Google Nexus 7 Teardown

The folks at iFixit have torn a new Google Nexus 7 tablet apart with an eye towards repairability. It's way easier to repair than an iPad 3, but it still has some tough points. See the soul of the new machine.

Larry Seltzer, Contributor

July 3, 2012

3 Min Read

Kudos to the folks at iFixit for a beautiful and informative teardown of the new Google Nexus 7 tablet. We have some of the content here. All images except the one just below are courtesy of iFixit.

The Nexus 7 is manufactured by Asus and earns some immediate praise from iFixit for a reason near and dear to them: It's repairable, much more so than some new devices from Apple. According to iFixit, "Asus used retaining clips to hold the case together, not glue. Opening up the Nexus 7 requires a couple of minutes and some plastic opening tools."

It only scores 7 out of 10 in repairability for them; for instance, the glass and LCD are fused together, so if one breaks you have to replace both. Overall it's very easy to disassemble and reassemble.

Opening the Nexus 7

In terms of repairability, the Nexus 7 is close to the Amazon Kindle Fire, the device against which it is paired in the market.

Some highlights from iFixit:

  • Though the back cover's dark and light layers remind us of something a Stormtrooper would have in his arsenal, it houses the GPS, NFC, and Wi-Fi antennas -- all manufactured between April 20 and May 25th of this year.

  • The Nexus 7 has a 4326 mAh, 16 Wh battery that can last 9:49 hours. The Kindle Fire, by comparison, has a 4400 mAh, 16.28 Wh battery -- but only lasts 7:42 hours. Go figure.

  • For further comparison, this battery time falls right in between the batteries found in the 2012 iPad models, which last 9:52 hours for HSPA and 9:37 hours for LTE... Except that the iPad 3 batteries are *significantly larger* at 11500 mAh, 42.5 Wh.

Getting to the L-shaped motherboard

More highlights:

  • Although the official Nexus page just indicates there's a "speaker" in the back (singular reference), we clearly see a pair of drivers. No word whether it's stereo or not, as the unit was already apart when we made this discovery.

  • The motherboard contains:

    • NVIDIA T30L Tegra 3 processor

    • Hynix HTC2G83CFR DDR3 RAM

    • Kingston KE44B-26BN/8GB 8GB flash

    • Max 77612A inverting switching regulator

    • AzureWave AW-NH665 wireless module

    • Broadcom BCM4751 integrated monolithic GPS receiver

    • Invensense MPU-6050 gyro and accelerometer

  • The 7-inch, 1280x800 HD display is manufactured by Hydis and designated by model HV070WX2.

All the pieces

There are some other repairability highlights: the battery can be replaced without soldering or even a screwdriver. The reddish things in the image above are copper alloy sheets which provide shielding, but they are fragile and could tear during disassembly.

Click here to read the full iFixit teardown with many more images and a lot more detail.

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Larry Seltzer


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