Apple Tablet Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

Apple definitely snuck away some interesting tidbits inside -- things they didn't want people to know prior to release. Initially we thought the battery was going to be difficult to take out, but boy were we wrong!

Check out the YouTube slideshow of the teardown as well!

5 Edit Step 1 Apple Tablet Teardown  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

5 Edit Step 1 Apple Tablet Teardown  ¶ 

  • This unit combines all the daily functions of a PDA (word processing, datebooks, contacts, to-do lists, etc.) with raw computing power placed directly underneath your fingertips.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/3: It's nice to see a product box with an intensive amount of information. In contrast to Apple's recent designs, which are mostly decorative, the MessagePad 2000's box is highly informational.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The left, right, and back portions of the MessagePad 2000 box.

  • It's nice to see a product box with an intensive amount of information. In contrast to Apple's recent designs, which are mostly decorative, the MessagePad 2000's box is highly informational.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Apple Newton MessagePad 2000.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Contents of the box:

    • Apple Newton MessagePad 2000.

    • User Reference Manuals

    • Ginormous stack of floppy disks containing the required software and drivers

    • Newton Keyboard with carrying case

  • The Newton also interfaces with PC cards through its two internal slots. This allows the use of LAN and external memory cards concurrently.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Granted this is not included with the MessagePad 2000, however we were blown away by the awesome pop-out RJ-11 socket.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Imagine the joy in our hearts when we discovered this nifty PCMCIA Modem card with an XJACK connector.

  • Granted this is not included with the MessagePad 2000, however we were blown away by the awesome pop-out RJ-11 socket.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/1: It features a monochrome, backlit LCD measuring 4.9 x 3.9 inches, capable of providing resolutions of 480 x 320 pixels.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The MessagePad 2000 measures in at 1.1 x 4.7 x 8.3 inches, and weighing a measly 1.4 lbs.

  • It features a monochrome, backlit LCD measuring 4.9 x 3.9 inches, capable of providing resolutions of 480 x 320 pixels.

  • The standard operating system on the MessagePad 2000 was the Newton OS 2.1. Other features include:

    • Built-in speaker and microphone.

    • Dual-mode infrared transceiver for wireless data transfer.

    • Two Type II PC Card slots.

    • Nonglare resistive tablet and stylus pen.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Using the stylus has a bit of a learning curve, but is overall very intuitive.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • The MessagePad 2000's preloaded planner and note-taking features are definitely geared toward the business professionals of its day.

  • Using the stylus has a bit of a learning curve, but is overall very intuitive.

  • This particular MessagePad has MorsePad, which converts strings of text into Morse code. Samuel Morse would be jealous.

  • The awesomely '90s monochromatic backlight helps illuminate the Newton in low-light situations.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image 1/2: The MessagePad 2000 requires four AA (LR6) alkaline batteries.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Open the battery compartment by pulling on the small release lever and pull the battery compartment straight away from the outer case.

    • The MessagePad 2000 requires four AA (LR6) alkaline batteries.

  • Pull the stylus capacitive pen away from its recess in the case.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Pull the bottom edge of the display cover away from the outer case and remove it from the Newton.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Push the sliding tab attached to the inner hinge of the display cover toward the top of the Newton.

  • Pull the bottom edge of the display cover away from the outer case and remove it from the Newton.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image 1/2: In the next step you will remove the rear case which is attached to the Newton by several clips around its perimeter. The location of the clips is shown in the second picture.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 12 mm Phillips screws securing the rear case to the Newton.

  • In the next step you will remove the rear case which is attached to the Newton by several clips around its perimeter. The location of the clips is shown in the second picture.

1 Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image 1/2: These clips are constructed of plastic, making them inherently delicate. To avoid breaking them, do not force the two components apart.

1 Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Beginning with the seam where the display cover used to be attached, use a plastic opening tool to release the three clips along the power button side of the Newton.

  • These clips are constructed of plastic, making them inherently delicate. To avoid breaking them, do not force the two components apart.

  • Continue prying along the left side of the Newton and proceed to free the clips along the Newton's lower edge.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Use the edge of a plastic opening tool to pry the rear case away from the Newton near the stylus opening.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Be sure the AC adapter/keyboard door is open before proceeding.

  • Use the edge of a plastic opening tool to pry the rear case away from the Newton near the stylus opening.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image 1/2:

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • After much (careful) wiggling and prying, the rear case lifts right off the Newton.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image 1/2: The connectors used on the Newton are very firmly seated in their sockets. To avoid shearing the socket off the board, work very slowly and use a combination of tweezers, the tip of a spudger, and your fingernails to remove the connectors.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Before removing the stylus holder, disconnect the power button and backlight connectors from the logic board.

