Items tagged with Teardown

The latest generation MacBook Pro and MacBook Air represent a major departure from past models—they are the first ones to incorporate Apple's own custom M1 silicon, in place of the Intel x86 CPUs the company had been sourcing for the past 15 years. It is the beginning of a new era. You would not know it at first glance, though, because these new systems look the same, even if you tear into them. Of course, we all know that looks can be deceiving. Despite how these new laptops might appear from a passing glance, these are very different machines than their predecessors. Apple is embarking on a two-year transition to completely move away from Intel CPUs, and design custom processors based... Read more...
Smartphones have never been all that easy to repair, but that hasn't stopped owners from fixing (or attempting to fix) broken screens, dead charging ports, speakers that don't make sound, and a host of other issues. There's nothing quite like the feeling of using a heat gun to melt some adhesive underneath a screen and then using a suction cup to pick up the front of a thousand-dollar smartphone to replace a broken part. Thankfully, we have guides on the internet, and very few are more helpful than the ones from the folks at iFixIt. They're at it again, too, as they've published a teardown guide for Apple's newly-released iPhone 12 and 12 Pro.  Interestingly, the two iPhones, released just... Read more...
Building and tearing into a desktop PC is relatively easy, once you have done it a few times. Dedicated game consoles can be a little trickier, in part because of their compact nature, and proprietary design. Today's consoles are more like PCs than ever, though, so have things changed? You still probably should not gut a console unless you have a really good reason to, but that said, Sony posted an interesting teardown video of its upcoming PlayStation 5, and it does not look all that daunting. Not that Sony is encouraging eventual PS5 owners to perform surgery on their shiny new consoles—I'm sure that would void the warranty. But kudos to Sony for giving us an up close and personal look... Read more...
Last week we posted our review of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, a premium handset that delivers excellent all-around performance and has a gorgeous display. But one thing we did not do is disassemble the phone. We leave that kind of thing to the teardown experts, and the folks at iFixIt have answered the call with a teardown of both the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, with an interesting discovery with regards to cooling. More on that in a moment. As is often the case these days, the Galaxy Note 20 follows the script for using ample adhesive to keep the chassis in place. Or as the teardown gurus put it, the adhesive for this generation "remains annoying tough," though at least the... Read more...
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is Samsung's newest flagship phone, and it is absolutely brimming with high-end features, with a premium price to match. Some of those features are highlighted in a recent teardown of the $1,399 phone, including the epic camera array—we've taken some photos with it (we're currently putting together a review) and it's awesome. The teardown analysis also underscores why replacing the built-in battery is not a viable option for most people. I won't go so far as to say consumers have essentially sold their souls in exchange for premium phones that eschew easy do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs for glass and metal bodies, and increasingly thinner and lighter profiles. But the... Read more...
We're used to seeing teardown of all the latest tech gadgets courtesy of iFixit with its high-resolution images and videos. Today, however, the teardown experts are giving us a look inside the original Sony PlayStation to commemorate its 25th birthday. Unlike today's devices which are often riddled with proprietary screws, copious amounts of glue, and intricate designs that make them nearly impossible work on, the PlayStation is a relative joy to disassemble. In fact, getting inside the console is accomplished by using a trusty Philips screwdriver, after which the top plastic cover of the console can be lifted from its base. Inside, you'll find a rather large power supply unit,... Read more...
No sane person would yank $249 out of their wallet or purse and proceed to flush it straight down the toilet, but if something were to happen to your Apple AirPods Pro earbuds beyond the warranty period, well, the outcome will be the same—you'll be out a big wad of cash. This unfortunate reality is highlighted in a teardown of the fancy new earphones. Apple on Monday formally introduced the AirPods Pro, and they are the company's first branded wireless earbuds with active noise cancelling technology baked inside. They come with three different ear tip sizes to help find a good fit, and they are made of silicone to help create a tighter seal, keeping external noise out of your ear holes.... Read more...
