Motorola Xoom Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

The Motorola Xoom is the first android tablet powered by Google's newest OS, Android 3.0 "Honeycomb." Follow along as we peek inside this scrumptious (see what we did there...) device and devour all the delicious bits of information we can gather.

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Edit Step 1 Motorola Xoom Teardown  ¶ 

  • *Fanfare* Ladies and gentlemen, we present the Motorola Xoom tablet with Android 3.0 "Honeycomb."

  • Geared as the first true rival to Apple's iPad, the Motorola Xoom runs on Verizon's 3G (soon to be 4G LTE) network and is offered in a WWAN/Wi-Fi combo only.

  • Tech Specs:

    • 1 GHz Cortex-A9 Dual-Core Processor

    • 5.0 MP rear-facing camera with HD video recording and a 2.0 MP front-facing web cam

    • Up to 32 GB of on-board storage.

    • 10.1", WXGA 720p (1280 x 800) display.

    • 3G connectivity, with optional upgrade to 4G LTE

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The Xoom features a 5 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front-facing camera. At least for now, Motorola's got Apple clocked in the tablet camera arena.

  • A dummy SIM card is included in the Xoom, with the inscription "Replace with SIM only after 4G upgrade."

  • Verizon's 4G LTE network requires a SIM card, so not every Verizon device will have 4G. Right now the list of compatible devices is very short: the Motorola Xoom and the still-unreleased HTC Thunderbolt.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The Xoom features a widescreen 1280 x 800 LCD, compared to the iPad's more traditional 1024 x 768 LCD.

  • According to Motorola, the Xoom weighs 730 grams, exactly the same as the iPad 3G, although the Xoom is noticeably thicker.

    • We make comparisons to the iPad ad nauseum, but it's hard not to when it is such a clear front-runner in the tablet market...for now.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Moving right along, lets get this thing open!

  • Two T5 Torx screws located near the Micro USB and Micro-HDMI ports secure the rear case to the Xoom.

  • Like a sliding glass door, the rear case slides off part way, and we get our first peek at what makes this tablet tick.

  • Major props to Motorola here. For the first time we didn't need any prying tools to get into a tablet.

  • Unfortunately, the rear panel of the Xoom will only slide so far until two catch clips impede our progress. At this point what appears to be the Wi-Fi module can easily be removed. This card will probably be replaced should you ever choose to send your Xoom to Motorola for a 4G LTE upgrade.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • A trusty spudger helped us release the clips securing the rear panel, and we continued tearing this device apart.

  • Unfortunately, what at first seemed like user-friendliness appeared to merely be foresight on the part of Xoom developers to make the device easy for Motorola techs to upgrade.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • After disconnecting the volume button ribbon cable and removing two screws, the top portion of the upper case lifts off.

  • This case component houses the power button, LED diffuser, camera port, and speaker grills.

  • The two-piece rear case design is a unique choice by Motorola, and makes accessibility and replacement of the inner components much more feasible.

    • While the larger lower portion is made of aluminum, the upper part is made of plastic.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The battery is held in by ten T6 Torx screws, with yet another two T5 Torx screws just to hold down the unique battery connector. This, of course, poses no problem to our 54-piece bit driver kit.

  • The 3250 mAh, 24.1 watt-hour lithium ion polymer battery boasts a healthy 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and video playback, and a massive 3.3 days of MP3 playback.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • At first glance, this appears to be a Wi-Fi board, but wait: there are no chips on it!

  • It appears to be just a mini-PCI interconnect board for the antennas.

  • This board is probably just a place holder for when the 4G upgrade becomes available.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • The 5MP rear-facing camera doesn't appear to be anything special, but certainly nice enough to record some HD videos.

  • With the 2MP front-facing camera, you can chat over Google Talk with Video Chat to anyone with a Gmail account.

  • Unlike Motorola's other recent device, the Atrix, both cameras are connected to the motherboard by separate cables. You won't have to replace a ton of other stuff should just your camera fail.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remember those 3.3 days of MP3 playback we mentioned? Well this is one of the two speakers that provides the sweet music to your ears.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • The Xoom's antennas seem to be wrapped along the outer edge of the case.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • A few Torx screws and ribbon cables later, and it's time to get to work on the motherboard!

