At its event earlier this month, Apple took the wraps off of a refreshed iPad mini 4 that is nearly identical to the iPad Air 2, but obviously in a smaller form factor. This evening, the crew at iFixit has shared its detailed teardown images of the iPad mini 4 and as expected, they show what is essentially a scaled down iPad Air 2.
One feature the iPad mini 4 steals from the iPad Air 2 is the fully laminated screen technology, which lends itself to a thinner design. The glass and display are adhered together, giving it a more rigid design and making screen repairs more difficult. iFixit also notes that the iPad mini has retained a battery design that makes it easy to disconnect, unlike the battery found in the larger iPads. Another small similarity between the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 is that the Touch ID cable is now integrated directly into the display cable.
As far as the battery goes, the iPad mini 4’s power supply is both smaller and thinner than the iPad mini 3’s and is a a single cell, instead of two. The antenna design has also been changed. Half of the antennas are now located on the top of the device – like in an iPad Air – and half are located on the bottom, like a previous generation mini.
iFixIt’s teardown also shows the device’s new 8MP rear-camera and 1.2MP FaceTime shooter. The inside also houses Apple’s A8 processor parked with 2GB of RAM.
In the end, iFixit gives the iPad mini 4 a 2 out of 10 for repairability. The site praises the device for featuring an easily removable battery, but slams jut about every other aspect of the design. For what it’s worth, the iPad Air 2 also received a 2 out of 10 for repairability, as did the iPad mini 3.
- The LCD and front panel glass are now fused together. This slightly simplifies the opening procedure.
- The fused front panel also increases the cost of repairing a cracked screen, and increases risk of damage to the LCD when opening.
- The Lightning connector is soldered to the logic board, so don’t bend its pins.
- Gobs of adhesive hold everything in place making all repairs more difficult.
- Removing the home button is a tough but required job for display replacement if you want to keep Touch ID functionality.
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