Cracking Open the Apple iPad Mini
2:54

Cracking Open the Apple iPad Mini

Culture
-Apple's iPad Mini may be a concentration no the iPad's best features, but it's also concentration of the worst. As I'll show, it's just as frustrating to crack open and work on as its larger sibling. I'm Bill Detwiler and this is Cracking Open. The iPad mini is Apple's answers to the rapidly growing market for 7-inch tablet, currently dominated by Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7. The mini has a 7.9-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1024 x 768, dual core A5 processor, 512 MB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front camera and comes in either WiFi or WiFi plus sailor models. Our cast unit had 16 gigs of storage, but 32 and 64-gig versions are also available. As with the full sized iPad, I began cracking open the mini but heating the edges of the front panel to loosen the adhesives that holds the glass to the metal enclosure. Use a series of thin metal and plastic tools, I gently pry to lose the panel taking care not to damage the panel's ribbon cable, which is located in the lower right corner. I won't be able to completely remove the panel until I take out the display. So, I'll fold it over face down for now. Next to come out are the screws that hold the LCD in place. A large metal plate that sits behind the LCD and a small metal plate that covers many of the motherboard connectors. I can now detach and completely remove the LCD and front panel. With a little gentle persuasion, the battery is next to come out. The remaining components including the motherboard or their connector cables are held in this metal enclosure with a lot of adhesive. Now, forcing them lose could damage them, and I want to put this unit back together in working order, not destroy it. So, the only thing left for me to do there is to remove EMI/RFI shields from the motherboard to look at the chips that power the iPad Mini. Unfortunately, Apple took the good and bad from the iPad when building the mini. The device is sturdy and well built, but the copious amounts of adhesive make it extremely difficult to repair. In fact, its smaller size actually makes it more difficult to work on. Now, for more information on the iPad Mini including real world test and pricing, check out Scott Stein's faults CNET review, and for comparison of the mini against the nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, Jessica Dolcourt has it covered, and to see more tear down photo and read my full hardware analysis, go to techrepublic.com/crackingopen.

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