Nexus 7 2nd Generation Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

Heads up, Nexus 7's up! We didn't get enough Google this morning with the Chromecast, so we're back at it tearing into the second iteration of Google's Nexus 7 tablet. Without even allowing our spudgers time to cool down, we eagerly dove into the deep, dark depths of the newest tablet.

We're tearing down devices faster than molasses in January, and misquoting idioms like it's everybody's business. So don't miss out: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook will keep you in proximity of the crazies that create these teardowns!

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Edit Step 1 Nexus 7 2nd Generation Teardown  ¶ 

  • Seven tech specs about the Nexus 7? Sure, we can do that!

    • 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro S4 processor

    • 7-inch 1920x1200 IPS LCD screen

    • 2 GB of RAM

    • Adreno 320 GPU

    • 5 MP rear-facing camera

    • 1.2 MP front-facing camera

    • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Comparing the second generation Nexus 7 to the first, we notice a drastic change in body type.

  • The second generation (left) is thinner, narrower, and taller than its beefier predecessor, and lacks texture on the rear panel.

  • Other obvious changes include the addition of a rear-facing camera, and an upgrade to stereo sound. There are now three grilles (serving two speakers): two at the base, and one up top.

  • It also appears that while the micro USB port remains in place, the headphone jack has been…transported.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The second round of rejoicing commences as the only tool we need to open this tablet is a plastic opening tool.

    • Goodbye patience, goodbye warped glass, goodbye thermal opening—instant gratification for the win!

  • A warning for Nexus 7 openers out there, our gentle procedure opened a bit of a crack in the rear case.

  • And…we're in, but not surprised. The first glance reveals a huge battery, the standard for tablets these days.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • But wait! There's more? An inductive charging coil?

  • Hats off to the great Tesla, forefather of wireless charging.

  • Although inductive charging has been around for a while, this is the first time we've seen it in a tablet since the HP TouchPad. We're pleased with the trend, as it may help eliminate wires as a source of e-waste in the future. Now, if we could only make batteries infinitely rechargable...

  • The NFC Module is layered on top of the inductive charging coil.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Time to set our trusty connector-seeking spudger loose to free the battery from its bonds.

  • Seals cover two of the screws in the Nexus 7—one on each of the main boards—so replacing either board will likely void your warranty.

    • We consulted Seal seal, our seal expert, and gave us the seal of approval to proceed. He concluded that our teardown was more important than our warranty.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • The battery tray comes out, no problem.

  • The tray is held in place by only a few screws (yay!), but the battery is secured to the tray with pretty sticky adhesive (boo!).

  • The battery is rated at 3.8 V, 15 Wh, 3950 mAh, with a charging voltage of 4.35 V and is made by Celxpert Industrial.

  • Despite the 4326 mAh battery of the original Nexus 7, this new generation boasts an extra hour of battery life. Devices with lower power consumption give more bang for the ecological-impact buck, so it's definitely a nice trend.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • It's time for the daughterboard to leave the nest; seals can't hold her captive forever. The board houses a single IC nested among the connectors.

    • ELAN eKTH325BAWS, which we guess to be the capacitive touchpad controller from ELAN's eKT line.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Flushed with teardown fever, we pluck the motherboard from the casing, as well.

  • The front- and rear-facing cameras are easy pickings.

  • If you happen to see bigfoot and need to take a picture with your new Nexus 7, you'll be getting a 5 MP image.

    • For selfies, you only get 1.2 MP.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • The hardware powering this nifty trick of a tablet:

    • Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad-Core CPU (includes the Adreno 320 GPU)

    • Elpida J4216EFBG 512 MB DDR3L SDRAM (four ICs for 2 GB total)

    • Analogix ANX7808 SlimPort Transmitter

    • Texas Instruments BQ51013B Inductive Charging Controller

    • Qualcomm Atheros WCN3660 WLAN a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (BR/EDR+BLE), and FM Radio Module

    • SK Hynix H26M52003EQR 16 GB eMMC NAND Flash

    • Qualcomm PM8921 Quick Charge Battery Management IC

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • The updated speakers come out next.