  • The connectors used on the Newton are very firmly seated in their sockets. To avoid shearing the socket off the board, work very slowly and use a combination of tweezers, the tip of a spudger, and your fingernails to remove the connectors.

1 Edit Step 14  ¶ 

Image 1/3: The lock will move about 2 mm and stop. Do not try to completely remove the display data cable lock.

1 Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use your thumbnails to slide the lock on the ZIF display data cable socket toward the edge of the Newton.

  • The lock will move about 2 mm and stop. Do not try to completely remove the display data cable lock.

  • Pull the display data cable out of its socket.

  • De-route the display backlight cables from the channel in the black plastic stylus holder.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Carefully lift the stylus holder out of the Newton.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 6.3 mm Phillips screws securing the black plastic stylus holder to the Newton.

  • Carefully lift the stylus holder out of the Newton.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

Image 1/3: De-route the speaker cable and move it away from the logic board.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the speaker and microphone cables, being careful not to break their sockets off the logic board.

  • De-route the speaker cable and move it away from the logic board.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

Image 1/3: While lightly lifting the upper half of the battery compartment, use the edge of a plastic opening tool to release the five clips along its outer edge.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 6.3 mm Phillips screw securing the upper half of the battery compartment to the Newton.

  • While lightly lifting the upper half of the battery compartment, use the edge of a plastic opening tool to release the five clips along its outer edge.

  • Lift the upper half of the battery compartment and gently lay it on the logic board.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

Image 1/2: While holding the ground arm stationary with one hand, use a pair of tweezers to lift the ground spring off its plastic post on the inner case.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove the two black 3 mm Phillips screws securing the logic board to the inner case.

  • While holding the ground arm stationary with one hand, use a pair of tweezers to lift the ground spring off its plastic post on the inner case.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

Image 1/3: The retaining clip near the stylus holder.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Before tilting the Newton around too much, remove the several small plastic pieces around its perimeter. These include:

    • The retaining clip near the stylus holder.

    • The small square blank cover under the AC adapter/keyboard connector flap.

    • The IR lens along the Newton's top edge.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Lift the logic board to separate it from the inner case.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Carefully pull the plastic retaining clip holding the logic board to the inner case near the ROM chip away from the center of the Newton.

  • Lift the logic board to separate it from the inner case.

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Pull the plastic cover away from the AC adapter/keyboard ports for enough clearance to remove the logic board.

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Carefully lift the logic board from its lower edge, making sure not to bend it in the process.

  • Pull the plastic cover away from the AC adapter/keyboard ports for enough clearance to remove the logic board.

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Use the edge of a plastic opening tool to carefully lift the digitizer ribbon cable off the two positioning pegs on the inner case.

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • The digitizer ribbon cable is extremely delicate. We're not joking on this. It's about the thickness of a human hair. Proceed with caution.

  • Use the edge of a plastic opening tool to carefully lift the digitizer ribbon cable off the two positioning pegs on the inner case.

  • Remove the following screws securing the inner case to the front case:

    • Four 6.3 mm Phillips

    • Two 3 mm Phillips

  • Pull the same retaining tab used to secure the logic board away from the center of the Newton to release the inner case, then pull it away from the bottom of the Newton and set it aside.

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Flip the inner case over and use one hand to release the plastic retaining clip while pressing the display out of the inner case.

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 3 mm Phillips screw securing the front of the display to the inner case.

  • Flip the inner case over and use one hand to release the plastic retaining clip while pressing the display out of the inner case.

  • Lift the display out of the inner case, minding the fragile digitizer and display ribbon cables.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Remove the speaker from the front case.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Lift the microphone off its mounting pins on the inner case.

  • Remove the speaker from the front case.

    • The 20 mm 8 Ohm, .3 W speaker provides the Newton's mono sound.

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

Image 1/2: The ROM chip is spring loaded and should "pop" up once it is released.

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Pull the two retaining arms away from the center of the ROM chip to release it from the logic board.

  • The ROM chip is spring loaded and should "pop" up once it is released.

  • Pull the ROM chip out of its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Two LHME5BT3 Sharp mask ROM chips.

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Front and back pictures of the mask ROM board:

    • Two LHME5BT3 Sharp mask ROM chips.

      • Each chip is 4 MB of mask ROM, for a grand total of 8 MB of mask ROM! Shocking...we know...

  • The reverse of the mask ROM board looks to have space for four more chips.

