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

    • Emily Ratajkowski Cheers on the L.A. Dodgers in a Midriff-Baring Crop Top, Smooches Her Boyfriend in the Stands

      Who says you have to rock a billowing jersey to show your sportsmanship? Not Emily Ratajkowski, who showcased her toned physique as she cheered on the Los Angeles Dodgers at a baseball game in L.A. on Thursday. The model and actress took a minimalist approach to dressing for the sidelines and rocked a black pair of high-waist jeans with a long-sleeve white crop top that showcased her abs. She proudly put forth her support of the hometown team with a black cap that simply read "LA"

    • Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks Exposes a Surprising Truth About Trump Supporters

      The final debate sketch wasn’t the only time Tom Hanks and Saturday Night Live decided to roast Donald Trump. S.N.L. hasn’t exactly been gentle on Trump supporters this election season. Or did you miss that fake ad last year where the show unflinchingly compared them to Nazis? So, knowing some biting political commentary is coming, it’s surprising to see Tom Hanks—who, earlier in the night, leaned into his gentle, “America’s Dad” persona—put on that red “Make America Great Again” cap for a “Black Jeopardy!” sketch. But, either way, it was good to see Hanks behind the old Jeopardy! podium where he made such a splash playing a dumbed down version of himself opposite Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek back

      HWD q
    • Women Are Boycotting Ivanka Trump’s Fashion Line — and the Stores That Sell It

      Despite her father’s uncanny ability to offend and alienate women more with each passing day, Ivanka Trump has managed to maintain a relatively high level of respect throughout Donald Trump’s turbulent presidential campaign. Some would say Ivanka has even been the one saving grace for a candidate who is increasingly being viewed as little more than a misogynistic narcissist by many Americans — particularly women.

      Yahoo Style
    • Two Children Shot and Killed in Georgia Home Invasion

      A 15-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were shot to death in a suspected home invasion in Georgia

    • ESPN anchor uses unfortunate metaphor to explain Charlie Strong's job status at Texas

      When ESPN’s Adnan Virk used an ill-advised metaphor to talk about coach Charlie Strong’s situation at Texas, the Twitter backlash was swift.

      Yahoo Sports
    • Rae Carruth will be greeted by son he tried to have murdered

      The former Panthers receiver is serving a sentence of nearly 19 years in prison for conspiring to have his pregnant girlfriend murdered.

      Sporting News
    • Ariel Winter finally explains why she wore that swimsuit on the red carpet

      Modern Family star Ariel Winter has a great track record as a body-positive role model. She is so outspoken about her journey to feeling happy in her own skin and knows how to handle bullies without dimming her shine. That’s why we love this explanation of why she wore a swimsuit, shorts, and heels on the red carpet over the summer. Ariel debuted this look at the Just Jared 4th Annual Summer Bash hosted by Uno in Los Angeles in July. Some fans loved the look and some people hated it, but it definitely got people talking. It’s true, this is a real outfit she rocked on the red carpet! In a recent interview with People about her most controversial outfits, Ariel talked about the look. She said:

      HelloGiggles q
    • 11 Things You Probably Didnt Know About Airplanes (11 photos)

      Planes have changed a lot since the days of the Wright Brothers (or, perhaps more accurately, Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos ). Those first wood-and-cloth contraptionsarean entirely different species thanthesleek Boeing Dreamliners of today. With the continual advancements in aerospace technology, it's hard to keep up with all the amazing things planes today are capable of doing (and withstanding). Below,11 things you didnt know about airplanes and air travel.

    • Eleanor Roosevelt’s ‘mistress’ died heartbroken and alone

      They called each other “darling,” “dear one” and “heart.” They told each other “je t’aime” and “j’adore,” and wrote more than 3,000 letters to one another. “All day I’ve thought of you . . . Oh! I want to put my arms around you, I ache to hold you close,” the normally reserved Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in March of 1933 to her beloved. No, not her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but a brilliant, bourbon-drinking, cigarette-smoking Associated Press reporter named Lorena Hickok, or Hick. Their romance is at the center of Susan Quinn’s engrossing double biography, “Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady.” While Quinn is not the first to tell the tale of Eleanor and

      New York Post q
    • MarketWatch q
    • Check out Chris Brown's ex Karrueche Tran rock racy bralette amid alleged row with Cydney Christine

      Chris Brown's ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran grabbed major eyeballs during her latest outing with a pair of silk trousers and a skimpy bra-top. Tran, who is known for her svelte figure, left little to the imagination on Friday night as she stepped out in her matching outfit in Hollywood. If rumours are to be believed, the actress-cum-model's appearance came soon after Brown's current fling Cydney Christine, seemingly threw shade at Tran while replying to a fan's cheeky comment.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Professor with Remarkable Track Record Predicts a Trump Election Win

      Saturday on Fox & Friends, Tucker Carlson sat down with a college professor with a remarkable record of predicting election outcomes. Professor Helmut Norpoth, from Stony Brook University in New York State, has correctly predicted the outcomes of the last five presidential elections. This year, he steadfastly believes Donald Trump will win the election. Norpoth said he uses two "models" to make his prediction: One is the "primary" model, where he compares a candidate's strength in their respective primaries. "The candidate who does better in his party's primary beats the other guy who does less well," Norpoth said. Looking at New Hampshire and South Carolina's primaries, Norpoth projected that

      Fox News Insider q
    • Entertainment Tonight
    • Michigan lined up in a 10-man centipede formation again

      Jim Harbaugh is unique. Michigan’s coaches don’t call it that -- they call it “trains” — but we’re not Michigan’s coaches. Needing two yards, Michigan came out with five linemen, three tight ends, a fullback, and a running back.

      SB Nation q
    • 'Saturday Night Live' Spoofs Trump, Clinton in 3rd Presidential Debate, Tom Hanks Plays Moderator Chris Wallace

      Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continue to provide "Saturday Night Live" with plenty of fodder. As in weeks past, Alec Baldwin and "SNL" cast member Kate McKinnon impersonated Trump and Clinton, zeroing in on the most eccentric and quirky aspects of their behavior. The fictional Trump's tone soon changed, when he was asked about reproductive rights.

      Good Morning America
    • Need to Lose Weight? 3 Easy Diets That Actually Work

      As we are sure you know by now -- weight loss is so much more than just going to the gym. Diet is most critical. Find the one that works for you.

      The Cheat Sheet q 48 min ago
    • Man 'fed up' with with children playing on drive jailed after running over and killing neighbour's son

      A man who ran over and killed his neighbour's five-year-old son after becoming "fed up" with children playing on his driveway has been jailed for two years. David Cowell, 42, killed neighbour Riley Ferguson, while he pulled his car onto the drive he shared with the boy's family in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Cowell had denied the charge of causing death by careless driving but was convicted by a majority verdict.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Tiger Woods Doesn’t Regret Cheating on Ex-Wife Elin Nordegren

      The 40-year-old professional golfer opened up to Charlie Rose on Thursday.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Scottie Pippen Divorce: Cops Called Twice This Month for Domestic Disturbances

      Scottie Pippen‘s marriage did not end well — cops were called to the NBA star’s home TWICE in the past 3 weeks for domestic disturbances … TMZ Sports has learned. Larsa told cops she was involved in a “heated verbal argument” with Scottie but insisted it NEVER GOT PHYSICAL. Scottie told police she could come back inside and there would be no issues and even offered to leave if it made Larsa feel more comfortable.

    • I ‘Went Back to China’ — and Felt More American than Ever

      Six years in Hong Kong showed me how deep racism runs in Asia's World City.

      Foreign Policy Magazine