Monday, September 17, 2012

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Teardown

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Teardown:

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD, in pieces, after an iFixit teardown. Photo: iFixit

The teardown pros at iFixit have disassembled the Kindle Fire HD and found that it’s a simply designed, easily repairable tablet made with mostly off-shelf-parts and only a few custom components.
Still, iFixit scores the Fire HD as slightly less repairable than the original Fire tablet, with a 7 out of 10 score (10 being the easiest to repair), down from last year’s Fire’s 8 out of 10 score. The Fire HD’s iFixit score matches that of the Nexus 7, our preferred 7-inch tablet.
Two unique items iFixit found inside the Fire HD are a metal enclosure on the battery (likely there to prevent any electrical damage to nearby internals and to add some structural support) and a custom plastic frame for the tablet’s dual-speaker set-up. Most everything is easy to access, remove and replace once the rear case is popped off using a “plastic opening tool.”

Even the battery comes out easily, despite the shield, since there are no adhesives to hold it in place. Amazon secures it with just four Phillips #00 screws and one T5 Torx screw. Like most phones and tablets, the battery was the largest component inside of the Fire HD, followed by the motherboard. Holding the motherboard in place is a piece of copper tape that, while easy to remove, is difficult to re-adhere, according to iFixit.

The inside of Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD is dominated by its battery, which is held in place by four Phillips #00 screws and one lonely T5 Torx screw, but no adhesive. Photo: iFixit
“With some careful work with a razor blade we were able to peel up the copper tape covering the main processor,” iFixit said in its teardown. “The copper tape allows the processor to dissipate heat, but is more problematic to remove than a good ol’ fashioned heat sink.”
Taking a page from Apple’s hard-to-repair book of design, the Fire HD’s beautiful 1280 x 800 LCD display is “fused to the front glass and plastic frame, meaning you’ll have to replace both components together,” iFixit said. This move undoubtedly helped the Fire HD reach its 10.3-millimeter thinness, albeit while sacrificing reparability.
In another space-saving move, Amazon placed the Fire HD’s CPU under its 1GB of RAM — a design trick seen on the first Fire tablet. Interestingly enough, Amazon clocks the new tablet’s processor at 1.2 GHz, but iFixit reports that Texas Instruments clocks the OMAP 4460 dual-core processor at 1.5 GHz. Regardless, the dual-core chipset is a step up from the first Fire’s single-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor, which is a lower-powered version of the Fire HD’s dual-core processor.

Removing the Kindle Fire HD’s custom dual-speaker setup. Photo: iFixit
Amazon Kindle Fire HD Teardown [iFixit]

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