Nexus 7 2nd Generation Teardown

Heads up — Nexus 7’s up! We didn’t get enough Google yesterday with the Chromecast, so without even waiting for our spudgers to cool down, we eagerly dove into the deep, dark depths of their newest tablet.

Google Nexus 7 2nd generation teardown

Even though the new Nexus 7 opening procedure is identical to the previous model’s — and even though we were quite careful while opening it — the rear cover managed to crack in the lower-right corner. Although that was a not-so-fun start to the teardown, we managed to power through the non-proprietary screws and removable battery with no other snafus, and arrived at the fitting 7 out of 10 repairability score.

Teardown highlights:

• Comparing the second generation Nexus 7 to the first, we notice a drastic change in body type. The second generation is thinner, narrower, and taller than its chunkier predecessor, and lacks texture on the rear panel.

• But wait! There’s an inductive charging coil? Hats off to the great Nikola 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. 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. We just call it like it is.

• 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. Unlike food, we don’t like our electronics “sealed for our protection.”

• The battery is rated at 3.8 V, 15 Wh, and 3950 mAh. 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.

• The daughterboard houses a single IC nested among the connectors. ELAN eKTH325BAWS, which we guess to be the capacitive touchpad controller from ELAN’s eKT line.

• If you 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. Both cameras are easily replaced once inside.

• 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, and FM Radio Module
  •    SK Hynix H26M51003EQR 16 GB eMMC NAND Flash
  •    Qualcomm PM8921 Quick Charge Battery Management IC

• The updated speakers come out next.

  •   What do we know about these speakers?
  •   They’re stereo.
  •   They sound cool (we tried them briefly before taking out our spudgers).
  •   They are labeled DN17128L000.

Other images:

Two halves make a whole

Taking out the battery

Removing the stereo speakers