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Cracking Open the Kindle Fire HD: Cracking Open

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Cracking Open: Cracking Open the Kindle Fire HD

3:53 /

Bill Detwiler shows you how to remove the Kindle Fire HD's back cover, walks you through its redesigned interior, and compares the Amazon tablet to the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.

-With a base price of $199. Amazon's Kindle Fire HD will do a lot for your money and while it's just as easy to crack open as the original fire, it has better hardware and a completely redesign interior. Let's pop this 7 inch tablets back cover and take a look inside. I'm Bill Detwiler and this is Cracking Open. Like the original Fire, the Kindle Fire HD is a snap to crack open with the help of a thin metal blade or plastic case opening tool, you can pop off the back cover, no tamper resistance screws here. Now, once inside, removing the internal component is also a straight forward process other than a single Torx T5 screw on the battery, you can remove all the interior screws with a Phillips 00 bit. Now after disconnecting a few cables; the battery, motherboard, speakers, headphone jack board and internal frame should all come out without much fuss. I have only a few complains about the tablet's internal design. First, the covered tape covering the part of the motherboard is a pain to remove. Second, you must remove motherboard before removing the right speaker and last, the wifi antenna is held to the internal frame and front panel with adhesive and must be detach to remove either part. Now at this point in the cracking open, I would normally complain about the tablet's display and front panel being fused together but not this time. The fire HD display and touch sensor are laminated together into a single layer of glass and this construction technique eliminates the air gap that forms when a traditional glass touch sensor is mounted over a separate panel. According to Amazon, by removing this gap, they may leave the screen easier to read and reduce glare. So how does the Fire HD stack up against other low cost 7 inch tablets like Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. Well, the Fire HD has a 1.2 gigahertz omap 4460 system on a chip and the Nexus 7 has a 1.3 gigahertz Tegra 3 SoC. Despite the 4460's support for dual-channel memory, the Tegra 3 is higher clock speed, 4 cores and better GPU give the Nexus a slight edge. The Galaxy Tab trails both the other tablets with its 1 gigahertz omap 4430 SoC. As for RAM, all 3 tablets have 1 gig of memory but the Nexus 7 uses DDR 3 SDRAM compared to the other tablets DDR2. When comparing storage, the base model Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tab 2 have 8 gigs while the entry level Fire HD has 16. The Galaxy however does have a micro SD card slot. All three have 7 inch display but the Fire HD and Nexus 7 screens operate in a resolution of 1280x800, with the Galaxy Tab 2 at 1024x600. When it comes to hardware, all 3 tablets have their pros and cons. If you want 2 cameras and expandable storage, the Galaxy Tab 2 is the way to go. If you want NFC and with Tegra 3 processor, it's the Nexus 7. And if you want myMO support, right and left speakers and the base model with 16 gig of storage, then the Fire HD is the one. But honestly, you can't really judge these tablets on hardware alone. As Cnet's Eric Franklin wrote in his review, it's not a question of which is better, it's more question of which is better for you. Now, like its predecessor, the Kindle Fire HD is really designed for heavy Amazon users and Amazon prime subscribers. Now to see more teardown photos and read my full hardware analysis, go to techrepublic.com/crackingopen. I'm Bill Detwiler thanks for watching.

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