Google wants to bring the robot assistants of the future to the world today. Equipped with Google Assistant, the Google Home is raring to work with smart home devices, support Google services, and answer questions. Does it have what it takes to fulfill your futuristic fantasies? Time to tear down the Home!
MAJOR TECH SPECS
• High-excursion speaker with two-inch driver and dual
two-inch passive radiators
• Far-field microphones
• Customizable base
• 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi
• Touch surface controls
• Removing the base gives us our first look at that highexcursion speaker and a hidden micro-USB programing/ debug port. To pull out the four Torx screws hiding deep in the speaker recess, we grab our fixed-blade screwdrivers for a little extra reach. Once they’re out, we pop the top. The lid separates with ease, and finally the capsule is open.
• After sending out a few test signals, we move on to disconnect a pesky interconnect cable. This runs from the motherboard up to a board tucked in the top of the lid, probably home to a fancy microphone and LED array.
• There’s some seriously strong adhesive holding this board to the upper case. With a final yank (and a big dose of isopropyl alcohol to dissolve the glue), the LED board comes free to reveal the source of our struggle: a ton of adhesive tape.
• The stretchy O-ring seems to be the key to delving even deeper inside this smart speaker. In addition to its role as a gatekeeper, the O-ring probably also functions as a vibration dampener. This seems a more repair-friendly solution than the layer of stuck-down fabric on the Amazon Echo.
• The bit that holds the magnets for the bottom case also has a mystery cable locked inside it. Closer inspection reveals: yet more mystery! The cable sports four contact points. Perhaps more testing points? Alternate (made-up) theories: Recognizes the base color, so the Home can co-ordinate its outfits better; vestigial charging mechanism (maybe the Home’s architects intended it to be portable); abandoned Easter egg dungeon level for teardown engineers.
• Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair). Minimal moving parts mean there are minimal points of failure. Only standard screws and connectors are used throughout the device. Many components are modular and can be replaced individually. The DC-in port is soldered to the motherboard, but is unlikely to experience much wear, considering the device stays plugged in. The touch board is strongly adhered to the upper case.
A simple ribbon cable holds the swappable outer shell in place.