  • What do we know about these speakers?

    • They're stereo.

    • They sound cool.

    • They are labeled DN17128L000.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Here we find the rear of the front panel, home to the Wi-Fi antennas.

  • We take small steps and find wireless frequencies are made possible by contacts to the outside universe.

  • What does the universe say?

    • ME571K_WIFI_3DC

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Nexus 7 2nd Generation Repairability Score: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

  • The rear case is very easy to open, and requires minimal prying effort with a plastic opening tool to remove... But we cracked it, even though we were quite careful during the opening procedure.

  • All fasteners inside are Phillips screws—no security or proprietary screws here.

  • While the battery enclosure is easy to remove, some patient spudgering will be necessary to peel the battery off the tray.

  • The front glass is adhered to the display frame, meaning you'll need a heat gun to get the LCD out—or replace the whole front panel.

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Spudger

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Plastic Opening Tools

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Comments Comments are onturn off

You say this is the first inductive charging plate you've seen in a tablet, but the HP Touchpad must have one in order to use the HP's Touchstone® charger.

William Lampert, · Reply

One of the surprises I had was the the original Nexus7 did not have a microphone-in as the 4-th? ring on the Headphone Jack so that there was no convenient way to use an external microphone to get louder/more directional... sound into the Nexus7, did you check to see if this had been "fixed" in the Nexus7.1?

Also, by the lack of any comments, I assume that there were no other ports in the 7.1 system, but that I have heard that there is some way to drive a HDMI display via hardware connection?

Mike Liveright, · Reply

1st inductive charging coil in a tablet? Have you never seen the HP Touchpad? I haven't plugged my Touchpad in for over a year or more... I use the HP Touchstone inductive charger...I just set it there and it charges...LOVE IT! But the Nexus 7 is NOT the first one to use it...

Jim, · Reply

what about the 4g LTE chip- who makes that?

notforeme, · Reply

The ghost of christmas future.

Brandon Berhent,

Headphone or headset jack? I want my mic in.

Jaq zez, · Reply

I am quite concerned about the wireless charging affecting this devices microwaveability, I will cautiously test and report back.

Ding Patel, · Reply

I have now tested this devices microwaveability, and can confirm the wireless charging does seem to produce some undesirable effects, buth with the N7 itself, and also with my microwave oven, which put on a short lived but impressive light show, and is now, I presume in some sort of "safe mode" is sitting there with all lights off, and some type of smokey stuff wafting from its vents.

The N7 is, at present, failing to boot, I imagine this is as a direct result of the wireless charging coil being submitted to microwave radiation.

I am presently making an adaptor lead so I can try to " jump start" the device from the mains electrical supply.

If successful I may market the leads.

I will report back

r

Ding Patel, · Reply

One question: are the WCN3660 FM pins grounded?

Erick Garcia, · Reply

I hope so, it costs nothing...waiting for someone that tests radio FM capability.

Enrico Tomaello,

What DAC is it using?

David Gerryts, · Reply

Any information on the location of a sensor that triggers the sleep/wake function using a case with a magnet? Want to add a magnet to an existing case.

Duane, · Reply

I thought it might have part of the circuit in Step 7 but now I wonder if its attached to the screen circuitry. Nonetheless I have calculated the magnetic sensor to be in the bottom left corner, if you are facing the screen in portrait. I am not sure if it is supposed to work by default but for it to work for me I had to install Magnet Screen Lock app. Handily the app will also tell you the strength of the magnetic field detected by the sensor.

Cas,

Great! I just got my tablet and I love it. I want to get the first case from here do you think it is any good?

http://rozalex.hubpages.com/hub/New-Nexu...

shastipet, · Reply

The "old" Nexus 7 also has stereo sound. Both speakers are behind the grille at the bottom.

