PlayStation 3 Slim Teardown!

August 26, 2009 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

We have just taken apart the new PlayStation 3 Slim!

Sony clearly took cooling very seriously with this machine, which is quite easy to take apart but requires special security-bit Torx screwdrivers to dismantle.

We made a video of the result as well. Feel free to check it out on YouTube!

Highlights from the teardown:

* Sony stuck with a lot of the same chip manufacturers as the original PlayStation 3. We were expecting them to shift suppliers more, especially with commodity components like Apple has done.

* The upgraded 120 GB drive is a Toshiba-manufactured, 5400 RPM standard notebook SATA drive.

* The interior of the device is dominated by the fan, heatsink, and desktop computer-sized Blu-ray drive.

* The fan is an innovative design, with a massive 95mm diameter and whopping 17 blades!

* Sony used a Marvell Ethernet controller, Panasonic HDMI controller, and their own Sony-branded AV multi-out controller.

* The design aesthetic of this machine is a bit more bare-bones-functional than Apple’s, but is still beautiful in its own way.

* It’s evident that Sony’s chief design focus was effective heat dissipation. Sony used a large piece of custom molded plastic to route air from the fan over the heatsink. Time will tell how successful they were.

* This PS3 feels quite rugged. The plastic is stiff and high-quality, and the machine is very easy to service once you have the right Torx screwdriver.

Some pictures from the teardown:

Taking out the logic board

Taking out the logic board

The Cell processor

The Cell processor

Fixin’ iFixit

August 20, 2009 Events, Site News — Miro

After developing them in secret for the past two months, on Monday night we launched a redesigned main page and parts store. We investigated and optimized every detail of the customer experience, with the knowledge that users all over the world will be accessing our content.

We built our own cart a while ago, and it’s received great reviews from customers and the press. But, we’ve learned a lot about our customers’ needs since then, and we thought we could improve several areas. With this redesign we’ve implemented dozens of suggestions and made some of our own improvements. Our number one customer comment was how awkward the mouse-over category navigation was on the left side of the site. We nixed it in favor of an easier-to-use, model-oriented navigation structure (which also works on the iPhone!). As happy as we are about that, though, it’s only one of a bunch of changes that we’re excited about.

Here are a few of the new features we’ve implemented on the main page:

  • Global search. Searching for a term such as “iPod” will now bring up all matching products, repair manuals, and discussions. You can sort through a specific document type, or you can browse through our entire site at the same time!
  • Navigation hub. The main page now links to the Parts Store, Repair Manuals, Teardowns, and Discussion forums. You can navigate to any of these pages by clicking on the appropriate icon at the top of the site.
  • Streamlined checkout process. It’s a much cleaner and more intuitive process than before. Try it out!
  • Speed. We’ve made hundreds of improvements to our server architecture, improving page load times across the board. Browsing iFixit should be fast.

Here’s our new main page:

We also changed the parts store website completely. In an effort to help our customers find the right parts for their devices, we’ve moved to a model-number-based approach. Once we know your model number, we can guarantee that every part we show you will work in your device. But what if you don’t know your model number? We still have category navigation on the right, as well as a site-wide search that puts products, repair articles, discussions, and parts at your fingertips.

For all of the pictures below, the old version is depicted on the left, while the new version is on the right. You can certainly also visit iFixit to view the new changes. First, the main parts store:

The MacBook parts subsection of the store:

And the revised shipping page:

We spent a lot of time testing our new site across various browsers and platforms. However, there may be an occasional hiccup that we missed. Please let us know if you like it, hate it, or see any bugs!

We Tear Apart a Barista!

August 13, 2009 Hardware, Teardowns — Miro

We just finished a teardown of the Barista, Starbucks’ most iconic and longest-selling consumer espresso machine.

The Barista has a sturdy, elegant design that has stood the test of time quite well. Its popularity is reflected by the fact that it’s still available at a reasonable price.

It’s easy enough to buy the machine and start using it — but what about all the people who were part of creating it? The guy who slaved for hours in creating the perfect spring for the reciprocating pump? The person in charge of making sure the Barista doesn’t burn a hole in your kitchen counter? This one’s for you, friends.

We are expanding our teardowns to include all sorts of other gear. We want to show people that appliances such as the Starbucks Barista have a lot of sweat, thought, and engineering put into them — even though they may not make the cover of the latest electronics magazines.

Removing the boiler:

Using our makeshift flathead screwdriver: