Introduction

Look and be amazed! Amazon has added a new tablet to its e-reader lineup, and this one aims to perfect the reading experience. But can it beat Amazon's rocky repairability record? Join us on an incredible journey to the center of the Voyage, and find out just what's inside.

Read all about it! Tech and teardown talk can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Kindle Voyage, use our service manual.

Image 1/3: 6" display with Carta e-paper technology at a resolution of 300 ppi Image 2/3: 4 GB storage capacity Image 3/3: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • If you're looking for specs to blow your tablet-addled mind, look elsewhere. What we have here is an e-reader, and it does things its own way:

    • 6" display with Carta e-paper technology at a resolution of 300 ppi

    • 4 GB storage capacity

    • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi

    • Built-in light + adaptive light sensor

    • PagePress sensors with haptics

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Kindle model NM460GZ perhaps?

With a specific MATCHING model number, disassembly instructions BREAK the wrong Kindle.

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peterblaise - Reply

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Kindle model NM460GZ perhaps?

With a specific MATCHING model number, disassembly instructions BREAK the wrong Kindle.

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peterblaise - Reply

Image 1/2: The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apatosaurus|Apatosaurus|new_window=true] was one of the largest land animals known to have existed, with an average length of 23 m (75 ft) and a mass of at least 16 metric tons (18 short tons). Image 2/2: This one's [http://new1.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/4990290+_b83e0224f3804f6b69e54d2d5041dfd5.gif|only a model|new_window=true].
  • Kindle Voyage with Apatosaurus (aka Brontosaurus) for scale.

    • The Apatosaurus was one of the largest land animals known to have existed, with an average length of 23 m (75 ft) and a mass of at least 16 metric tons (18 short tons).

  • The 2001 Space Voyage is branded with the model number NM460GZ.

I see what you did there...

Alex Monette - Reply

  • The Kindle Voyage proves to be a hybrid of Paperwhite and Fire parentage with its rear bezel access panel, revealing...

  • ...some screws and some antenna components. Now to get the rest of the cover off.

  • It's a sliiiiide! A slide-off cover, that is—there's not a lick of adhesive in sight after removing the top portion. Neat!

If you remove the rear bevel access panel, do you need to buy replacement adhesive? Mine is coming off a little on the corner and I want to repair it.

sheiky989 - Reply

I also took off the adhesive and now i don´t know what to do.... can someone please help me....is there a special adhesive to this sort of devise?

dudulifchitz -

Image 1/2: With so many new features over the Paperwhite and basic Kindle, things are a little more complicated inside, with plenty of ribbon cables and ZIF connections. Image 2/2: With so many new features over the Paperwhite and basic Kindle, things are a little more complicated inside, with plenty of ribbon cables and ZIF connections.
  • We begin our journey to the center of the Voyage by removing the back cover, revealing a bevy of components.

  • With so many new features over the Paperwhite and basic Kindle, things are a little more complicated inside, with plenty of ribbon cables and ZIF connections.

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  • How difficult is it to remove this component from the Kindle Voyage? So easy a caveman with a chunk of ferromagnetic material could do it.

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  • It didn't take long to get to the heart of the Voyage. This reader is powered by a 3.8 V mixed metaphor battery rated at 1320 mAh.

    • We apply some oomph in the form of a Plastic Card to free the battery from its sticky patch.

  • Amazon boasts that its Voyage will last up to six weeks on a single charge. For comparison:

    • The Kindle (7th Gen) claimed a useful life of up to four weeks from its 890 mAh unit.

    • The more versatile Kindle HD 6's onboard reactor weighs in at a whopping 3400 mAh, but it's rated for just 8 hours of normal use.

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Image 1/2: This makes identifying this large antenna bar fairly straightforward. Image 2/2: Hello, Wi-Fi antenna.
  • Seeing as the "Wi-Fi + Free 3G" Kindle Voyage—the one that lets you spend money on ebooks anywhere (for free!)—won't be available until next month, our model is Wi-Fi only.

  • This makes identifying this large antenna bar fairly straightforward.

  • Hello, Wi-Fi antenna.

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  • Having Jimmy'd our way this far, we take a stab at removing the vibrator.

  • When it's not being pulled apart for inspection, the vibrator works in tandem with the PagePress triggers built into the bezel.

    • Since the triggers themselves have no moving parts, the vibrator gives taptic haptic confirmation of all your page-turning commands.

  • After doing our IC identification homework, we can report that this is no ordinary oscillator or motor, but rather a piezo haptic vibrator, perhaps manufactured by AAC Technologies?

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Image 1/2: An ambient light sensor, for automatically adjusting the display brightness is a must. Image 2/2: We found this sensor nestled within a socket on the display assembly, near the end of a long cable that connects to the backside of the motherboard.
  • What makes a Kindle Voyage a real trip and not just a paperweight?

  • An ambient light sensor, for automatically adjusting the display brightness is a must.

  • We found this sensor nestled within a socket on the display assembly, near the end of a long cable that connects to the backside of the motherboard.

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Image 1/1:
  • Release the latches, pop the ZIFs, and (gently) pull out some cables; let's get this motherboard out for its time in the spotlight.

