. We're of course talking about the PlayStation 4, a $399 system with a x86 foundation that further blurs the lines between what constitutes a console for a PC (we're not saying they're one-in-the-same, just more similar than ever before). To underscore the point, we now have two detailed teardowns of the PS4 that show how easy it is to service at home. The first teardown came courtesy of Sony. In a surprise move, Sony posted a video showing the PS4 disassembled from top to bottom, in part because the hardware maker wanted to showcase the system's efficient design. Now we have another teardown analysis,... Read more...
Apple may have chosen to quietly launch its second generation iPad mini tablet with an upgraded "Retina" class display, but that didn't stop the folks at iFixIt from snagging a sample for their operating tablet. They made quick work of tearing into the newest iPad mini, which sports a panel that still measures 7.9 inches like before, but with a tastier 2048x1536 resolution at 326 ppi. Does the upgraded panel make a difference in terms of how difficult it is to service these devices? Short and sweet, the answer is "no." The newest iPad mini mustered a rather pathetic "Repairability Score" of just 2 out of 10, meaning it's not something you'll want to try and crack open at home unless you're highly... Read more...
Other than the fact that demand is currently outstripping supply, there's not a whole lot to dislike about Google's Nexus 5, at least on paper. Spec for spec, it's a better version of the Nexus 4, and there are many happy Nexus 4 owners in the wild, You might be one of them. Of course, it would take a hands-on evaluation and formal review to really cover the phone's high and low points, but in the meantime, there's proof outside of a spec sheet that Google has something special on its hands. The gadget nerds (a term we use affectionately) over at iFixIt snagged themselves a newly minted Nexus 5 and plopped it on their operating table for a full autopsy. Things got off to a good start when iFixIt... Read more...
Based on a new report by J.D. Power, there's a good chance you'll be satisfied with the iPad Air, should you decide to grab one. Samsung ranks highest in customer satisfaction among tablet owners, but Apple isn't far behind. However, should something break out of warranty and you find yourself tempted to perform an autopsy, well, best of luck. The folks at iFixIt grabbed themselves an iPad Air and went straight to work disassembling the device in its latest teardown analysis. The unfortunate reality is that most slates aren't real great about promoting DIY repair, and the iPad Air isn't an exception. On the plus side, its "Repairability Score" of 2 out of 10 isn't the worst we've ever seen. Image... Read more...
We've said before that we think Microsoft might be onto something with its second generation Surface systems. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are thinner, lighter, faster, and more feature-rich than the first generation Surface tablets, and though we'll reserve final judgement until we're able to formally review these devices, what we saw during Microsoft's unveiling was pretty impressive. That said, it's a little disappointing that these types of gadgets can sometimes be incredibly tough to repair on your own at home. Surface Pro 2 is the newest device to get the teardown treatment from iFixIt. Things started off well enough with iFixIt noting how easily the kickstand is removed, but that would... Read more...
Showtime's popular Dexter series might have come to an end (don't worry, no spoilers here), but if you're still interested in seeing things gutted, iFixIt is your go-to place for the same level of carnage, albeit in the realm of electronics. The newest candidate to fall on iFixIt's operating table is Amazon's recently announced Kindle Fire HDX, which is available in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch form factors (iFixIt opted for the 7-inch model). The Kindle Fire HDX 7 sports a 7-inch display with a 1920x1200 resolution (323 ppi), 2.2GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB of built-in storage, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, 720p front-facing camera, dual-stereo speakers, and a battery... Read more...
Score a victory for the boys and girls in the good ol' U.S. of A. The tech Dexters at iFixIt hijacked Motorola's American made Moto X smartphone and were prepared to pry it open no matter how messy things might get, but as it turns out, the device is really not all that difficult to service and repair, scoring a respectable 7 out of 10 on iFixIt's repairability meter. It's worth noting that the Moto X is the first smartphone assembled in the United States, so this wasn't just another teardown, it was in part an evaluation of American craftsmanship. Motorola's smartphone plant resides in the fine state of Texas and is reportedly home to around 2,000 jobs. Getting back to the teardown, the discovery... Read more...
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... Read more...
Good golly, the iFixit folks are fast; just days after Google announced its Chromecast media streaming device, we already have a look inside the small dongle. It’s a simple device, really; there’s a small motherboard assembly inside the plastic case, and the motherboard itself has four chips on it. iFixit Chromecast teardown (credit: iFixit) The colors have been added for clarity by iFixit, but the red one is an AzureWave 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM combo chip, and the orange one is a Marvell DE3005-A1 SoC. On the other side, there’s a 16Gb (2GB) Micron NAND flash chip (yellow) and a low-power 1.35V 512MB DDR3L SDRAM chip, also from Micron (green). iFixit Chromecast... Read more...
Well, that was fast! It took the folks at iFixIt all of 2 nanoseconds to get their paws on of Apple's newly refreshed mid-2013 model MacBook Air laptops with Haswell inside. Apple just announced the new models at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week, and while the outward appearance looks the same as the previous generation model, iFixIt is more concerned about the internal parts, especially as it pertains to how easy (or difficult) it might be to service busted components. According to iFixIt, a 180-degree rotation of the mid-2013 MacBook Air gives a glimpse of the only noticeable change to the exterior shell, which comes in the form of dual microphones along the left side. You... Read more...
