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iFixit rips apart new Google Nexus 7 tablet to see what's inside

Fresh off its Chromecast teardown, iFixit has taken its frictionless ratchets to another Google-branded device, the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet manufactured by Asus.

The site's teardown artists gave the new Nexus 7 a repairability score of seven out of 10 - not a bad showing for the 7in slate running Android 4.3, especially considering that the iFixit team cracked the rear case of the device while using a plastic opening tool to pop it open.

The teardown site gave points to the new Nexus 7 for possessing an easily removable battery enclosure, though "some patient spudgering will be necessary to peel the battery off the tray," iFixit warned.

Google's use of Phillips screws throughout the assembly also made the teardown team's work easier than it has experienced with other slates held together with proprietary fasteners requiring special tools to unscrew.

But iFixit also dinged the new tablet for cracking at the initial opening, "even though we were quite careful during the opening procedure," and also subtracted repairability points for the use of adhesive to bond the front glass to the display frame, making the LCD tough to replace.

Inside the new Nexus 7, iFixit found a 3.8 V/15 Wh/3950 mAh battery pack. Interestingly, the original Nexus 7 sported a bigger battery, but the new tablet's power pack is more efficient and delivers an additional hour of battery life, iFixit noted.

What's more, the second-generation Nexus 7 has an inductive charging coil, an environmentally friendly charging method which iFixit said it hadn't seen in any tablet since Hewlett-Packard's discontinued TouchPad from several years ago.

The teardown site also removed a main logic board and an additional daughterboard from the tablet to get the lowdown on the various integrated circuits (ICs) used to provide various functions for the new Nexus 7.

The daughterboard houses just a "single IC nested among the connectors," ELAN's eKTH325BAWS, which is the Nexus 7's capacitive touchpad controller. The motherboard, removable from the casing once iFixit plucked out the Nexus 7's 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and its 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, has quite a few more chips on either side. These include:

  • Qualcomm's APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro System-on-a-Chip with a quad-core CPU and Adreno 320 GPU

  • Four 512MB Elpida J4216EFBG DDR3L SDRAM modules (2GB of RAM total)

  • Analogix's ANX7808 SlimPort Transmitter

  • Texas Instruments' BQ51013B Inductive Charging Controller

  • Qualcomm's Atheros WCN3660 WLAN a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (BR/EDR+BLE), and FM Radio Module

  • 16GB of SK Hynix H26M51003EQR eMMC NAND Flash (a 32GB version of the Nexus 7 is also available)

  • Qualcomm's PM8921 Quick Charge Battery Management IC

The teardown site also discovered a pair of stereo speakers labelled DN17128L000 and an NFC module situated on top of the inductive charging coil.