With their self-professed love of the burning element, the folks over at iFixit had a blast playing with fire. The new Amazon Kindle Fire HD, that is. A look inside Amazon's refresh of the venerable e-reader-slash-tablet device reveals what makes it tick and how easy it will be to put out the flames of a damaged unit.
Last week, Amazon took off the veils from its new line of Kindle Fire HD tablets and sneaking in somewhat inconspicuously is the new non-HDX 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. In a way, this 2013 model mixes the old, such as the 7-inch 1280x800 resolution display, with the new, like a faster 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, all encased in Amazon's new unique design showcased on all its new tablets.
Taking apart the Kindle Fire HD 2013 was, fortunately, not much of a daunting task. The rear case was somewhat difficult to open but eventually yielded after much coaxing. The use of Torx T5 screws all over the device meant that there was only need for a single non-proprietary screwdriver. Some of the parts, for example, the headphone jack, the micro-USB port, and the power and volume buttons were surprisingly modular, making it easier to replace when things go downhill.
There was a generous amount of adhesive used on the 4440 mAh battery, making it probably the trickiest to remove. The heart and soul of the Kindle Fire HD resided in the motherboard, secured at the top with a few screws. EMI shields protected some of the more sensitive components, such as the 1 GB Micron LPDDR2 SDRAM, which itself was believed to cover the 1.5 GHz TI OMAP4 processor underneath. The display, which was manufactured by LG, was not fused to the glass panel, making it easy to separate. The glass, however, was glued to the front frame but can still be removed with some amount of heat.
All in all, the teardown experience seemed to go smoothly, making iFixit give it a score of 8 out of 10 in repairability, just one point higher than its rival, the 2013 Nexus 7. While most of the components were held together by screws, there was some amount of adhesive used in some key places, but nothing that a bit of poking or some heat couldn't fix.