We are planning to post a full review of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL very soon. In the meantime, a thorough teardown of the larger handset has emerged, revealing how Google went about designing its latest flagship from an engineering standpoint. It also reveals a special radar chip related to Project Soli, which is what gives the Pixel phones their interpretative mojo (as it relates to gesture input). To quickly recap, the Pixel 4 XL sports a 6.3-inch display with a 3040x1440 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB of RAM, and wields 128GB or 64GB of onboard storage. For snapping photos, there's an 8-megapixel selfie camera in the front, and... Read more...
The Nintendo Switch Lite launched to retail a few days ago, and a subsequent teardown analysis gives hope Nintendo may have addressed a Joy-Con drift issue that can affect the original Switch and the more recently revised version. We also get to see what's involved in cracking open and performing a DIY repair on the new model. In case you have not been following, here's the deal—Nintendo released the original Switch console in 2017 to much fanfare. It was lauded for its dual approach to gaming, as it can be slid into a dock to game on the big screen or played on the go with its integrated display. Then last month, Nintendo released a revised version with better battery life. The Nintendo... Read more...
Apple is now shipping its newly minted iPhone 11 series after unveiling the flagship smartphone lineup about a week and a half ago. Right on cue, there is an extensive teardown analysis of the largest variant, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and with it comes a revival of a rumor that the new phones could end up supporting reverse wireless charging. This is not something Apple announced when it debuted its iPhone 11 family earlier this month. However, the technology does exist—Samsung, for example, built bilateral charging into its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 phones, and Huawei offers the feature on some of its handsets as well, including its recently announced Mate 30 line. Bilateral charging... Read more...
Do-it-yourself electronics repair (as is a consumer's right) is sometimes tricky business, especially with today's devices trending towards increasingly complex and precise designs that are difficult to crack into and muck around. If you were hoping Samsung's new Galaxy Note 10+ 5G would be an exception, prepare for disappointment. A teardown analysis of the flagship phablet reveals how difficult it is to perform a DIY repair on this handset. There were some positive surprises hidden within the guts of the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G as well, and we will cover those in a moment. First, however, let's talk about the process of opening one of these suckers up. As has become common practice, a heat gun and... Read more...
This week, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are the hottest talk of the internet, as they are the new mid-range smartphones from Google. With a starting price of $399 for the Pixel 3a and $479 for the Pixel 3a XL, both phones offer a nice balance of features, camera image quality, battery life... and actually include a 3.5mm headphone jack. Not surprisingly, it didn't take the folks at iFixit to take a scalpel to both the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL, and thankfully, both have modular components that are more readily accessible for replacement in case of failure. Unlike most smartphone which feature bodies made out of a combination of aluminum and glass, the new Pixel devices feature plastic... Read more...
One of the things that tech fans love is to see the insides of gadgets to get an idea of if they can be fixed if something breaks, and to satisfy curiosity. One of the great purveyors of teardowns is iFixit, and not long ago it published a teardown of the controversial Galaxy Fold smartphone. The major issue with the Galaxy Fold is that several of the devices had screen failures in the hands of reviewers only a short time after being received. Samsung vowed to investigate the failures and delayed the launch of the smartphone. How Samsung could have missed such glaring issues with the screen during its testing is a mystery. Samsung doesn't want people getting a look at the inside of the Galaxy... Read more...
The Galaxy Fold has been the subject of some controversy arising out of its design and the shape that it shipped in, both to preorder customers and reviewers. Simply put, Samsung's folding phone has been breaking. In some cases, the wounds are self-inflicted, to an extent. But there does appear to be an actual design flaw, which a thorough teardown potentially sheds some light on. One of the issues with the Galaxy Fold is what some have mistaken to be a removable protective film on the display. Peeling it off does irreversible damage to the screen, as some reviewers found out the unfortunate way. However, that has not been the sole cause of frustration. In other cases, the phone is breaking early,... Read more...
If you've been following the gaming hardware scene, it's likely that you're somewhat familiar with Dell's incredibly slick Alienware Area-51m, which is an absolute beast desktop replacement gaming laptop. This machine was unveiled at CES 2019 and packs inside the sort of hardware that most desktop gamers would envy, nevermind a portable platform. Something that really sets the Alienware Area-51m apart from the laptop masses is how easily the components can be replaced for upgrades or repair. HotHardware has put together a video that shows a teardown of the Alienware notebook and gives you a look at what buyers can expect to find once the bottom lid is taken off the machine. One of the simple,... Read more...
