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iFixit iPad Air 2 Teardown: A8X Processor, Smaller Battery, 2GB RAM

iFixit iPad Air 2 Teardown: A8X Processor, Smaller Battery, 2GB RAM

iFixit, they of the teardown fetish, have gotten their hands on a new iPad Air 2 and performed that disassemble voodoo that they do so well, in order to share with us all just what is inside of our new favorite tablet.

iFixit reports the new front panel is more rigid than previous iPads, and that it felt sturdier when being pried open. As with previous iPads, the glued on display is the only way into the tablet.

iPad Air 2 front panel iFixit

While it has been mentioned before, the iPad Air 2’s battery is smaller than the one in the original iPad Air, with 7,340 mAh of power and 27.62 Whr battery life. (Last year’s model weighed in at 8,827 mAh/32.9 Whr battery life.)

iPad Air 2 battery - iFixit

Also as expected the new Air model boasts an enhanced A8X processor, and sports 2GB of Elpida F8164A3MD RAM in the form of two separate 1GB RAM chips on either side of the A8X.

iPad Air 2 logic board - iFixit

The tablet, a 16GB model, also uses the same SK Hynix NXP 65V10 NFC module used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. An NFC antenna didn’t make the scene in this generation of the Air. (Please don’t ever do this Apple, it’s bad enough to see people taking photos with the iPad, but seeing them hauling an iPad out of their backpack or purse to make a payment at a POS terminal might be more than this poor mortal could bear… – Ed.)

The cable connecting the iPad Air 2’s new Touch ID sensor, (made by NXP Semiconductors), to the rest of the works is similar to the cable found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The 8-megapixel camera, while similar to the shooter found in the new iPhones is not identical. The Air 2’s ambient light sensor is actually two sensors, one now located on the headphone jack.

For the chip fans out there, the rest of the chips found inside include: A Maxim Integrated MAX98721BEWV Boosted Class Amplifier, the Broadcom BCM5976 Digitizer Controller, a Texas Instruments TI48WHXDP 343S0583, and the venerable Fairchild Semiconductor FDMC 6683 and FDMC 6676BZ. (Those two ICs date all the way back to the iPad 2.)

iFixit found that the iPad Air 2’s internal microphone and camera components, along with the Wi-Fi antennas have been moved to the top of the tablet, from their previous location at the bottom.

iFixit gives the iPad Air 2 a whopping 2 out of 10 reparability score (10 being the best.) Factors involved in the low score included:

  • The battery is still not soldered to the logic board. (A good thing.)
  • The LCD and front panel glass are now fused together. This slightly simplifies the opening procedure. (Good)
  • The fused front panel also increases the cost of repairing a cracked screen, and increases risk of damage to the LCD when opening. (Bad thing.)
  • Just like in previous iPads, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass during a repair. (Bad.)
  • Gobs of adhesive hold everything in place making all repairs more difficult. (Bad.)

The iPad Air is now available for order via the Apple Online Store, and is available for in-store pickup at numerous Apple Stores across the United States.

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