MacBook Unibody Mid 2010 Teardown

May 20, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Apple’s MacBook went under the knife last year and received a major makeover. This year, the laptop received much milder internal changes, most notably a better graphics processor and more battery life.

We delved inside the MacBook to find exactly how that additional battery juice was achieved, as well as to see if there were any magical unicorns that Apple chose to keep hidden from public view.

We also made a YouTube video slideshow for those who like moving pictures!

Teardown highlights:

  • The battery is identical in size and shape to the old one, but is rated for 63.5 Wh (compared to 60Wh) and weighs 355 g (compared to 347.5 g).
  • The battery also works in the previous MacBook! You can get an extra 350 mAh of electric charge if you’re willing to add 7.5 grams to your older machine.
  • Of course, Apple continues to use tri-wing screws for the battery, as well as the “Do not remove the battery” warning sticker. We ask: why is it such a big deal to have users replace it themselves?
  • We confirmed the updated NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics, much to the thrill of lite gamers everywhere.
  • No MacBooks were hurt, in any way, shape, or form, during the teardown process.

Final layout

Removing the heat sink

Microsoft Kin Two Teardown

May 18, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

We partnered with Chipworks to bring you a teardown of the all-new Microsoft Kin Two.

Kin Two’s most notable feature is the Nvidia Tegra processor, which Chipworks found buried beneath a Numonyx package that’s visible on the logic board.

Chipworks confirmed that it was indeed the Nvidia Tegra after a morning of taking x-rays and de-potting chips. Don’t worry kids, no animals were harmed in the process.

Teardown highlights:

  • The Kin Two is 19.05 mm thick. That makes for a bigger bulge in the pants, given that the iPhone and Motorola Droid are 12.3 mm and 13.7 mm thick, respectively. (Enter “Is that a Kin Two, or are you happy to see me?” jokes here.)
  • The Kin Two has two very cool-looking (to a mechanical engineer) springs that keep the phone’s halves either fully-open or fully-closed.
  • For being able to shoot all of 8 megapixels, the camera only eats up about .5 cm^3 of space.
  • Samsung’s moviNAND KLM8G4DEDD package supplies the 8GB of storage space for the Kin. It features a very advanced thirty nanometer architecture, and can transfer data at speeds up to 52 MB/s.
  • The camera is the Sony IMX046. The IMX046 is fabricated using a 90 nm CMOS process. The camera’s resolution is 8.11 effective megapixel (8 active megapixel), 1.4 μm sized pixel, 1/3.2″ optical format. Samsung was the first to use this camera in the M8800.
  • Taking a cue from the iPhone and Zune HD, the Kin Two has an accelerometer. It’s an STMicro 331DL 3 Axis nano MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) device.

You can find more information on the Kin Two on Chipworks’ site.

iPhone 4G Processor Revealed

May 12, 2010 Hardware, Site News — Miro

Today’s photos from Vietnam of a leaked iPhone 4G prototype contain legible part numbers revealing new iPhone’s processor: the Apple A4.

The silkscreen on the production A4 reads:

  • APL0398 339S0084 YNL215X0
  • K4X2G643GE N26CGM0T

The leaked prototype has these markings:

  • APL0398 339S0084 YNE07423
  • K4X2G643GE GSA1400A

The two numbers that are different are likely manufacturing numbers (each lot of chips is stamped with a unique number to track them through the supply chain). The important numbers are:

  • APL0398 339S0084 <– Apple A4
  • K4X2G643GE <– 256 MB Samsung DRAM (two dies)

Our engineers are not surprised by this finding. We were very impressed by the extraordinarily low power consumption of the iPad, and remarked at the time that its power consumption and board design was much more in line with handheld devices than laptop computers.

In conjunction with Chipworks, we have already reported heavily on the design of the A4. Our Apple A4 teardown goes into detail on how the A4 is constructed.

Chipworks has more information here:

Chipworks' Logic Diagram of A4 Processor

iPad Wi-Fi Wallpaper

May 10, 2010 Hardware, Site News — Miro

Hey folks, here’s another great iFixit wallpaper for you to enjoy! We snapped a few photos of the iPad internals during the iPad Wi-Fi teardown and correctly cropped them so you could peer through the LCD in your iPad.

