New 9.7-Inch iPad Teardown: Is This Just Another iPad Air From the Inside?

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Mar 30, 2017
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Apple is not known for announcing cheaper products, but with the $329 9.7-inch iPad 2017, it looks like the company might be looking into other strategies to revive the tablet market. However, with the base model being priced at $329, there were obviously some trade-offs that the tech giant had to make in order to sell you the slate at this price. Fortunately, the dexterous crew at iFixit managed to get their hands on a unit, revealing some very interesting things about the product.

New 9.7-Inch iPad Is Very Difficult to Repair and it Looks Like the Innards Are Near-Identical to the iPad Air

During the teardown process, iFixit revealed that the slate looks very similar to the original iPad Air from the inside. In the image posted below, it has been detailed that the iPad Air features a bigger Wi-Fi module as opposed to the 2017 iPad. Other than that, the slates have virtually no differences between them. Even with its $329 base price tag, Apple is attempting to make this product difficult to repair as the repairability score came to 2 out of 10. What this means is that some parts of the slate are easy to remove and repair or replace, while others are a complete nightmare.

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The conclusion from iFixit has been detailed below regarding which parts were difficult to remove and which ones weren’t:

“The LCD is easy to remove once the front panel is separated from the iPad.

The battery is not soldered to the logic board. We’ll give it that.

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Just like in previous iPads, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass during a repair.

Gobs of adhesive hold everything in place. As with its Air 1 predecessor, this ranks among the most difficult battery removal procedures we’ve seen in an iPad.

The LCD has foam sticky tape adhering it to the front panel, increasing chances of it being shattered during disassembly.

You can’t access the front panel’s connector until you remove the LCD.”

Other details revealed in the teardown mention 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a 32.9Whr battery (8,827mAh) being parts of the hardware specifications. We are assuming that these were some of the contributions why the iPad’s price tag starts at $329, but honestly, we were expecting at least 3GB of RAM.

After finding out several things about the slate, would you still want to purchase it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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