I have never purchased a set of in-ear earphones with the expectation that if something inside those tiny earbuds fail, I'll be able to rip them open and fix the problem. They are just too small for that sort of thing. Nevertheless, in case anyone is wondering, Apple's new AirPods 2 earbuds are not designed in a way that fosters do-it-yourself (DIY) repair. Let's all feign surprise, shall we? In addition to being a set of earbuds, this is Apple we are talking about, so that is a double whammy against easy repair. I can't really throw too much shade at Apple on this one, though, because of the product category. It would be different if we were talking about big and bulky headphones, but we're... Read more...
We already know what makes the Galaxy S10+ tick—a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 or Samsung's own Exynos 9820 processor (depending on the region), 8GB or 12GB of RAM (depending on the model), and up to 512GB of onboard storage (also depending on the model). Despite already knowing the specs, it's always interesting to see a high-tech device torn down and gutted, and the Galaxy S10+ has already been given the DIY surgical treatment. The Galaxy S10+ is one of three new Galaxy S10 devices that are due out this month, the other two being the regular Galaxy S10 and a smaller Galaxy S10e. There is also the Galaxy S10 5G slated for the first half of 2019, and as its name implies, it boasts a 5G radio... Read more...
Apple recently refreshed its iPad Pro line with faster hardware and new features, and while many things are different, one thing remains the same—they are difficult to crack open and repair, should the need arise. That's par for course these days and not endemic to Apple, of course. The latest generation iPad Pro is just another example of how DIY repairs are not really feasible for the average consumer, as indicated by a teardown of the tablet. As they often do, the folks at iFixit got their hands on the new gadget and promptly stripped it naked, taking apart the tablet until the premium designed device was reduced to a pile of parts on a table. And as usual, they encountered plenty of... Read more...
Apple recently updated the Mac Mini, its entry-level desktop that had not seen a significant upgrade since 2014, and the refreshed box packs quite the punch on paper—it pairs up to an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with as much as 64GB of RAM, with storage options topping out at 2TB. The Mac Mini is also somewhat easy to service and upgrade, depending on the specific component, a teardown analysis reveals. The 2018 Mac Mini comes housed in the same chassis as the previous generation. Some people speculated that Apple might refresh the form factor as well, specifically by switching over to the same chassis as its Apple TV set-top box, but that is not the case (literally). The only... Read more...
After years of letting its popular MacBook Air languish without any meaningful updates, Apple finally updated the ultra-portable notebook late last month. While the overall wedge-shaped chassis is familiar, the new MacBook Air features a completely redesigned inner layout. Given that the new 2018 MacBook Air is now shipping to customers, it should come as no surprise that the teardown experts at iFixit have put the laptop on the operating table. What they found is that the MacBook Air is using Apple's third-generation butterfly key mechanism for the keyboard. While the keys have far less travel than what traditional MacBook Air users are familiar with, it does at... Read more...
Fancy yourself a new generation iPhone? From a cost standpoint, the iPhone XR is the most sensible of the new models, though it's still not exactly cheap—pricing starts at $749 (as opposed to $999 for the iPhone XS and $1,099 for the iPhone XS). As with any high dollar smartphone, the thought of cracking it open for delicate repairs may seem gut wrenching. In this case, however, a teardown analysis of the iPhone XR reveals that some types of DIY repairs are at least feasible. That depends on your skill level, of course, along with your willingness to take matters into your hands. These things aren't made of Legos, and so there is quite a bit more involved than just pulling pieces apart... Read more...
Google's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL handsets are both solid options in the Android space, with overall strong performance and killer cameras for taking crisp photos. Anyone who buys one of Google's new phones will hopefully never have cause to crack it open for repairs, but should the need arise, how does it fare? A new teardown analysis answers that question in detail. Both phones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM. Built-in storage checks in at 64GB or 128GB, with no microSD card slot to add more. As for the cameras, there is an 8-megapixel shooter on the front for selfies and a 12.2-megapixel lens on the back. On the XL model, which went under the knife in the latest... Read more...
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