Nexus 7 teardown for 2013: Wireless charging, easy repairs

iFixit's teardown of the 2013 Nexus 7 uncovers the hardware that supports wireless charging -- the first time the repair site has seen this on a tablet.

The 2013 Nexus 7 gets a good repairability score from iFixit.
The 2013 Nexus 7 gets a good repairability score from iFixit. iFixit

iFixit said the the 2013 Nexus 7 is pretty easy to repair. And inside it found a rarity in tablets: an inductive charging coil.

The new 7-inch Google tablet received a "Repairability Score" of 7 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair), according to iFixit's teardown.

"The rear case is very easy to open, and requires minimal prying effort with a plastic opening tool to remove," the repair site said. Be careful though. "But we cracked it, even though we were quite careful during the opening procedure."

Fasteners inside are all Phillips screws -- no proprietary screws and the battery enclosure is easy to remove, iFixit said.

2013 Nexus 7.
2013 Nexus 7. Best Buy

Moving on to the silicon and components inside. iFixit found an inductive charging coil for wireless charging.

"This is the first time we've seen it in a tablet," iFixit said.

Actually, this shouldn't come as a complete surprise. Google lists this on the Nexus 7 features page. "Built-in wireless charging means you can charge, grab, and go," according to Google.

An NFC (near field communication) module is "layered on top" of the inductive charging coil, according to iFixit.

iFixit, as always, was able to get data about the silicon inside -- typically much more than vendors are willing to disclose.

In addition to the quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and the 1,920x1,200 resolution display, iFixit found 2GB of Elpida SDRAM (system memory), a Texas Instruments Inductive Charging Controller, and 16GB of NAND eMMC flash storage from Hynix.

Finally, echoing reviews, iFixit noted the "drastic change in body type" compared with the first-generation Nexus 7. To wit, it's thinner, lighter, and has narrower side bezels, among other changes.

The 2013 Nexus 7's circuit board. Like Apple, Google opts for Elpida's SDRAM chips.
The 2013 Nexus 7's circuit board. Like Apple, Google opts for Elpida's SDRAM chips. iFixit
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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