Step 1 — Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Teardown
- In the game of tablets, you either win, or you put out a bunch of different versions and hope one catches on. Seriously, it’s the War of the Five Kings out there. Here are the specs for the latest aspirant:
- 7″ display with 1920 x 1200 resolution at 323 ppi
- Quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon processor
- Dual band, dual antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi
- Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Audio and built-in microphone
- Front-facing HD camera
- 16/32/64 GB internal storage
- A quick inspection of the back reveals dual microphones and speaker grilles up top, with the buttons at thumb level.
- The buttons seem a lot more robust and conveniently located than last year’s Fire HD.
- How do you know you’ve got the right device? Check the model number: C9R6QM.
The rear case turns out to be the case, wrapping around the entire device and forming a near-unibody enclosure. We target a thin plastic bezel as the Kindle’s one weakness.
Our little blue friend is the perfect
orctool to get us inside. But it’s no easy task prying against all that adhesive.
Fixit doctors prescribe a dose of toastyiOpener.
And—ooh! Fuschia…fuchsia…pink screws.
It’s always nice to have a reminder tothink pink
Step 4 ¶
- While it’s significantly harder than cracking open a book, we crack into our Kindle like a kid who loveslobster.
- With the rear case free, we rush to get inside, only to be stopped by a pesky cable tethering the two halves.
- No cable will keep us out. Having dispensed with the nitty, we get to the gritty: components!
- In the Kindle Fire HD of yesteryear, the rear case was a bare piece of plastic, without any additional components.
- This time around, all of the peripherals have been offloaded to the rear case, along with a shiny heat dissipating plate.
- With a bit of spudger-fu, we knock out the combination power button and micro-USB port cable.
- The micro-HDMI port from last year’s model has been torched in favor of wireless mirroring via Miracast and theSecond Screen sharing technology, coming sometime in October.
- We’re happy to see modularity in the smaller components of the HDX. The volume buttons, microphones, and headphone jack are all separate pieces, allowing failed components to be replaced individually
- Say what? Speakers for the HDX are provided by Dolby. While these speakers may look small, they are reported to pump out 77 decibels.
- For reference, that puts these speakerssomewhere between normal conversation and a lawnmower.
- Antenna adventures! Where is this cable going?
- Nowhere. It is connected, screwed, and taped three times in place. It must have been an unruly child.
- This seems a little like restraining a teddy bear with a muzzle.
- The motherboard is out of the nest, but can it ever return home?
- The LCD and digitizer cables are trapped between the LCD and midframe. The only way to get the connectors reseated (aside from blind luck) is to remove the midframe from the display assembly.
- To make matters worse, the battery connects via spring contacts beneath the motherboard—so a battery replacement makes for an even more involved repair procedure.
- What was that? The sound of the HDX’s repairability score free-falling into the abyss.
- The back side of the motherboard is home to a few ICs:
- Samsung K3QF2F200B 16 Gb (2 GB) LPDDR3 SDRAM (we believe the Snapdragon 800 SoC is layered underneath)
- Qualcomm PM8841 Power Management IC
- Summit Microelectronics (owned by Qualcomm)SMB349 Programmable Single-Cell Lithium-Ion/Lithium-Polymer Battery Charger
- The front side of the motherboard contains more ICs:
- Maxim Integrated MAX97236 Audio Amplifier with Jack Detection
- Qualcomm PM8941 Power Management IC
- Qualcomm WCD9320 Audio Codec
- Qualcomm Atheros QCA6234XH Integrated Dual-Band 2×2 802.11n +Bluetooth 4.0
- Toshiba KC4 016 PVT 20F001147
- Upon further inspection we discovered this IC to be the Toshiba THGBMAG7A2JBAIR 128 Gb (16 GB) e-MMC NAND Flash