Predictably enough, we encountered one small problem after we put the wallpaper on our tablet: the iPad’s uncanny ability to rotate the display, including the wallpaper itself. During “quality assurance testing,” the portrait wallpaper didn’t look too appealing in landscape mode, and vice versa. But we realized that most iPad users keep it locked on a specific orientation most of the time, so we created both orientations to mitigate the problem.

So here are two iPad “internals” wallpapers, one for landscape mode and one for portrait mode.

How to set it as your wallpaper on your iPad:

  • Click on the links above or pictures below to view the whole wallpaper.
  • Long-press on the image to save it.
  • Go to your images, find the right wallpaper image and click the options button in the top-right corner to set it as wallpaper.

This is how the iPad wallpapers look like when on the iPad itself:

That’s so Meta!

May 4, 2010 Hardware, Meta, Site News — Kyle

We discourage discussion about iFixit in our Answers site. Why? Because people who come to Answers are looking for help with hardware troubleshooting. They don’t want to hear about our community policy for helping people reset their passwords, or have to sift through new feature requests. They just want to learn about hardware! Like Fight Club, the golden rule on iFixit is to not talk about iFixit.

Online communities run into this problem all the time. The die-hard, dedicated members want (and need) to talk about how to get better at what they do, and how to make the community better. But it’s also important not to intermingle this discussion with questions from regular users.

Our favorite meta mug. Thanks for letting us help you help others!

We’ve used UserVoice for feedback in the past, but it doesn’t allow discussion in a way we find particularly engaging, and it doesn’t integrate nicely with our single-iFixit login. So we’re going to use the same software we use for Answers! Today, we are launching meta.ifixit.com. Why meta? Our dictionary defines the prefix “meta-” as “denoting a change of position or condition,” and we think that’s exactly right. We want to continue moving our community and content forward, constantly evolving to get better at helping people fix things. Meta is going to be the place where we, as a community, decide how to evolve.

We have a few ideas for things we want to do on Meta. You may have some more. Think of this as a brainstormed list of ways we can all brainstorm together. How Meta!

  • Discuss new feature ideas, software changes, and report bugs. We’re hoping this will be the perfect place to interact with the software development team behind iFixit.
  • Document the details of our platform. We’ve rolled out a tremendous number of new features lately, and we need a place to keep you in the loop on how everything works.
  • Request content and discuss development of future content. I really want someone to write a Super Nintendo repair guide. It’s the only major gaming console for which we don’t already have a repair manual!
  • Set community policy. We don’t control iFixit, and Meta will give us an open, democratic forum to discuss and set policies.
  • Make decisions about content organization. Users with moderator privileges can make bulk device changes, like changing MBP 15″ to MacBook Pro 15″, and Meta will be a good place to request changes like this.
  • Have a little bit of fun. Not too much, mind you. But if we’re all not enjoying helping people fix things, then we’re doing it wrong.
  • Discuss our mission. It’s important to learn each other’s background and talk about why we all do what we do.

We have made a few changes to our Answers engine to support Meta. We have a new ‘discussion’ mode that you can set on questions. Discussion topics ‘opt out’ of our reputation system, so votes on questions and answers don’t impact your reputation. Reputation earned on meta is completely separate from reputation on the main site.

How do we organize Meta?

Tags. Every thread can have up to four tags, and we’ll use these to categorize questions. Tags will be much more important on Meta than they are on Answers, because (obviously) threads can’t be organized by device.

What Meta is not for:

iFixit support. As we’ve done with Answers, we’ll keep routing sales support questions to our customer service team and removing them from the public site.

Software troubleshooting. There are better sites out there for software problems. We’re staying focused on our core mission: Making hardware work longer.

Postscript

Once again, we are hugely influenced by those who have gone before us. In this case, iFixit Meta is 100% inspired by StackOverflow Meta. Thanks to Jeff and all the folks who have contributed to make Stack Overflow awesome!