iPad Air launch greeted with low repairability score

The tablet received a score of 2 out of 10 from iFixit, putting it just head of Microsoft's Surface 2, which received a 1 out of 10.

A look inside the iPad Air
A look inside the iPad Air iFixit

Apple's iPad Air, which launches on Friday, won't be easy for DIYers to take apart.

iFixit on Thursday published its official iPad Air teardown, examining the device's internal components and determining how easy it is to take apart and fix. The company, which tears down a wide array of technology products, gave the iPad Air a repairability score of just 2 out of 10, saying that if the tablet is taken apart, there's a chance the device's glass could be damaged.

"Just like in previous iPads, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass during a repair," iFixit wrote in its report. The company also complained that the iPad Air represents the "most difficult battery removal procedure" it has ever seen in an Apple slate.

iFixit has faced some trouble lately with tablets. The company last month took apart Microsoft's Surface 2 and gave that device a score of 1 out of 10, making it the most difficult tablet to repair.

In addition to repairability, iFixit examined the iPad Air's internal components, finding that the unit it took apart featured an LG display. In addition, the A7 processor in the iPad Air is "slightly different" than the one in the iPhone 5S, according to iFixit. Elpida supplied the SDRAM, while Toshiba provided the Flash storage in the device. USI delivered the Wi-Fi module, while Broadcom won the contract on the touch-screen controllers.

Apple's iPad Air launches Friday at a starting price of $499. Like those that came before it, the tablet is expected to be popular at launch and beyond. For DIYers, however, tinkering with the tablet appears to be more trouble than it's worth.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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