Digital Crave

How easy is it to tinker with your tablet?

View gallery

.
Surface Pro

Surface Pro

Most of us are happy when our tablets do what they’re supposed to do. But some of you reading this are the tinkering type. We’re talking about the kind of tech fanatic who wants to build the ultimate desktop one piece at a time. And then paint it with hot rod flames to show off to other nerds on the Internet.

That’s not too difficult with a desktop, or even a laptop. But what about all those tablets floating around out there? Can they be hacked? Improved? Ruined? Most importantly: Can you fix them yourself? The answer is “yes” to all of the above, depending on which tablet you own, according to iFixit. The folks at iFixit are the kind of nerds who like to hack a piece of hardware to see how easy it is to repair or upgrade. When they dismantle something, they’re kind enough to share their results with the rest of us.

iFixit’s recent list ranks the ease of stripping and rebuilding some of the most popular tablets on the market. The results are not arbitrary. iFixit states, “a device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity.”

iFixit engineers disassembled and analyzed 18 tablets, awarding a repairability score between zero and ten – ten being easiest to repair. No one got a ten. (Engineers can be a prickly bunch).

The Dell XPS 10 was the winner of the bunch with a score of 9. The engineers called it “refreshingly easy to work on, especially compared to the other tablets we’ve seen recently.” The guts of the XPS 10 are modular, designed well, and some cables are even labeled for easy reassembly. The screws on this model are color-coded and large enough to not require tweezers. The only negative is that the rear case is delicate and susceptible to deformation when prying. In layman’s terms: it will twist into a potato chip if you pull on it too hard.

View gallery

.
Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire

Amazon’s Kindle Fire also ranked high on the list with a score of 8 out of ten. The engineers found it easy to open with a simple design and standard Phillips screws.

On the bottom of the list is Apple’s iPad Mini and the Microsoft Surface Pro, receiving a 2 and 1 respectively. Both tablets contain an extreme amount of adhesive inside that makes any repair difficult – even for these engineers.

Why do you need to know this? It’s a matter of philosophy, really. The folks at iFixit believe repairing is better than recycling. Their manifesto – yes, they have a manifesto – states that you can’t truly own something unless you can fix it. It’s all very Ron Swanson-esque, and completely endearing.

“Repair connects people and devices, creating bonds that transcend consumption. Self-repair is sustainable,” reads part of their manifesto. To read the rest, or join their cause, go here.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • So What Happened Last Night In Sweden? Donald Trump Saw It On Fox News – Update

      Updated 2:07 pm Sunday, with Trump response  President Donald Trump has explained his Sweden comment: He saw it on Fox. “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” he’s just tweeted. My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19…

      Deadline
    • Inside Edition
    • Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another

      Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

      Inside Edition
    • This dog arrived at a shelter with a seriously detailed notebook from a kid who adored him, and we’re crying

      Today in super cute and completely heartbreaking news, a dog recently arrived at the Humane Society of Utah with VERY specific instructions…

      Hello Giggles
    • Under Armour made some huge mistakes that are turning into a nightmare

      Under Armour isn't cool anymore, according to a recent analyst note.  CEO Kevin Plank's...

      Business Insider
    • MMA fighter learns the hard way that you should never dance in the middle of a fight

      When keeping it real goes wrong. Have you ever wondered what happens to a fighter when he spontaneously breaks out in dance in the middle of an MMA fight?GOD DAYUMMMM. Johan Segas KTFO's Joe Harding at BCMMA 18. When showboating goes wrong. Savage head kick. pic.twitter.com/pPkOPmdmOf— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 18, 2017In Saturday’s British Challenge Mixed Martial Arts (BCMMA) 18 event, Joe Harding attempted to taunt Johan Segas in this manner, and it ended just as you would expect. Let’s look at this a little more in-depth. First, we have the dance move itself. ...

      SB Nation q
    • Plus-size model Hunter McGrady looks amazing in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and on the red carpet

      It was about time we got another amazing body-positive role model. Enter Hunter McGrady. The plus-size model Hunter McGrady looks amazing in the Sports…

      Hello Giggles
    • Shocking image shows Kim Jong-nam's final moments after he was assassinated

      Shocking images of the moment Kim Jong-nam was assassinated in a Malaysian airport have emerged for the first time. The half-brother of North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un was poisoned on 13 February, allegedly by two women believed to be acting on behalf of the rogue state. It was originally thought the two women involved were North Korean spies, but it emerged on Saturday that at least one of the women – Sisi Asiyah, 25, from Indonesia – believed they were taking part in a television prank, though this has not been officially confirmed.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Grieving Army Widow Meets Her Husband’s Coffin on Airport Tarmac, Leaving Plane Passengers in Tears

      A touching moment between a grieving military widow and her husband’s coffin was captured on camera by a bystander, giving millions of viewers on social media a window into the heartbreaking and personal effects of war. Lisa West Williams was waiting to exit her aircraft at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Tuesday, when she and her fellow passengers watched a flag-draped coffin being removed from the plane’s luggage compartments. The Oklahoma native was an Echo in the Special Forces and was on his eighth deployment when he died.

