New 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Earns Low Reparability Score From iFixit

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New 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Earns Low Reparability Score From iFixit

With major hardware introductions, the folks over at iFixit, a company that provides electronics repair guides, tear down the device to discover what’s inside. This exercise shows hardware buyers and owners how easily devices can be fixed and what it might cost. The company has done it again with the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Apple has discussed the iPad Pro's major features including its A10X processor and screen improvements. But iFixit’s teardown takes it to another level by discovering some secrets under the hood, and assigned the iPad a reparability score for those who want to break it open and fix problems. Read on for the key findings from iFixit’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro teardown:

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The So-Called 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Is really 9.8 Inches

Apple noted at WWDC that it reduced the size of the iPad Pro’s bezel, but the company didn’t discuss any size difference between the 10.5-inch model and the previous 9.7-inch option. But iFixit found both versions are virtually the same size—the 10.5-inch model measures 9.8 inches by 6.8 inches and the 9.7-inch model measures 9.4 inches by 6.6 inches. Both are 0.24 inches thick.

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There Are Some Surprises in the Display

In the past, Apple placed display cables along the sides of its screen, increasing the possibility of the screen breaking if users pried open the device. But the new iPad Pro’s display cables are located in the middle, making it easier to remove the screen without fear of damage. According to iFixit, this cable arrangement is also in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

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There Was a Surprise Inside This iPad Pro WiFi Model

The iPad Pro iFixit tore apart was a WiFi-based model, not one of the cellular versions Apple is also selling. But instead of dramatically redesigned innards for the WiFi version, Apple simply placed a plastic block where the LTE antennas would have been.

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Apple Carefully Hid Wires

After removing the screen, iFixit was surprised to find no visible wires. It wasn’t until the team tore apart the speaker chamber that they found all of the wires and cables. According to iFixit, Apple’s wiring decision makes fixing the device much more difficult.

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The iPad Pro Has the Same Camera as iPhone 7

Apple noted at WWDC that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has an improved rear-facing camera that can shoot photos at up to 12 megapixels and record 4K video. In its teardown, iFixit found the camera is identical to the rear-facing shooter in the iPhone 7. The front-facing 7-megapixel camera is also the same as its counterpart in the iPhone 7.

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Multiple Manufacturers Supplied Parts

Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro was produced using components from several different suppliers. The Fixit teardown revealed that the 4GB of built-in RAM was manufactured by Micron. The 64GB of flash memory came from Toshiba, while NXP delivered the near-field communication controller. Murata produced the wireless module and Broadcom powers the touch-screen controller.

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This iPad Is Not Recyclable

Today’s iPads are not easily recyclable because of the adhesives used under the hood. iFixit called the original iPad Pro the “first really recyclable iPad” because of its pull-tab adhesive. But the 10.5-inch iPad Pro uses “gooey” glue-like adhesive and plastic spacers that make it impossible to recycle the tablet.

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There Are Differences in Battery Sizes Among iPad Models

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes with a 30.8Wh battery, which should keep the tablet running all day. However, it’s notably smaller than the 38.8Wh battery in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. But it is bigger than the 27.91Wh unit that was in the previous 9.7-inch version.

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A Give and Take on Smart Connector

The Smart Connector, a port that allows iPad Pro owners to plug the Smart Keyboard into the device, is impossible to replace. However, iFixit noted that since it doesn’t have moving parts, it’s “unlikely to fail.”

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Don’t Even Try to Repair It

When all was said and done, iFixit did not award the 10.5-inch iPad Pro a high reparability score, which is a measure of how easy it would be for DIYers to take it apart and fix problems. The company gave the device a score of 2 out of 10 and was especially displeased with its “gobs of adhesives” and front panel design that can increase the cost of a screen repair.

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