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Image 1/2: Toshiba [link|http://datasheet.octopart.com/THGBM5G5A1JBAIR-Toshiba-datasheet-14049752.pdf|THGBM5G5A1JBAIR|new_window=true] 32 Gb (4 GB) eMMC NAND Flash Image 2/2: Freescale Semiconductor [link|http://www.freescale.com/docs/pcn_attachments/16116_IMX6SLCEC.pdf|MCIMX6L8DVN10AB|new_window=true] Applications Processor
  • Let's take a look at the ICs that drive the Kindle Voyage:

    • Toshiba THGBM5G5A1JBAIR 32 Gb (4 GB) eMMC NAND Flash

    • Freescale Semiconductor MCIMX6L8DVN10AB Applications Processor

    • Samsung K4P4G324EQ-RGC2 4 Gb (512 MB) LPDDR2 SDRAM

    • Maxim Integrated MAX77696A Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC)

    • Atheros AR6803G-BL3B WLAN Controller

    • Freescale Semiconductor M05R5V 1N96F ACBIT

    • Texas Instruments DRV2667 Piezo Haptic Driver

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Image 1/3: The last of the Voyage's bonus features live under the display glass. After an off-screen [product|IF145-198-2|iOpener|new_window=true] application, we're ready to pry through some glue. Image 2/3: Thankfully, it's not the terrible tar we sometimes encounter. Combine this mild-mannered adhesive with thick, tough display glass and a rubbery bezel, and it's a pretty easy pry job. Image 3/3: Look at that e-ink screen! Still displaying text like a chicken with its head cut off (and battery removed...)
  • Meow-wow!

  • The last of the Voyage's bonus features live under the display glass. After an off-screen iOpener application, we're ready to pry through some glue.

    • Thankfully, it's not the terrible tar we sometimes encounter. Combine this mild-mannered adhesive with thick, tough display glass and a rubbery bezel, and it's a pretty easy pry job.

  • Look at that e-ink screen! Still displaying text like a chicken with its head cut off (and battery removed...)

    • This is a pretty great illustration of why e-paper works so well in this application. Power is only required to change the image on the screen, not sustain it. Stare at each page as long as you like, Kindle don't care.

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Image 1/2: Winbond [link|http://www.nexflash.com/NR/rdonlyres/6BF45188-BD1F-4F85-B352-171B5CB387C7/0/W25Q40BW.pdf|25Q40BWIG|new_window=true] 4 Mb Serial Flash Memory With Dual and Quad SPI Image 2/2: Cypress Semiconductor CY8CTMA4 Touchscreen Controller
  • We uncovered two hidden ICs along the bottom of the display assembly:

    • Winbond 25Q40BWIG 4 Mb Serial Flash Memory With Dual and Quad SPI

    • Cypress Semiconductor CY8CTMA4 Touchscreen Controller

This explains why e-ink displays are still so costly. The only reason I can see why you would need a 4 Mb Serial Flash Memory on the e-ink screen flex ribbon is some serious per batch/per screen customization on the factory floor to churn these things out. Which basically means that as far as the manufacturing process goes it's still very hit or miss for these displays with a lot of variance.

danm2010 - Reply

Image 1/2: What exactly is PagePress? Glad you asked. Image 2/2: "PagePress is a custom-designed force sensor made of carbon and silver, which reacts to a subtle increase of pressure, triggers a page-turn, and provides a haptic response only your thumb can perceive."
  • As we continue to explore the Voyage, we come across the PagePress sensors. The sensors are held to the display assembly with some mild adhesive for good contact.

  • What exactly is PagePress? Glad you asked.

    • "PagePress is a custom-designed force sensor made of carbon and silver, which reacts to a subtle increase of pressure, triggers a page-turn, and provides a haptic response only your thumb can perceive."

    • Sounds like some kind of strain gauge implementation to us. A strain gauge is a component that changes resistivity when deformed, making for an excellent buttonless button.

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Image 1/2: Several modular components can be replaced individually. Image 2/2: Screws secure a slide-off rear case, simplifying opening procedure compared to other Kindles.
  • Kindle Voyage Repairability Score: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • Several modular components can be replaced individually.

  • Screws secure a slide-off rear case, simplifying opening procedure compared to other Kindles.

  • Thanks to mild front panel adhesive, thick display glass, and a soft bezel, prying up the glass is fairly easy with the right tools.

  • Glass strengthens the Kindle and protects the display, but is susceptible to cracking.

  • Battery is easy to get to, but has stronger adhesive than is necessary.

  • The front glass and e-ink display are fused together, increasing the cost of repairs.

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11 Comments

Very interesting teardown!

Armen Orbelyan - Reply

I am interested in permanently disabling the screen light on a Kindle Voyage. (You can adjust the brightness but not all the way off. I don't want any light.) Based on your tear down experience how hard would it be to disable the lights and reassemble a working Kindle? Thanks.

James Fadden - Reply

Then why spend money on this most expensive kindle? Just return this and get the cheapest model and you don't have back light anymore.

dennis97519 -

Where are the auto wake/sleep magnets located. I was looking for them in this AWESOME article, but did not see them. I am trying to add a magnet to my book cover that I like so that it utilizes this feature

Tom C - Reply

How to you "unfuse" the screen and e-ink? My voyage has a hairline Crack down the middle and I bought a new voyage screen but I don't know of how to switch them?

sexyakaeli1996 - Reply

Hi, I noticed there was empty space next to some wires on the motherboard. Will it be possible to fit a small flash reader and install a micro sd card to increase the memory. All the way up to 125 GB and beyond, will I also need a software patch so the kindle can read the extra memory on board. Your advice would be a great help, because I am looking at ways to modify the kindle.

Anthony Koller - Reply

Anyone know where can I get Voyage battery for replacement?

errin - Reply

hi, i have a trouble to return back the top cover it alwalys looks as little open!!

Hassan - Reply

Anyone know where i can buy the replacement battery? :/

przemyslawkwiatkowsk - Reply

So anyone find that replacement battery?

mikefconnolly - Reply

How can we buy a kindle voyage 3g replacement battery?

sumbody210 - Reply

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