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

    • Pennsylvania Teen, 18, Streamed Fatal Car Crash on Facebook Live

      A teenage driver was streaming to Facebook Live while she drove along a Pennsylvania highway just before a tractor-trailer rear ended her vehicle after midnight Tuesday, killing her and a passenger in a fiery wreck. Brooke Miranda Hughes, 18, was behind the wheel on Interstate 380 near Tobyhanna as she live-streamed her car ride with 19-year-old friend, Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, who can be heard saying “Are you going live?” in the now-deleted footage, according to the Associated Press. Before Hughes could answer, bright lights flash inside the car and sounds of screeching tires can be heard, followed by seven-minutes of blackness, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported.

      People
    • Two Malibu property owners fined $5.1 million for blocking access to public beach

      For decades, some Malibu property owners have made it hard for the public to reach public beaches. On Thursday, the California Coastal Commission fined two of those property owners more than $5.1 million for denying surfers, sand castle builders, kite flyers, sun bathers, yoga enthusiasts and other beachgoers access to the sand that is theirs by state law. In one of those decisions, the commission had battled for nine years with Dr. Warren M. Lent and his wife, Henny, before unanimously approving Thursday’s cease-and-desist order for the couple and fining them about $4.2 million for diverting a public easement to private use at an expensive oceanfront rental they own at Las Flores Beach. “This represents an attitude we often see in Malibu — that the shore is our private backyard,” said Commissioner Mark Vargas, who made the motion at Thursday’s hearing for a $4.185-million fine.

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Chart shows exactly how Trump's tax plan could affect you

      While some richer taxpayers could benefit from Trump's proposed reforms, others may end up paying more.

      CNBC
    • The Broke Girl’s Guide to Jennifer Lawrence’s Cashmere Trench Coat (12 photos)

      Jennifer Lawrence has had a great year. She’s currently Hollywood's highest paid actress. She was nominated for another Oscar earlier this year and more recently, has been traveling to promote her latest film Passengers where she stars alongside Chris Pratt . Even more, Lawrence's style game has proven to be top-notch both on the red carpet and off. Lawrence recently stepped out in New York City wearing a blush pink cashmere coat by Burberry. She kept warm with a thick knit gray scarf and finished off the look with a cool shade of black sunglasses and glittering silver heels. It's the perfect outfit-on-the-go for a starlet, no? As for the red carpet, while out promoting Passengers last month, Lawrence wore a fresh-off-the-runway look from the Christian Dior SS17 show featuring a cashmere sweater and sheer, tulle skirt. And in support of her friend Emma Stone's new movie, La La Land , Lawrence stepped out in a sleek and trendy pant look from Ralph Lauren and La Perla. Although it's not exactly the right season to be wearing sheer skirts and strapless bodices, we're going to show you instead how to copy Lawrence's classy, off-duty look. Click ahead to shop 10 stylish trench coats all at an affordable price so you can dash into the winter season, just as cozy and chic as the glamorous actress. Follow us on Instagram , Facebook , and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

      Yahoo Style
    • Alabama inmate coughs, heaves, during execution by injection

      ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate coughed repeatedly and his upper body heaved for at least 13 minutes during an execution using a drug that has previously been used in problematic lethal injections in at least three other states.

      Associated Press
    • Husband who hasn’t had sex in years asks, ‘Is this normal?’

      Hi, Carolyn: Should I be worried that my wife and I have had no sex for literally years? I am guessing it is at least three years. Not even heavy make-out sessions. It just seems that my wife has no interest. I am afraid to broach the subject for fear of a negative answer. We don’t sleep in the same bed anymore either. I am a big snorer and chose to sleep in the guest room. It’s fine because she is a light sleeper and I am happier that she is getting her sleep. I do use a CPAP but it does come off sometimes. The no-sex thing just happened over time. We have both gained some weight but we are not obese — we could both lose 20 or 30 pounds. Is this normal or should we seek help? J.: Should I be

      Washington Post q
    • 'Star in a Jar' Fusion Reactor Works and Promises Infinite Energy

      For several decades now, scientists from around the world have been pursuing a ridiculously ambitious goal: They hope to develop a nuclear fusion reactor that would generate energy in the same manner as the sun and other stars, but down here on Earth. Incorporated into terrestrial power plants, this "star in a jar" technology would essentially provide Earth with limitless clean energy, forever. In a study published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications, researchers confirmed that Germany's Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device is on track and working as planned. It works like this: Unlike a traditional fission reactor, which splits atoms of heavy elements to generate energy, a fusion reactor works by fusing the nuclei of lighter atoms into heavier atoms.

      SPACE.com q
    • 6 Easy and Elegant Crockpot Recipes to Make For Dinner

      Create sophisticated suppers by preparing these 6 crockpot recipes.

