HOW IT’S DONE

We pull apart Ap­ple’s lat­est pre­mium tablet.

APC Australia - - Contents -

Ap­ple iPad Pro (10.5-inch)

» HOW IT’S DONE

The iPad team took a page from the iPhone SE play­book, and re­leased what ap­pears to be a throw­back — an ar­guably un­der-specced tablet that takes aim at the ed­u­ca­tion and en­ter­prise mar­kets. This iPad is sup­pos­edly rea­son­ably priced, and pow­er­ful enough for pro­fes­sion­als — but will it also earn high marks for re­pairabil­ity? Let’s find out.

MA­JOR TECH SPECS

Ap­ple third-gen­er­a­tion 64-bit A9 pro­ces­sors, with em­bed­ded M9 mo­tion co-pro­ces­sor 9.7-inch mul­ti­touch Retina dis­play, with 2,048 x 1,536 res­o­lu­tion (246ppi) and non-lam­i­nated dig­i­tizer 32GB or 128GB of stor­age 8MP 1080p rear-fac­ing iSight cam­era, and 1.2MP 720p front-fac­ing FaceTime HD cam­era 802.11a/b/g/n/ac MIMO Wi-Fi and Blue­tooth 4.2 Touch ID fingerprint sen­sor, three­axis gyro, ac­celerom­e­ter, barom­e­ter and am­bi­ent light sen­sor

KEY FIND­INGS

It’s time to start the iPad open­ing song and dance: Heat, pry, peek, re­peat. Based on early re­ports, we’re ex­pect­ing this to be more Air 1 than 2: and this is why: The LCD and dig­i­tizer are un­fused, and can be re­placed sep­a­rately. This is great news for re­pair. We nee­dle a bat­tery iso­la­tion pick be­twixt the bat­tery con­tacts and logic board to pre­vent any mishaps, stop­ping those elec­trons in their tracks. Flip­ping the dig­i­tizer over re­veals ≠ the big­gest change so far from the looka­like iPad Air: the ad­di­tion of Touch ID, and its as­so­ci­ated hard­ware. Thumbs up for fingerprint read­ing. Thumbs down for a harder re­pair, be­cause the sen­sor is uniquely paired to its logic board at the fac­tory. Mov­ing on to the dis­play, we don’t spy any con­ve­nient man­u­fac­turer marks this time around. In Ap­ple’s press re­lease an­nounc­ing the iPad 5, it told us it comes equipped with a “brighter 9.7-inch Retina dis­play”. Our ques­tion is: brighter than what? It doesn’t look that dif­fer­ent from the Air 1’s dis­play. If they mean brighter than the Air 2, then that may sim­ply be due to re­vert­ing to the un­fused dis­play de­sign of the Air 1. So re­mem­ber how we said this was sim­i­lar to the first Air? We were se­ri­ous — take a look at the pho­tos above of the Air 1 and iPad 5. Not much has changed. Here, the Air 1 ≠ is dressed in space grey and has a slightly larger Wi-Fi mod­ule. The iPad 5 is in sil­ver and... has less tape? They both pack the same 32.9Wh bat­tery, beat­ing the 27.6Wh iPad Air 2 and the 27.9 Wh iPad Pro 9.7-inch (all of which are out­paced by the Sur­face Pro 4’s 38.2Wh reser­voir). Re­pairabil­ity Score: 2 out of 10 (10 is eas­i­est to re­pair). The LCD is easy ≠ to re­move once the front panel is sep­a­rated from the iPad, and the bat­tery is not sol­dered to the logic board. We’ll give it that. As in pre­vi­ous iPads, the front panel is glued to the rest of the de­vice, in­creas­ing the chances of crack­ing the glass dur­ing re­pair. Ad­he­sive holds ev­ery­thing in place. As with the Air 1, this ranks among the most dif­fi­cult bat­tery re­moval pro­ce­dures we’ve seen in ≠ an iPad. The LCD has foam tape ad­her­ing it to the front panel, in­creas­ing the risk of shat­ter­ing it dur­ing dis­as­sem­bly. You can’t ac­cess the front panel’s con­nec­tor un­til ≠ you re­move the LCD

Well, at least there’s one thing that’s dif­fer­ent.

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