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Video Overview

Введение

What’s that on our teardown table? It’s a big phone! A small tablet! AirPower!? No, it’s the iPad Mini! This year Apple revisited their smallest tablet, bucking industry trends by keeping the Mini's screen small and bezels big. Did Apple stick to tradition all around, or will we be treated to an interior redesign? Looks like we’ll have to tear this tablet down to find out!

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iPad Mini 5, use our service manual.

  1. This tablet may be mini, but it has some big specs: 7.9-inch (diagonal), LED-backlit Retina True Tone display with 2048 × 1536 resolution (326 ppi) A12 Bionic SoC with 64‑bit architecture and  embedded M12 coprocessor
    • This tablet may be mini, but it has some big specs:

    • 7.9-inch (diagonal), LED-backlit Retina True Tone display with 2048 × 1536 resolution (326 ppi)

    • A12 Bionic SoC with 64‑bit architecture and embedded M12 coprocessor

    • 8 MP rear camera + 7 MP FaceTime HD camera

    • Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) with dual channel (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and MIMO support + Bluetooth 5.0

    • 19.1 Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery

    • Three-axis gyro + accelerometer + barometer + ambient light sensor

    • Let's kick things off with an airport security view of the box, charger, and Lightning cable (hat tip to the gang at Creative Electron).

  2. From the outside, this new Mini looks exactly like a downsized version of the equally-new iPad Air. Spoiler alert:  judging by the X-rays, it's not a downsized new iPad Air. It looks exactly like an upgraded iPad Mini 4. The new Air, meanwhile, is based on the last-generation iPad Pro 10.5". (Stay tuned for our Air teardown, coming in about a day.)
    • From the outside, this new Mini looks exactly like a downsized version of the equally-new iPad Air.

    • Spoiler alert: judging by the X-rays, it's not a downsized new iPad Air. It looks exactly like an upgraded iPad Mini 4.

    • The new Air, meanwhile, is based on the last-generation iPad Pro 10.5". (Stay tuned for our Air teardown, coming in about a day.)

    • Meanwhile, Apple also sells the iPad 6 (or just "iPad"), which itself is a reworked version of the original iPad Air.

    • Did you get all that? Because we haven't even mentioned the latest iPad Pros yet. In fact, let's go ahead and not mention those.

    • We pull a cellular-capable iPad Mini 4 from the lab to confirm our suspicions. Headphone jack: check. Big bezels: check. Home button: check.

    • About the only exterior clue that gives away the new model is its model number, A2133—oh, and the loss of those regulatory markings on the back, which all live in software now.

    • As much as we wish Apple would come up with a better approach to tablet construction (like they've done for phones, or like others have done for tablets), we're pretty sure we know how opening this one is going to go:

    • Heat.

    • Slash.

    • Repeat.

    • Once the Mini is shucked, we get our first peek at the tasty internals.

  3. After all that glue, we're treated to some less frustrating fasteners. Knowing Apple's penchant for goofy screw heads, we brought our whole set of drivers. Thankfully this part of the Mini hasn't changed—we're just dealing with standard Phillips heads here.
    • After all that glue, we're treated to some less frustrating fasteners.

    • Knowing Apple's penchant for goofy screw heads, we brought our whole set of drivers. Thankfully this part of the Mini hasn't changed—we're just dealing with standard Phillips heads here.

    • Our drivers make short work of those screws and we remove the bracket covering the display and battery connectors ...

    • ... and it brings along a friend! Turns out the battery flex connector is now adhered to that cover bracket, automatically disconnecting the battery when the bracket is removed. Nifty!

    • Hopefully this will help fixers to not accidentally kill the backlight on their displays.

  4. Notice the clean lines and muted colors in Apple's foray into abstract art.  The second image is extra abstract thanks to X-rays. Let's channel our inner art critic and try to spot some differences between the newest Mini and its predecessor: Different battery model, with updated (i.e. incompatible) connectors
    • Notice the clean lines and muted colors in Apple's foray into abstract art. The second image is extra abstract thanks to X-rays.

