Nexus 9 Teardown Shows It Is Not Easy To Repair Google's Newest Tablet


Its only Tuesday and yet it is already officially Google Nexus 9 week with the device getting its full release yesterday. As such those who want to pick up one can either get it via Google Play or if you cannot wait then check out your local Best Buy store. By now we all know what you get inside including 2GB RAM and a Nvidia Tegra K1 64-bit Dual-Core processor (clocked at 2.3GHz). Not to mention an 8MP rear camera, 1.6MP front camera and a 6,700mAh battery. Now thanks to the guys over at iFixit we can take a look at really what you get inside and not just a bunch of names and numbers. Yes, within 24 hours of the tablet's release the iFixit team have already stripped the Nexus 9 to pieces and allowed us a rare look at what really is on offer inside. First up, lets cut straight to the chase. Overall the iFixit team scored the Nexus 9 at a quite disappointing 3 out of 10 in terms of repairability. Now to put this into perspective the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7's both scored a respectable 7 out of 10 in terms of of how easy they are to repair. So a 3 out of 10 really is quite poor and does suggest repairing the item won't be so easy and probably not a DIY job.

Why was the score low? Well there are a couple of reasons. According to the report actually opening the device and removing its back cover is quite easy with just clips attaching the casing to the unit. That said, the guys immediately noted that by removing the cover there is a good chance of disconnecting the camera. Although this does sound like a massive issue. The camera is actually attached underneath the motherboard and as such reconnection would require removing the motherboard. On a side note the team did point out that the actual camera is the same used in the HTC Desire 610. Another big criticism which greatly affected the overall score was the seemingly overuse of adhesive to attach various components inside. Both the battery and the LCD screen were noted as being highly glued down not to mention "the maze of tape and thin delicate cables". In particular the LCD screen is fused to the display glass and as such was noted as being somewhat inseparable. On top of this, the display glass was also then firmly glued to the midframe. This resulted in the team suggesting would be a complete unit replacement opposed to part replacement in the event of a cracked screen. In short and referring to the separation of the LCD screen from the glass "it requires an insane amount of heat, patience and prying"


So in spite of the performance of the Nexus 9 being of a high-end it seems the actual construction of the unit is less impressive. The Nexus 9 seems to be one of those crammed in units with multiple aspects glued down to hold in place. The team actually noted that the adhesive used is "one of the toughest we've encountered on a tablet" which further highlighted the difficulty in repairing the unit. So what do you think about the results?

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Freelance Contributor

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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