Electronics break all the time, it happens. The question is, are you able to repair a broken gadget, assuming it's out of warranty? Some devices are a bear to service, like the Pebble Smartwatch, which the folks at iFixIt deemed damn near impossible to open up without destroying or at least compromising its waterproofing capabilities. That's just one example, but something hardware manufacturers should be conscious of is that easy-to-repair electronics are more likely to lead to repeat customers. So suggests a new consumer survey by iFixIt. The repair site pinged over 13,200 users and asked them a variety of questions. One of the more interesting findings is that a whopping 95 percent indicated... Read more...
Have you ever dropped a smartphone and had the rear cover pop off when it hit the ground? Well, that's not something you'll have to worry about with the HTC One, a durable handset that's incredibly hard to crack open even if you're specifically trying to do so. The wonderfully sadistic tech surgeons at iFixIt put the HTC One on its operating table and concluded that it's "very, very difficult," if not impossible, to peel open the device without damaging the rear case, leading to a woefully low "Repairability Score" of 1 out of 10. This is partially by design. HTC wanted to create a seamless handset, hence the lack of any exterior screws on the unibody construction. To start things off, iFixIt... Read more...
The Pebble smartwatch first gained attention when it raised millions on Kickstarter; plenty of folks were interested in the smartphone companion that let users control several apps and receive notifications all from the convenient controls of a fashionable timepiece. Now, the product is nearly ready to ship, and the cool cats at iFixit got their hands on a Pebble and ripped it apart, as they are wont to do. They found a waterproof (up to 50 meters) device with a 144x168 display of black and white e-paper, a vibrating motor, a 3-axis accelerometer with gesture detection, and low-energy Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 4.0 for connectivity that is exceedingly difficult to repair. There are no screws on the... Read more...
The Microsoft Surface Pro has defied description somewhat, and it hasn’t been clear if it’s a laptop or a tablet. After what sounds like a grueling challenge, iFixit has an answer: It’s got to be a tablet, because a laptop wouldn’t be so difficult to work on. The site ended up giving the Surface Pro its lowest possible repairability rating--one out of ten. First of all, the screen was glued down with so much black tar-like adhesive that they had to melt the stuff to remove the display. (Cutting the glue wasn’t sufficient.) Then, to remove the plastic bezel to get to the guts of the machine, they had to pull out 23 screws. Taking out the motherboard assembly and SSD... Read more...
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets aren't exactly known for being user friendly when it comes to do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs, but Apple appears to have gone below the call of doodie, if you will. The fine folks at iFixIt got their mittens on Apple's new iPad mini tablet, tore it open, and rated the device on its Repairability scale, which awards devices higher scores for being easier to service. The lower the score, the harder it is to repair a device. So, what did the iPad mini receive? A 2 out of 10, which is the exact same score iFixIt gave the recently introduced 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. In this case, the iPad mini was dinged points for having "teeny-tiny" screws... Read more...
Apple is all in a huff over Samsung allegedly copying the look and feel of its iDevices, but one thing the Cupertino company can't accuse its rival of is making its gadgets equally difficult to service. In fact, based on a recent teardown, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is one of the easier tablets to repair at home. The tech surgeons at iFixIt did what they do best and carved open Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1, both to take a peek at all its organs, and to see how hard it might be for end-users to service. One of the neat things they discovered along the way is that once the backside is removed, most components can be individually replaced without removing other parts. Image Source: iFixIt That's just one... Read more...
After Apple released the MacBook Pro with Retina Display last month, there's been a great deal of discussion around Apple's decision to make the device nearly impossible to repair. It's a "feature" that's Apple has steadily pushed across most of its product lines; the iPad 3 is similarly difficult to modify. iFixit has just posted their teardown of the Google Nexus 7 tablet, with an eye towards discovering whether Google took a page from Apple's book or pointedly refused to do so. 1mm difference Between iPad, Nexus 7 The Nexus 7 uses retention clips to hold the frame together; iFixit describes the process of releasing those clips as "smooth as butter." The size difference between Apple's glue... Read more...
There's been some criticism over a letter Nikon started sending out recently to independent repair shops in the U.S. in which the camera maker announced that "it will no longer maker repair parts available for purchase by repair facilities that have not been authorized by Nikon Inc. to perform camera repairs," a policy that goes into effect around the middle of July. Nikon says the policy is necessary due to the complexity of today's cameras, but some have questioned the rationale. iFixIt, a big proponent of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) repair, called the news "unnerving" and believes the policy change will only serve to make it more difficult for photographers to get Nikon equipment serviced, especially... Read more...
The only people who concern themselves with non-removable batteries are those who are afraid to get their hands dirty and/or anyone who gets squeamish when thinking about prying open pricey electronics gear. Luckily for them, and for the rest of use who appreciate a good old fashioned teardown, the folks at iFixIt are never afraid to crack open the latest gadgets with pictures detailing every step of the way. The latest piece of equipment to land in iFixIt's operating table is Motorola's Droid 4 smartphone. Some gadgets are harder than others to get into, but according to iFixIt, the Droid 4's rear panel easily pops off with just a little coaxing. To start really mucking around, however, you'll... Read more...
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