You may have seen those super cool kids, effortlessly gliding around the supermarket while you’re stuck walking the produce section—like a chump. You may have thought to yourself, “Should I get one of those highly advanced, futuristic wheeled-transport platforms? And if I do, will it spontaneously combust, as I’ve seen so many times on YouTube?” Yeah, we were curious too. So we teamed up with The Wirecutter and Ken Shirriff to take a hoverboard apart.
We’ve seen a lot of unprecedented Apple products this year—a smartwatch, an extra large iPad, even an iPad stylus and keyboard. So it shouldn’t really surprise us that Apple released an external battery case for the iPhone—the Smart Battery Case. We’re not expecting much in terms of repairability, but we definitely want to see what’s inside. Time for a teardown.
Valve traditionally operates in the realm of PC gaming—the last true bastion of upgradability and modularity—and it looks like this attitude carried over to this smaller package. A screwdriver, prying tool, and pair of hands were more than enough to unwrap our little gift. All in all, the Steam Controller impressed us, scoring an 8 out of 10 on our repairability scale.
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.
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.
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.
The Nexus 6P is the first Huawei-produced Google phone: the industrial design contains hallmarks of established brands, and almost approaches Apple-level luxury. While the internal components are not as sleek and slim, they aren’t a haphazard mess either. Unfortunately, Huawei’s over-engineering makes the phone a tough nut to crack; the bear of an opening procedure puts the 6P on our personal nopelist.
October is almost Octover. To ease your sorrow of fall’s swift passing, we bring you good news from our Surface Pro 4 teardown—slightly less obnoxious adhesive. We’d like to think that we had something to do with Microsoft’s move toward openability (we’ve been critical of the Surfaces-of-yore), but really it just makes sense—even without our goading. With configurations costing up to $2600, this shouldn’t be a throwaway device.
All Hallow’s Eve is just around the corner and things have been a lil’ spooky around here. A few days ago, we tore down Apple’s refreshed 21.5″ iMac. It looks scary-similar to the new Retina 4K. So similar, in fact, that lots of people thought that it was the Retina 4K. But fear not, no doppelgängers here; today we’re dismembering the good-looking twin—the iMac 21.5″ Retina 4K.