Google Nexus 7 Teardown

Today we delved inside a Nexus 7, Google / Asus’ new 7-inch tablet; and what did we find? Sometimes the biggest difference can be the most minute of all.

The Nexus 7 is just one millimeter thicker than the latest iPad (10.4 mm vs. 9.4 mm). And yet that tiny millimeter could save users hours of time and hundreds of dollars, should the device ever need to be serviced. Why? Because Asus used retaining clips to hold the case together, not glue. Opening up the Nexus 7 requires a couple of minutes and some plastic opening tools.

All-in-all, the Nexus 7 earned a 7 out of 10 repairability score, just slightly lower than the Kindle Fire‘s 8 out of 10. The Nexus 7 display glass and LCD are fused together, meaning you’ll have to replace both components should one of the two break (which is not the case with the Fire). But the rear case is very easy to open, the battery can be replaced without ever reaching for a screwdriver, and all fasteners inside are Phillips #00 screws. All in all, it’s light-years more repairable than its Apple counterpart, and not too far off its Amazonian cousin.

The teardown is here.

Google Nexus 7 teardown

Teardown highlights:

  • Though the back cover’s dark and light layers remind us of something a Stormtrooper would have in his arsenal, it houses the GPS, NFC, and Wi-Fi antennas—all manufactured between April 20 and May 25th of this year.
  • The Nexus 7 has a 4326 mAh, 16 Wh battery that can last 9:49 hours. The Kindle Fire, by comparison, has a 4400 mAh, 16.28 Wh battery—but only lasts 7:42 hours. Go figure.
  • For further comparison, this battery time falls right in between the batteries found in the 2012 iPad models, which last 9:52 hours for HSPA and 9:37 hours for LTE… Except that the iPad 3 batteries are significantly larger at 11500 mAh, 42.5 Wh.
  • Although the official Nexus page just indicates there’s a “speaker” in the back (singular reference), we clearly see a pair of drivers. No word whether it’s stereo or not, as the unit was already apart when we made this discovery.
Google Nexus 7 teardown

The motherboard contains:

  • NVIDIA T30L Tegra 3 processor
  • Hynix HTC2G83CFR DDR3 RAM
  • Kingston KE44B-26BN/8GB 8GB flash
  • Max 77612A inverting switching regulator
  • AzureWave AW-NH665 wireless module
  • Broadcom BCM4751 integrated monolithic GPS receiver
  • Invensense MPU-6050 gyro and accelerometer

The 7-inch, 1280×800 HD display is manufactured by Hydis and designated by model HV070WX2.

We tested iFixit’s new Android app on the Nexus 7 right before we took it apart. Good news, folks—it works! Users can now natively browse our repair manuals on their Android devices.

iPad and Google Nexus 7 size comparison

Video below: