Cheap tablets are the consumer electronics equivalent of candy bars stacked at a check-out stand—ready and waiting to be your next impulse buy. This makes these tablets prime Black Friday sale fodder. So how do you find a great deal but avoid making a purchase that will prematurely join the piling mountains of e-waste?
Every tinkerer is an accidental environmentalist. Every fixer is waging an unwitting war against waste. Even if you repair just because you’d like to save money, even if you fix just because you enjoy it—when you fix something, you’re engaged in a small act that has much larger ecological significance. So says the President and CEO of outdoor clothing company Patagonia.
The iPad Pro accessories are making Apple history—the first official iPad stylus, and now the first official iPad keyboard. We’ve seen inside an iPad Smart Cover and several Apple keyboards—but we never expected the twain would meet. As the Smart Keyboard is completely glued together and covered in fabric, we pretty well knew the score going in—but what would we find inside? By the time we finished carving, our turkey of a teardown served up loads of layers and some fun fabrics. Take a look!
We all know a trusty No. 2 Pencil is full of graphite (not lead) but just what’s powering the Apple Pencil? Apple’s super snazzy stylus finally landed on our teardown table and we had to bust out the rotary tool to get it open. First impressions? It’s pretty neat how much clever tech they were able to cram into such a teensy cavity. But fixers and hackers beware: this device was not meant to be repaired or opened—you can’t get in without destroying it.
Fairphone wanted to make their second, in-house designed phone the most ethical, repairable phone on the European market. They even asked us for design feedback to get the Fairphone 2 up to a 10/10 for repair. Spoiler alert: they nailed it! Their phone doesn’t just top our repairability scale, it also has all the trappings of a modern smartphone: large touchscreen display, standardized ports, expandable storage, and a lighter, slim design.
Good news, everyone! The Federal Communications Commission just clarified that it has no intention of locking down your devices. The announcement comes after the FCC proposed new rules for routers (and other devices that emit radio frequencies) earlier this year. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking met with significant resistance from actual users of said devices.
Ever wondered what it takes to tear down the latest devices? Well, it ain’t all guts and tech dissection glory. Our more complicated teardowns can take dozens of people, hundreds of man hours, and gallons of highly caffeinated beverages to produce. To give you a glimpse of the process, we sent iFixit’s resident video guru—Jairo Valencia—to Melbourne, Australia for the last iPhone release. He followed our teardown engineers as they stripped the hotly-anticipated iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to pieces.
Glory, hallelujah! Today, we disassembled the first recyclable iPad. Recyclability is an economic term—a device is only really recyclable if the recoverable materials are valuable enough to cover the costs of taking it apart. The iPad’s historically huge, glue-slathered battery made it a burden rather than a boon for recyclers. With pull-out adhesive tabs, we were able to remove the battery from the iPad Pro in record time—with no embarrassing, sticky residue. Recycling win meets repair win.
9-year-old Katie is a bit heartbroken. You see, Katie has a pet robotic dog, called Zoomer—and Katie is very attached to her little robo-dalmatian. Like real dogs, Zoomer is capable of learning tricks, wagging his tail, barking, and rolling over on command. Zoomer even wanders off and “pees” in the corner when you’re not paying enough attention to him (that scamp!). Except, lately, Zoomer hasn’t been doing much of anything. He’s broken. Time to figure out how to repair this little dog.
On Monday, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens will participate in a round table discussion with Representative Bob Goodlatte, Members of the House Judiciary, and other stakeholders to discuss the future of US copyright law. The listening session is part of an ongoing effort by the House Judiciary Committee to reassess the intersection between copyright law, ownership rights, and modern technology.
Old playlists are instant time capsules. Rediscovering an old playlist is like digging into the sedimentary layers of your past—an emotional excavation, track by track. Ah yes, that’s what it felt like to be me back then. Of course, there are way fewer CDs and mix-tapes in circulation now than in the days of my misspent youth. We’re digital playlist people now. And it’s a lot harder to rediscover your old music if your playlist is trapped in a broken device.
Once upon a time, Microsoft shared with the world their first ever notebook, the Surface Book. Of course, we took it apart. Here’s where the plot twist comes in: the motherboard sprawls across the entire chassis, and it’s upside-down. Meaning smooth-side up, connectors-and-chips-side down. We assume this was meant to provide support to the larger-than-usual display. It also means getting most anything out requires getting everything out. Now that’s a sad ending.