We had to resort to some subversive techniques involving a cop from Ottawa, a donkey, and three uncouth janitors to obtain this pre-release Apple Tablet (don’t ask, because we won’t tell). We felt we compromised our morals at first, but we quickly got over it and began tearing this sucker apart.
Apple has completely changed directions since their original press announcement, but the new hardware we got is actually much improved in a number of ways.
Apple definitely snuck away some interesting tidbits inside — things they didn’t want people to know prior to release. Initially we thought the battery was going to be difficult to take out, but boy were we wrong!
You can also check out the video slideshow of our teardown!
- The tablet has a user-replaceable battery! You can use Apple’s proprietary battery pack, or you can just buy four AA alkaline batteries if you’re on the go.
- Contrary to Apple’s published specification, the tablet we got measures in at 1.1 x 4.7 x 8.3 inches, and weighs a svelte 1.4 lbs. It’s a bit smaller and lighter than Apple is advertising, but definitely thicker.
- After much (careful) wiggling and prying, the rear case lifts right off the tablet. Apple has made a complete about-face, making their new tablet the most user-serviceable device they’ve released in over a decade.
- This machine is much more expandable than anticipated. It has TWO Type II PC Card slots!
- The single 8 Ohm, .3 W speaker provides only mono sound. You can’t really expect stereo, especially with this kind of economy.
- Major players on the board include big wins for Sharp, DEC, and Cirrus Logic.
- Each chip has 4 MB of mask ROM, for a grand total of 8 MB of mask ROM! Shocking!
- The reverse of the mask ROM board looks to have space for four more chips. Looks like Apple’s planning to roll out incremental upgrades yet again.
- There is a spot on the front of the unit where a camera could be implemented perfectly. We wonder why it wasn’t included, as well as what Apple has in store for next decade.
Opening the back cover
Removing the logic board