You may want to wrap your brand new iPad Air up in cotton wool and place it in an airtight safe because according to a teardown of the device by the repair specialists at iFixit, Apple’s wafer-thin new tablet is incredibly difficult to repair.
iFixit is pretty much the Edward Scissorhands of the technology world. Whenever a widely-anticipated gadget is launched onto the world stage, iFixit attacks it with scalpels, screwdrivers and every sharp object you wouldn’t want pointed at the 16GB tablet that you just forked out hundreds of pounds for.
After a session of deliberate destruction, the iPad Air - which will also be available on 4G - was branded with a pitiful repairability score of just two out of 10.
The biggest issue that warranted such a low grade was largely to do with the fact that Apple put together its iPads using glue, not screws or bolts. When a tablet is forced apart (whether on purpose or by accident) the seals holding the device together break and the fiddly process of re-gluing them dramatically increases the odds of other unrelated parts getting damaged.
Even a procedure as simple as replacing the battery is complicated by Apple’s insistence on using adhesives, with iFixit claiming that “this is the most difficult battery removal procedure we’ve seen in an iPad.”
Consequently, if your iPad Air does take a tumble and you need to get it fixed, the high level of skill required to carry out even basic repairs make it unlikely that any normal customer will be able to perform the repairs themselves. It also means that the cost of finding a professional to do it for you will rocket, due to the increased time and energy required.
If you want to know what we thought of Apple's slimline tablet when we got our slightly more gentle hands on it, check out our iPad Air review.