If there is one unfulfilled dream the MP3 Insiders have, it's the ability to pry open every set of headphones and every MP3 player we ever get our hands on and see what's going on inside. That, and the option to perform "stress tests," aka dropping said devices out of a window at least 10 stories from the ground. Luckily, there are sites out there that indulge in such destructive festivities.
The premium pricing of Apple's Mac Mini desktop is due to its laptop lineage, according to a teardown analysis by iSuppli.
Though probably not a surprise to Mac Mini connoisseurs, the diminutive desktop bears higher component costs due to its use of parts designed for mobile PCs, iSuppli said in a report released Friday. In short, inside the Mini is a virtual laptop.
The entry-level version of the new-generation Mac Mini carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $376.20, which increases to $387.14 when manufacturing costs are added, iSuppli said. The low-end model in the Mac Mini lineup is priced at $599, "reflecting the relatively thin BOM/manufacturing margins" of Apple's PCs in relation to its lower-cost consumer items, specifically the iPod line, according to iSuppli.
"Unlike most desktop computers from other brands, the Mac Mini and, indeed, Apple's entire Mac line make extensive use of components designed for notebook computers," said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst for iSuppli. "Apple knows how to make computers better, smaller, and more attractive," he said. "Such an achievement, however, comes at a premium."
This sentiment is echoed in a CNET Reviews write-up of the Mac Mini. "While we're still impressed with the Mac Mini's ability to pack so much into a tight package, Apple can't get away from its PC competitors that offer more features for less money," CNET Reviews said.
That said, mobile components abound.… Read more
No word on how much it costs Amazon to build the DX (read full review here), but I'm sure we'll have that soon enough (anybody want to guess?). For those interested, here's a list of chips on the circuit board:MCIMX31LDVKN5D, M91E, CTAK0915B Samsung 916, K4X1G323PC-8GC3, EMA188A5 Samsung 907, KMBLG0000M-B998 MC13783VK5, AM86D, CTRE083B Samsung 840, K4M28323PH-HG75, AAH055BE Epson D135211B1, F09090125. E-INK I also like what the folks at RapidRepair say at the end of the operation:
"Simply follow these steps in reverse to put your Amazon Kindle DX back together! The Kindle DX has many replaceable parts inside. In many ways this product is user serviceable."
Good to know.
Check out another picture after the break.… Read more
Once the thing was completely ripped apart, the folks at RapidRepair tallied up the price for each component and determined that it costs Palm around $170 to build the Pre. How accurate that number truly is, we can't tell you. But what we do know is that the Pre will cost you $199 (with a $100 mail-in rebate and two-year service agreement).
Anybody think these teardowns are silly? Or … Read more
If you've been curious to know what it costs to make the Kindle 2, iSuppli has dismantled Amazon's digital reader, taken stock of all its components, and come up with an estimated price tag of $185.49--or roughly half the Kindle 2's retail price of $360.
That figure doesn't include the fee Amazon pays Sprint for the Kindle 2's built-in "free" wireless service or any marketing costs, which can be substantial. So the true "actual" cost is probably significantly higher, though Amazon obviously preserves some of its margin by selling direct … Read more
CNET tends to review products from the outside looking in (see Donald Bell's full review of the new Shuffle). But the good folks over at iFixit make it habit to start right from the inside. In the case of the third-generation Shuffle teardown, like with all recent iPods, Apple doesn't make it easy to crack the case. And although only one screw had to be removed, iFixit describes how it had to insert a "metal spudger into a crevice between the rear cover and the rest of the Shuffle" to get the device open. As you might expect, things are pretty simple--and tiny--under the Shuffle's hood.
There are a couple more pictures after the jump, but the full dissection (with lots more photos) is available at iFixit, where one unsatisfied reader writes:
"Have you disassembled the headphones with remote yet? Have you figured out, how the buttons work? Do they work by connecting two lines with a resistor? Is it possible to add such a remote to other headphones?"
As always, feel free to comment.
See more pics after the jump.… Read more
Tuesday, I linked to a Dow Jones story on CNN's Money Web site about a virtual teardown iSuppli did on T-Mobile's fancy G1, the first commercial smartphone to run Google's Android. Some readers had issues with the story, and I'm going to address those here.
First, I quoted the price of the G1 at $399 instead of the $179 new customers typically get. This was due to a communications mixup between me and one of my T-Mobile marketing contacts. He was giving me the unsubsidized price, not the retail price, probably thinking I was inquiring to … Read more
Ever wondered what the inside of your waffle maker looks like? Yes? No? Well, even if not, you might be surprised how interesting small electric appliances are when you take them apart.
Brittny Badger has produced a wonderful series of still-life photos of disassembled small electric appliances, such as a waffle iron, electric knife, and a can opener. Rather than the usual slapdash tear-down photos one sees of the latest tech gadget, these are artfully composed images that show the inner complexity of mundane objects that we typically take for granted.
As my colleague Denise Gershbein says:
Seeing the sheer … Read more
Here are some of the key points I learned from the article:
According to Portelligent, the LCD is pretty similar to previous transflective LCDs (that is, LCDs that can work from transmitted backlight or reflected ambient light) except for the arrangement of the color subpixels. I've seen nothing particularly remarkable about mine. It offers poor off-axis image quality, as I described in my first look (here), and doesn'… Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--For the gathering of curious onlookers eager to see what a Sony OLED TV looks like on the inside, officials at the Embedded Systems Conference had some bad news: The airline (no, they didn't say which one) lost their stuff. Unfortunately, their stuff included that TV.
Instead, as a last-minute replacement, we got Gibson's Robot guitar, which was scheduled for the teardown treatment later this week. (See our earlier coverage of the Robot guitar here and video of it in action.)
David Carey, president of Protelligent, a company that specializes in taking apart electronics piece … Read more