Nook Tablet Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

When it rains (gadgets), it pours (gadgets). We've seen a lot of neat devices come out in the past few weeks and have managed to get our hands on B&N's response to the Kindle Fire: the Nook Tablet. Join us as we dig in to see what the newest tablet has in store for us.

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Tools (continued)
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Edit Step 1 Nook Tablet Teardown  ¶ 

  • We present to you the Nook Tablet, the only tablet (other than the Nook Color) cool enough to have a carabiner clip built into it. But what's this? It also has other cool features:

    • 1 GHz Dual-Core Processor

    • 1 GB of RAM

    • Up to 48 GB of storage (16 GB internal)

    • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Connectivity

    • Custom OS (based on Android)

    • Carabiner clip (this is not a spec, but come on...it's a carabiner clip!)

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Scanning the sides of the Nook, we are able to locate the headphone jack at the top as well as volume buttons on the side… where's yours, Fire?

  • The Nook has its microSD slot stashed away under a magnetic cover next to the carabiner clip. This could make changing your SD card while rock climbing a bit difficult if you're using the Nook as a tie point.

  • While we're on the subject of space, let us consider the "16 GB" of internal storage that Barnes & Noble advertises. If you read the fine print, you'll see that only 12 GB of that is usable for content, and only 1 GB of that can come from outside the B&N app store. If you want to put your own content on your Nook, you'll have to use a microSD card.

  • The two small circles by the microSD slot may look like harmless aesthetic pieces, or even buttons, but they actually house insidious screws.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Setting the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet side by side, we see that the Nook is just about a 1/2" longer than the Fire. Perhaps this is the result of a bulkier case to accommodate the awesome carabiner clip? Or maybe to squeeze in that extra 512 MB of RAM?

  • The Nook opted to have its micro-USB port fly solo on the bottom, unlike the Fire, which also placed its catch-all button and head phone jack alongside the port.

  • Hold that pose, fellas. Yep, just what we thought: the rounded sides of the Nook are deceptive. Even though it looks skinnier than the Fire, it's actually a hair pudgier. The Fire measures in at .45", but the Nook is .03 inches thicker, at a mind-blowing .48"!

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • The Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire both look like tabula rasas next to the BlackBerry PlayBook with all its ports and logos.

  • Though it's been out since April, the PlayBook boasts the same processor and RAM as the Nook Tablet in a similar package (7" multi-touch display, custom OS, native app store). Unlike the Kindle and Nook, though, BlackBerry promised a more complete tablet experience and included front and rear cameras on the PlayBook. Needless to say, the device never really caught on with consumers.

  • The question begs to be asked: was BlackBerry seven months early to the party, or are the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet ultimately doomed to the same fate as the PlayBook?

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Removal of those sneaky screws and a little prying allow the case halves to be separated, revealing the battery and a large EMI shield.

  • A few twist of our Torx T5 and a bit more prying free the front bezel from a sticky situation.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • A pair of adhesive strips refuse to let the battery go. Fortunately, we at iFixit are masters of removal.

  • The 3.7 V, 4000 mAh battery provides an advertised 11.5 hours of reading time, which easily beats the Kindle Fire's 8 hours.

  • Even though the battery says the model is "NOOKCOLOR," the Nook Tablet's battery life is 3.5 hours longer than that of the Nook Color.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • A bit more digging and we were able to unearth the following components:

    • Power button assembly

    • Volume buttons assembly

    • A lonely speaker assembly

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • A little wiggling and out comes the picture frame motherboard. Let's see who we're dealing with:

    • SanDisk SDIN5C1-16G 16 GB Flash Memory

    • Texas Instruments 6030B107 Fully Integrated Power Management IC

    • Texas Instruments AIC3100 Low-Power Audio Codec With 1.3 W Stereo Class-D Speaker Amplifier

    • Texas Instruments LVDS83B FlatLink 10-135 MHz Transmitter

    • Hynix H9TKNNN8P 1 GB DDR2 RAM

      • This chip likely covers the Texas Instruments OMAP4 1 GHz dual-core processor, just like the Kindle Fire.

    • Kionix KXTF9 Tri-Axis Accelerometer

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • The display in all its squid-like glory. Only one of its appendages catches our eyes though.

  • A closer look at one of the ribbon cables reveals a FocalTech FT5406EE8 Capacitive Touch Panel Controller.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • The label on the display ribbon cables and on the back of the display indicate that it was manufactured by LG.

  • The Nook Tablet's 7" IPS display runs at a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels and produces 16 million colors, just like the Kindle Fire.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Nook Tablet Repairability Score: 6 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • The LCD is not fused to the front panel assembly, making replacement easy, if necessary.