      People
    • Fox News' Chris Wallace to Reince Priebus: 'You don't get to tell us what to do'

      Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus clashed Sunday over President Trump's tweet labeling the media an "enemy of the American people." "I don't have any problem with you complaining about an individual story" or bias, Wallace said. "But you went a lot further than that — or the president went a lot further than that he said that the 'fake media' — not certain stories — the 'fake media' are an 'enemy to the country.'" Priebus pushed back, arguing that the issue is "not just two stories" that may be marred by bias or error but "24 hours a day, seven days a week" of cable news programming that focuses not on the Trump administration's policy accomplishments

      The Week q
    • Chelsea Clinton burns Trump on Twitter for his baffling Sweden remark

      President Donald Trump left many people — including former first daughter Chelsea Clinton — confused Saturday night when he suggested that something terrible had happened in Sweden the previous evening. No tragedy occurred that day in Sweden, which the internet had fun pointing out. On Sunday, Clinton made sure to highlight the Trump administration's penchant for inventing terrorist attacks. What happened in Sweden Friday night? Did they catch the Bowling Green Massacre perpetrators? — Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 19, 2017 Solid burn, Chelsea. SEE ALSO: Internet turns to @Sweden on Twitter after Trump appears to invent terror attack In case you missed it, Trump made the remark during a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida this weekend about two hours north of his Mar-a-Lago Club. From a transcript of the speech: Don't worry, the people of Sweden are doing just fine.  [H/T: The Hill] BONUS: Trump claims drugs are cheaper than candy, Americans collectively facepalm

      Mashable
    • Police Name Mystery Man Caught on Surveillance As Suspect In Murder of Teen Hikers

      Preliminary evidence led to their decision, according to police.

      Inside Edition
    • Father and Son Killed in Head-On Collision After Their Cars Crash into Each Other While Returning Home

      Alabama investigators claim that alcohol played a considerable role in a horrific head-on collision that killed a father and son that were driving separate vehicles early Saturday. According to AL.com, Jeffrey Morris Brasher, 50, and Austin Blaine Brasher, 22, were both killed in a crash that occurred shortly after 4 a.m. on Saturday. • Pick up PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: Cases That Shocked America, on sale now, for the latest on Casey Anthony, JonBenét Ramsey and more.

      People
    • Report: Carson 'speechless' after top aide fired from HUD over anti-Trump op-ed

      Ben Carson, President Trump’s nominee for Housing and Urban Development secretary, was "baffled" by the firing of his close aide for his criticism of Trump during the 2016 campaign, BuzzFeed News reported on Friday. A source close to Carson said that he was "speechless" after learning that Shermichael Singleton was fired from his position as a senior adviser at HUD for writing an op-ed critical of Trump for The Hill in October. A source told the publication that Carson was informed of the incident by phone while having lunch in Washington. A second source told the publication that although Carson was upset by the firing, he is moving on. According to BuzzFeed, the two spoke on the phone, with

      The Hill q
    • Water officials race to release water from Anderson Reservoir

      Water officials are in a race against time to release as much water as possible to prevent flooding at the outlet of the Anderson Reservoir in Morgan Hill into Coyote Creek.

      KGO – San Francisco
    • ‘MasterChef Junior’: Meet the Top 20 Home Cooks (20 photos)

      Whether you love to cook or can’t even boil water, you can’t help but enjoy watching the talented kids on MasterChef Junior as they compete for the title (and put most adult home cooks to shame). Click through to meet the top 20 little foodies who’ll be working with Gordon Ramsay and Co. this season. ‘MasterChef Junior’ airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

      Yahoo TV
    • Early ‘Logan’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

      “Logan,” opening March 3, is reportedly Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as the mutant Wolverine, a character he has portrayed for 17 years. According to a majority of critics, “Logan” does a solid job at rounding out the standalone trilogy of Wolverine films. Critics widely commended Jackman’s ability in refining the character over the years, embracing the fact... Read more »

      Variety
    • Why Trump was right to make Chris Christie eat the White House meatloaf

      Some 40% of Americans say they have cut down on eating red meat.

      MarketWatch q
    • Fox News' Chris Wallace grills Reince Priebus: 'You don't get to tell us what to do'

      Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus clashed Sunday over President Trump's tweet labeling the media an "enemy of the American people." "I don't have any problem with you complaining about an individual story" or bias, Wallace said. "But you went a lot further than that — or the president went a lot further than that he said that the 'fake media' — not certain stories — the 'fake media' are an 'enemy to the country.'" Priebus pushed back, arguing that the issue is "not just two stories" that may be marred by bias or error but "24 hours a day, seven days a week" of cable news programming that focuses not on the Trump administration's policy accomplishments

      The Week q