1 Edit Step 27  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Two Sharp LH28F016SUT 2MB Flash ROM

1 Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Major players on the board include:

    • Two Sharp LH28F016SUT 2MB Flash ROM

    • DEC's 162 MHz StrongARM SA-110S 32 bit ARM Processor

    • Cirrus Logic's PS 7010/20/30 CPU Subsystem, Analog, and PCMCIA controllers, respectively

    • Hitachi's HM51W426OCLTT7 DRAM

    • Linear Technology's LTC1323 AppleTalk Transceiver

  • Huge versions of the logic board pictures can be found here and here. 56K beware: they are over 6 MB each.

15 Edit Step 28  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Our hunger for an Apple tablet teardown has been satisfied for the moment. The countdown has begun for the ever elusive Apple iPad.

15 Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • As always, the final layout shot of our finished process.

  • Our hunger for an Apple tablet teardown has been satisfied for the moment. The countdown has begun for the ever elusive Apple iPad.

  • The time has come once again when we must part ways, but worry not, for we will be reunited again soon.

  • Adios!

23 Comments

The iPad of the 90's. I wonder if I still have mine laying around somewhere...

Chris Green - Reply

I still have my Newton 120 with original box! Loved that device...

Quote from Chris Green:

The iPad of the 90's. I wonder if I still have mine laying around somewhere...

jpamental - Reply

I have TWO Newtons! Of course, my first iPad is on it's way ;)

srspring51 - Reply

I still have all of my Newton MessagePads. I have some interesting ones as well, an English ROM NotePhone, a clear case MP120 and various pc-cards of interest. I think I have around 15 Newtons, mostly the 2100's.

These are still my favorite apple product.

microssg - Reply

I was really hoping for someone to hack one of these before the iPad was even announced. I wanted to see someone cram 2 iPod touches into there.

Matt - Reply

there is something awesome and paradoxical about using an iPod opening tool to take apart a newton.

Seth - Reply

There's an ominous green tactile button under the StrongARM.T think if you push it the thing will self-destruct.

Justyn Zachariou - Reply

Another component worth noting is the frequency crystal between the Cyrrus Logic PS7010 and PS7020. Apparently, if you perform some surgery on the unit, you can have two frequency crystals of different speeds and a little switch to select them, enabling you to boost the MP2000's CPU to 200Mhz or use it's original setting to retain compatibility with other MPs. Check here http://planetstephanie.net/hi-tech-fun/n... for more info on how to accomplish this on your own.

Excellent disassembly, thank you!

Bryan Iotti - Reply

This is a cheap shot for you guys to get some SEO for the iPad...really?

gkass - Reply

Quote from gkass:

This is a cheap shot for you guys to get some SEO for the iPad...really?

april fools...im a tardo

gkass - Reply

Love it! I really wanted one of these back when... I mean this weekend when they will be... I mean... Great job guys!

William Murphy - Reply

Thanks, guys, I just bought a Messagepad 2000 and was wondering how hard the upgrade to a 2100 logic board would be.

moofree - Reply

Quote from gkass:

april fools...im a tardo

[nelson]Haw, haw![/nelson]

mathue taxion - Reply

My 2100 still works great...now it looks like the iPad is almost everything it's granddaddy could have been.

attew - Reply

hilarious! but I just saw the Reuters article!!

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63...

also... I revived an overheating Black MacBook thanks to you!!

with a new heatsink and 7200 rpm HD, it's running great now.

respect!

dancab - Reply

When you took the display apart did you hapen to notice what type of LEDs are illuminating the screen?

Tim - Reply

Quote from gkass:

april fools...im a tardo

An hour.... really

Sam Neil - Reply

The worrying thing is that I still read every word. I just always love a good teardown.

You guys could deconstruct a lightbulb and I'd be interested.

Sam Neil - Reply

LEDS? What LEDs, This thing is lit by EL film! There's a high frequency transformer that fires up to power the darn thing!

You can see it in page 4, step 25. It's the big orange thing on the lower left corner.

LEDs...ha! you're funny!

Ed

web/gadget guru

Quote from Tim:

When you took the display apart did you hapen to notice what type of LEDs are illuminating the screen?

teched - Reply

Hilarious! And an amazingly good job on the teardown. I worked on the beasties (software, granted) and never knew how to deconstruct one this thoroughly. Well done!

Larry Yaeger - Reply

Quote from gkass:

This is a cheap shot for you guys to get some SEO for the iPad...really?

April Fool's. duh...I pity this fool!

TravM - Reply

Have you noticed that cool newt logo on the logic board? I've never seen or read about it, it seems you just uncovered an easter egg! ;)

mainyehc - Reply

For both Newton 2000 and 2100, their codename was "Q". So, you have Newt as letter "Q" ;)

ppiotrowski -