  • Now we begin the daunting task of trying to remove the EMI shields to reveal all that IC goodness.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Front side of the motherboard (here's the gigantic version):

    • Broadcom BCM4329 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and FM Tuner. There's also a Broadcom BCM4750 Single-Chip AGPS (located nearest the top right corner).

    • Hynix H8BCSOQG0MMR 2-chip memory MCP

    • AKM 8975 Electronic Compass

    • Qualcomm MDM6600 supporting HSPA+ speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps

    • Nvidia Tegra T2 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and ultra-low power GeForce GPU.

    • Texas Instruments 54331 Step Down SWIFT DC/DC Converter with Eco-Mode

    • Samsung K4P4G154EC DRAM

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Major players on the back side of the motherboard (gigantic version):

    • Qualcomm PM8028 RF Power Management IC

    • Atmel TINY45 8-bit RISC-based Microcontroller with 4KB in-system programmable flash

    • Toshiba THGBM2G8D8FBAIB 32GB eMMC NAND Flash

    • Kionix KXTF9 MEMS Motion Sensing Accelerometer

    • ST Ericsson CPCAP 2.2TC22 DC Power Management

      • According to Chipworks, the CPCAP 2.2TC22 is a single chip SoC that integrates analog and mixed signal functions, including power management, energy management, audio, and interfaces.

      • Check out the die photo of the CPCAP 2.2TC22, courtesy of Chipworks.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • There are 17 [!] screws holding the front panel to the magnesium framework.

    • We didn't explicitly test the metallurgical nature of the framework, but we are pretty sure it's magnesium.

  • After a little bit of prying, the front panel separates from the rest of the display assembly -- a refreshing change from some other popular devices. Although to be completely fair, Apple's iPad also doesn't have an LCD fused to the front glass.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • The touchscreen controller is an Atmel mXT1386, a 4-chip controller designed for touchscreens up to 15.6". It supports as many as 15 distinct inputs.

    • This is a large application version of the mXT224 touchscreen controller used in the Motorola Atrix.

    • The mXT1386 is Atmel's largest application touchscreen controller. The next smallest handles screen sizes up to 10.1", suggesting that this one was designed specifically for devices like the Xoom.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Motorola Xoom tablet Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • There's no proprietary screws or fasteners in the machine -- everything comes out with a spudger and a couple of Torx screwdrivers.

    • LCD and front panel glass are not fused together. That's great news for folks unfortunate enough to drop their Xooms and crack their glass.

    • Individual components (like the cameras) are separately attached to the motherboard, allowing each component to be replaced on an individual basis.

    • By our count, there are 57 screws in the Xoom, of either the T5 or T7 Torx variety.

    • Everything is accessible but somewhat inconvenient to repair -- there's just a lot of labor involved with removing that many screws.

Required Tools

Spudger

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T7 Torx Screwdriver

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T5 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Those circuit boards look like Flyover, Nevada. Any thoughts why Moto designs its internals the opposite of Apple's every-square (and cubic)-millimeter matters approach?

Walt French, · Reply

Two T5 Torx screws located near the Micro USB and Micro-HDMI ports secure the rear case to the Xoom

I messed up by attempting to place the sd card in not realizing that there was a dummy. The SD card fell somewhere inside. I attempted to remove the case using the T5 screwdriver but the the screws don't turn. Have you encountered that problem? Must I use more pressure? nabarnes@aol.com. Thanks

nathaniel barnes, · Reply

After I replaced digitizer, the Xoom will only turn on and function when plugged in. When charger is removed it immediately turns off. Why is this happening??? Battery?

Austin Harris, · Reply

I'd be very curious to see how much the weight of the Xoom could be reduced by carefully reviewing the mounting points pictured and then drilling a lot of holes in it metal. Probably safe the assume the majority of the weight is battery and metal housing.

Jason Altenbaugh, · Reply

Now, is there any way we can switch out the non-standard power plug with the industry standard 3.3 mm coax plug? EIAJ-4 (D)

MetricCook, · Reply

hello damage the sim card reader motorola xoom my 2 and want to know if there is a spare the reader or if I should buy the whole piece. Thanks

Leonardo Acosta, · Reply

It's micro-HDMI, not mini-HDMI.

Tibor Fejes, · Reply

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