  • Hidden screws prevent removal of rear panel.

  • Excessive amount of adhesive and adhesive strips make disassembly a painfully tedious process.

  • Replacing the battery requires removing the motherboard as well as some serious prying.

  • Components such as the headphone jack, microSD slot, etc. are soldered to the motherboard.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

The Nook Color has Bluetooth hardware that isn't enabled. (A TI WL1271 combo WiFi/Bluetooth chip, according to: http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/nook...) What sort of wireless hardware does the Nook Tablet have? Is there a chance of Bluetooth being enabled by the modding community someday?

steveha, · Reply

I love your site and especially the teardown of the new Nook Tablet. If I may, I would like to correct a statement in your opening of this teardown. You state the Nook Tablet is, “B&N’s response to the Kindle Fire.” Actually, the Kindle Fire is Amazon’s response to the Nook Color which BN release in December 2010.

BN has been driving the market in e-readers since December 2009 when it released its first Nook. At that time, the original Kindle cost $300. Two weeks before the first Nook was released, Amazon lowered the price of the Kindle to $259 to match the price of the first Nook. The first Nook used the standard format for eBooks, EPUB -- which has been around longer than Amazon even knew about e-readers -- and allowed for the side loading of public library books. Kindle didn’t allow for any of that.

In June 2009, BN released the Wi-Fi only Nook priced at $199. By then, BN was having a much larger impact on the sales of Kindle than the media wished to report. Amazon was feeling the heat so the day after the second Nook released, it lowered the price on its Kindles by $10 of the Nooks.

In November 2010, BN released the Nook Color for $249 – again; it used EPUB and allowed public library books to be side loaded. Amazon had nothing like the Nook Color and still required its Kindle owners to only shop and load from the Amazon store.

Sales for BN Nooks continued to soar even more because of its Nook Color, but the media still reported as if everyone was buying Kindle only. Amazon continued to try to make us believe such, yet it was feeling the competition. So, it announced in early 2011 that customers will be able to put public library books on its Kindles later in the year. I wondered how that would work; would Amazon start using EPUB?

In the fall of 2011, Amazon announced this new change for its Kindles but they still would not use the EPUB format. The announcement made it appear that any public library book could be side loaded to a Kindle. Not true. Kindle can only access books from public libraries that use Overdrive! And, the customer still has to get the library books on the Kindle via the Amazon store. Control is everything in Amazon’s world.

In August 2011, Consumer Reports did a new study for e-readers. It rated the then new Nook Simple Touch ($139) number one in e-readers. The ST is a touch screen e-ink reader. There was still no Kindle on the market that had a touch screen.

Continuing to feel the heat, Amazon finally announced the Kindle Fire in November 2011 (does not support EPUB). And, they announced the Kindle touch screen e-ink reader (they also get rid of their ugly external keyboard).

I hope now you understand why I claim that BN is driving the market in e-reader tablets. And, Amazon continues its frantic race to catch-up to BN. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is an attempt to answer BN’s Nook Color. But, still a year too late, Amazon has to play catch-up to BN’s Nook Tablet.

Bob Reece, · Reply

The Nook tablet replacement screens are available at bcdelectrostore and thanks ifixit for this repair guide

bob harris, · Reply

my Nook(original Nook Tablet) won't recharge I am almost certain it is the USB ports fault within the unit. Even if I get it apart successfully, would that be a surface mount part?(if I could find it) At this point I would not mind having a cord attached inside the Nook and hanging out. I have gone through three cord that brok and just bought a Gormadic cord that is suppose to work, but doesn't work.

Mike Kennedy, · Reply

How did you get the screws out? The head looks totally smooth and flat in the picture. Did you have to grind in a slot or glue something to it?

Kevin Lepard, · Reply

Assuming it's like the Nook Color, those are just plastic stickers over regular Torx T5 screws. Not quite as "insidious" as some have suggested.

cityzen,

The similarities with the original Nook Color are remarkable. Aside from the general physical layout of everything, note the unpopulated WAN radio area, the unpopulated 6x6 BGA area next to the flash chip, as well as the white/pink wetness sensor pads. New on this model is what looks like a mini or micro USB connector that could go to the WAN radio. There's also a mystery J802 near the power switch connector.

cityzen, · Reply

I would like to see a close up of the wifi chip, or at least a part number, too fuzzy to make out in the picture. it's in the enclosure above the ram and lcd driver (teal and magenta)

Jon Allen, · Reply

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