      The Cheat Sheet q 59 min ago
    • Women Are Sharing C-Section Scar Selfies to Challenge Perceptions About Caesareans

      Just one day after giving birth to her baby daughter, Alexa, Raquel Renteria took to social media to share a picture. It wasn’t an image of her newborn she wanted the world to see, but the raw caesarean scar she’d been left with after giving birth.

      Yahoo Beauty
    • Gigi Hadid has revealed she has Hashimoto's Disease, but what is it?

      Gigi Hadid has recently opened up about having Hashimoto’s disease, a common – but sometimes debilitating – thyroid condition. Causing fatigue, weight gain and depression among other symptoms, according to Elle, the 21-year-old model has taken medication for it for two years. You may have had a friend with an over-active thyroid, for example, which can cause nervousness, mood swings and weight loss.

      Yahoo Style UK
    • A teen fired up Facebook Live from the highway. Moments later, everyone in her car was dead.

      It would be the final question Brooke Miranda Hughes would hear before a tractor-trailer plowed into the back of her car as it crawled down Interstate 380 in Pennsylvania just after midnight Tuesday. Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, the passenger who posed the question, was referring to Facebook Live, which Hughes had just launched to broadcast live from her moving vehicle, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune. The final moments of their young lives — marked by a flash of lights, screeching tires and then seven minutes of blackness — were captured on the live-streamed video after Hughes, sitting behind the wheel, held her phone near her face for the rest of the world to see. Hughes, 18, and Morrison-Toomey, 19, were declared dead at the scene.

      Washington Post q
    • Coastal Commission fines Malibu owners over beach access

      The California Coastal Commission has imposed a $4.2 million fine on owners of an expensive oceanfront rental on the Malibu coast for failing to remove a gate, fence, stairway and deck that block public ...

      Associated Press
    • Amanda Nunes 'gasses out' says Ronda Rousey while revealing retirement plans

      Ronda Rousey has brushed off Amanda Nunes' taunts ahead of their showdown for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight title on 30 December at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The American also suggested that she will not retire after her bout at UFC 207, but indicated that the end is near in terms of her UFC career. The belt has since changed hands on two occasions with Meisha Tate holding the title before being beaten by Nunes earlier in the year.

      International Business Times
    • Socialite Known for Extensive Plastic Surgery Arrested for Allegedly Clawing Boyfriend’s Face

      The New York socialite who is infamous for extensive plastic is facing assault charges this week after allegedly clawing her boyfriend’s face and attacking him with a pair of scissors

      People
    • The internet found Chloë Moretz’s doppelganger, and Chloë’s reaction is priceless

      If you’ve ever wondered if you have a doppelganger out in the world somewhere, all you need to do to find them…

      Hello Giggles
    • ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ trailer takes the battle to a new level

      20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes, the upcoming third chapter in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, which brings the battle between human and apes to a new, explosive level.

      Digital Trends
    • Dad Rushes to Son's Defense After He's Shot While Wielding Knives at School: 'He Was Being Bullied'

      The father said he brought the knives to school after relentless torment from some classmates.

      Inside Edition
    • How can I avoid paying taxes on my Social Security income?

      Learn how to calculate the percentage of Social Security income benefits that may be taxable and discover strategies to reduce total taxes paid.

      Investopedia q
    • AT&T customers will get an unexpected refund on their next bill

      Hell doesn't appear to be freezing over and it's definitely not April 1st, so I guess this story is actually true. More than 2.7 million AT&T customers will be getting refunds on their bill credits in the next two months, as the Federal Trade Commission settles an issue over AT&T billing for "premium text message services" without the consent of customers. According to the FTC , AT&T added a $9.99-a-month charge to the bills of many consumers, purportedly for "premium text messaging services," including ringtones, wallpaper, and text messages providing horoscopes, flirting tips, celebrity gossip, and other similar information. The practices continued until January 2014, when the FTC managed to get AT&T to stop the practice . But today, the Commission announced that it's been able to go even further, getting AT&T to refund those charges to consumers. Through the FTC's refund program, 2.5 million current AT&T customers will receive a bill credit in the next 75 days, while former customers will be getting a check in the mail. Those refunds aren't small, as the FTC says the average amount is $31. The refunds come from a 2014 settlement, which saw AT&T pay $80 million towards refunds. The refund program itself is being administered by a third-party company, Epiq Systems, rather than AT&T. This is the last step in a long process for the FTC, which has been planning this refund for years. It forced AT&T to notify customers who had been affected by the bad billion practices. Those customers in turn filed claims with the FTC, who examined the validity, and is now processing the refunds. The FTC has established a site to help anyone with questions about the refund process, and to also pre-emptively work against scammers who will undoubtedly use these "refund checks" as an opportunity to scam unsuspecting victims.

      BGR News
    • 14 Christmas Roasts For Your Holiday Dinner (15 photos)

      You need a wow-worthy main on Christmas, and this is it. From Delish

      Delish