When you hold the grille in in front of you you can hear stereo sound.

spaarclix, · Reply

HP Touchpad had one, did you not tear it down?

joker unm, · Reply

The inductive charging in tablets had been implemented in HP Touchpad years (two, precisely) ago. WHY YOU'RE LYING?

evgsyr, · Reply

Really cool! Like wireless charging!!

Hope it like Generation 1 to support OTG, then we can extand its storage with Mini MicroSD Carder reader like:

http://goo.gl/U6IyY

http://goo.gl/lfEXI

jgfei, · Reply

Btw, what size is the coil? Thanks.

jgfei, · Reply

I find wireless charging to be rather useless, a con instead of a pro. First of all, doesn't the base need it's own wire? It does. But instead of removing the wire, which could simply go directly inside the phone, it also adds one more device on your desk. So I don't see how does it really help, especially since is not as optimized as wired charging.

The best solution, I think, is the charger that uses a usb cable. The charger is smaller than the wireless base (basically a small brick these days), and the removable cable can be used for data transfer, therefore eliminating the need for one more cable. As it is now, wireless charging is not really wireless unless it charges the phone no matter where it is in a given range. 50 meters, for example? Have it in the kitchen, select "charge" on-screen, and it charges from a base situated in the living-room. Untill then, this is just another fancy trend without much use.

Stefan Constantin Dumitrache, · Reply

You say "The NFC Module is layered on top of the inductive charging coil." Where exactly? On top of??? Is it evident in the pictures? Could you highlight it please?

Are those 4 round things in pictures 2 & 3 magnets??

edgoldsmith2, · Reply

It shreds as you remove it from the tablet itself

Nick, · Reply

Hi editor, you forgot the Broadcom 20793M NFC Controller!

006jht, · Reply

Hello guys, thanks for the great job. But what GPS chip does it have?

koekto, · Reply

Does FM radio work?

Marcis Buhholcs, · Reply

Yeah does the FM radio module work???? Also where is the WiFi antenna?

Kenny Bateman, · Reply

What's audio chip name?

Son Pham, · Reply

Guys, where is the GPS antenna?

bartgrosemans, · Reply

After tearing down the entire tablet, I had gotten to the final step of removing the glass from the display frame. The tutorial says "The front glass is adhered to the display frame, meaning you'll need a heat gun to get the LCD out". This single step took much longer to do than the rest of the tear down combined. The adhesive that is used to secure the glass to the display frame is shockingly strong. I used the heat gun and you really need heat resistant gloves to be able to hold the metal frame after it's been heated up. Not only that, as brittle as the screen is, it just shattered every time I made any progress. This tutorial doesn't say anything about needing double sided adhesive but after finally removing all of the old glass off of the frame, the adhesive was gone. So, if you are going to remove the glass from the frame, be aware that it will not come off easy AND after it does come off, you will need adhesive to fix it to the frame.

Brett Wertz, · Reply

Did you happen to take photos or document this process? I didn't realize that I would have been better off getting the whole assembly and wound up getting only the glass for christmas. I was hoping for some better documentation of this step.

Cody Stamps,

does the n7/2 has gorilla ? it doesn't appear so because my n7 2 had a scratch with the slightest of scractch

KMeronq tEe, · Reply

To add to the glass replacement comments..... do not attempt to do this if you are not a professional who has done glass replacement before (and willing to take the loss if you screw it up)... The plastic on the bezel actually has a LOWER heat tolerance than the glue that holds the glass to it. Which means you're going to warp/damage the bezel and likely the wifi/LTE antennas also just trying to get the glass off.

Also, the guide is misleading when it says you'll just replace the whole thing. You CANNOT order a replacement bezel for the 2013 Nexus 7 (wifi OR lte). Since you also cannot separate the glass/LCD without destroying the LCD... you have to buy the glass/LCD as a combo, AND you have to hope like heck you don't damage the bezel with the heat gun.

Best advice: Repairability of ZERO on the glass would have been a better rating.

Alvin Brinson, · Reply

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