iFixit, known to rip apart devices and reveal what they hold within, have got their hands on the latest and highly anticipated tablet of the season – Google Nexus 7. iFixit gives devices a repairability score out of 10 (10 means easiest to repair). iFixit had given the new iPad which they’ve called the iPad 3 a repairability score of 2 out of 10 while the Amazon Kindle Fire has a score of 8 out of 10. The Nexus 7 falls much closer but not better than the Kindle Fire and far better than the new iPad with a decent score of 7 out of 10.
Easy to repair (Image Credit: iFixit)
The rear case of the Nexus is quite easy to open, all fasteners are Philips #00 screws, battery replacement can be accomplished without soldering or even a screwdriver while many components including the I/O ports, can be replaced independently of the motherboard. There are copper alloy sheets for cooling so there is no need to clean and reapply thermal paste. However, these could tear during disassembly and the LCD doesn’t separate from display glass which can increase costs. On the other hand, the new iPad has its front panel glued to the rest of the device and loads of adhesive hold down everything in place including the prone-to-start-a-fire-if-punctured battery. In the new iPad, one cannot access the front panel's connector until they remove the LCD. The LCD has foam sticky tape adhering it to the front panel which increases its chances of being shattered during disassembly.
iFixit reveals that, “Plastic opening tools make cracking the Nexus shell like cutting through butter, thanks to its retaining clips around the perimeter of the device.” It further points out that the 1mm difference in thickness between the 9.4mm glued iPad and the 10.4mm retaining-clipped Nexus makes a lot of difference while repairing the device. “Nobody will complain about that one millimeter difference in day-to-day use, but the user-serviceability it brings will make all the difference when the device breaks,” reveals iFixit.
The economically driven Nexus 7 surprisingly has a decent heat sink that discourages it from getting disconcertingly hot. The heat sink appears to be built of a copper alloy, possibly copper-tungsten, or copper-molybdenum, which is surprising considering that the Nexus is economically driven.” Talking about battery, Nexus 7 has a 4326mAh, 16 Wh battery promising up to 9.49 hours, Kindle Fire’s 4400 mAh, 16.28 Wh battery promises 7.42 hours, while slightly larger new iPad battery at 42.5 Wh / 11500 mAh promises 9.52 hours for HSPA and 9.37 hours for LTE. Moreover, the Nexus 7 battery is quite easy to remove, unlike the new iPad battery.
Google and Asus have packed the Nexus 7 with 8GB or 16GB storage, 1GB RAM, Quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 7" 1280x800 (216 ppi) back-lit IPS display, 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and it runs on the newest Android iteration called the Jelly Bean. As far as connectivity is concerned, the Google Nexus 7 tablet doesn’t come equipped with 3G connectivity, in order to keep the price to a minimum. The connectivity options found on this flagship Google Nexus 7 tablet, include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth and NFC capabilities. Though an HDMI out is missing, it is said to bundle up a micro USB-to-HDMI cable. The tablet also comes with Google Wallet pre-installed. There’s no rear camera, but Google includes a front facing one that supports HD 720p videos.