    • Let's channel our inner art critic and try to spot some differences between the newest Mini and its predecessor:

    • Different battery model, with updated (i.e. incompatible) connectors

    • Rated for 19.32 Wh, it matches the last Mini's, has less than the standard iPad's 32.9 Wh, and comes in a little over the Galaxy Note9's 15.4 Wh.

    • Upgraded front-facing camera module

    • Updated ambient light (True Tone) sensors

    • A migrated set of microphones

    • Here's a clean view with no markings, in case you want to spot the differences yourself.

  5. Despite their similar hardware, iPads continue to lag way, way behind iPhones in their construction—this home button being a perfect example. On iPhones this is an easy, elegant swap, but here it's still a mess of glue, even after all this time. Elsewhere on this display, we blast the shields off and smoke out the chips underneath:
    • Despite their similar hardware, iPads continue to lag way, way behind iPhones in their construction—this home button being a perfect example. On iPhones this is an easy, elegant swap, but here it's still a mess of glue, even after all this time.

    • Elsewhere on this display, we blast the shields off and smoke out the chips underneath:

    • Parade DP815 (likely a timing controller)

    • Texas Instruments TPS65195 level shifters

    • Texas Instruments TPS65144 LCD bias

    • 24879 B834QL

  6. This Mini inherits the 7 MP ƒ/2.2 front-facing camera setup we first saw in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. That's a pretty significant upgrade from the 1.2 MP sensor in the Mini 4, though the housing looks mostly the same. With the cameras out of the way, we get a close look at the new upper microphone array, now centered near the selfie cam.
    • This Mini inherits the 7 MP ƒ/2.2 front-facing camera setup we first saw in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

    • That's a pretty significant upgrade from the 1.2 MP sensor in the Mini 4, though the housing looks mostly the same.

    • With the cameras out of the way, we get a close look at the new upper microphone array, now centered near the selfie cam.

    • Next, the logic board comes free after a good struggle against the kragle underneath. (Why do iPads always feel like they're assembled by Lord Business?)

  7. Let's see what kind of silicon Apple managed to squeeze in here: Apple APL1W81 A12 Bionic SoC, layered over Samsung K3UH4H40AM-MGCL 3 GB LPDDR4X DRAM Toshiba TSB3243VD1190CHNA1 64 GB flash memory
    • Let's see what kind of silicon Apple managed to squeeze in here:

    • Apple APL1W81 A12 Bionic SoC, layered over Samsung K3UH4H40AM-MGCL 3 GB LPDDR4X DRAM

    • Toshiba TSB3243VD1190CHNA1 64 GB flash memory

    • Apple/USI 339S00551 Bluetooth/WiFi module

    • Broadcom BCM15900 touchscreen controller

    • Apple 343S00282-A0 and 343S00286-A0 (likely PMIC's)

    • NXP 1612A1 USB charging controller

    • NXP 100VB27 NFC controller

  8. With this iPad Mini in pieces, we'll conclude our teardown! What did we learn?
    • With this iPad Mini in pieces, we'll conclude our teardown! What did we learn?

    • The iPad Mini continues to be (mostly) its own entity—not quite a shrunken down iPad, nor a miniature iPad Air.

    • After a number of conflicting experiences ultimately leading up to this Mini's glued-in battery, we're officially not optimistic anymore about seeing adhesive pull tabs for iPad batteries.

    • That said, it's time to give this iPad a repairability score!

  9. Final Thoughts
    • A single Phillips driver takes care of all the screws.
    • Many components are modular and can be replaced independently, but the Lightning port is soldered to the logic board.
    • Battery replacement is possible, but still unnecessarily difficult.
    • Gobs of adhesive hold many parts and cables in place, complicating all repairs.
    • Removing the home button is tough, and will be required for display replacement if you want to keep Touch ID functionality.
    Уровень ремонтопригодности
    2
    Repairability 2 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)

This leaves me wondering what kind of chip is in the cellular model providing gigabit LTE.

Alex - Ответить

Like is it Intel? Probably Intel considering the current situations with Qualcomm.

jridder -

Touch ID gen 2 ?

JIGSAW Z - Ответить

I have one, and it’s def Touch ID 2 - it’s so fast.

djschillz -

So it’s extremely similar to iPad mini 4. Is it harder to repair than iPad mini 4?

Aaron - Ответить

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