Gadgets

Google Home recycles much of Chromecast's guts, teardown finds

This year's voice-operated speaker sports the same processor, flash memory and RAM contained in last year's wireless video dongle.

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The Google Home voice-activated speaker features some familiar parts.

iFixit

If something about the Google Home voice-operated speaker sounds familiar, there's a good reason: apparently much of its muscle is borrowed from the tech giant's Chromecast.

That was the conclusion of iFixit, which routinely conducts teardowns of new products to find out what makes them tick. iFixit's latest target was the $130 smart home speaker, which showcases the artificially intelligent, voice-activated Google Assistant. This clever bit of software lets you set timers, control lights and thermostats, play trivia games, watch YouTube videos and more -- all with simple voice commands.

But when iFixit's screwdriver-wielding crew got to the device's motherboard, it experienced a bit of deja vu, discovering that the Google Home featured the same processor, flash memory and RAM contained in last year's wireless video dongle.

While not faulting Google for recycling Chromecast's motherboard guts, iFixit gave the device high marks for repairability, awarding it a score of 8 out of 10. Many of the components are modular and can be replaced individually, and only standard screws and connectors are used in the device.