At the company's Teacher Tuesday event held late last month, Apple unveiled its latest entry-level iPad that comes with Apple Pencil support. The DIY repair geeks over at iFixit took the iPad (2018) to task to help users find out how repair-friendly the latest edition of the world's most popular tablet really is. Results were rather disappointing considering the tablet is being marketed towards usage in schools, an environment where damage to gadgets is likely.
In iFixit's teardown published Monday, the iPad (2018) was extensively broken down in a series consisting of 11 steps. Starting off the teardown, iFixit gets a good look at the internals of the iPad through the X-rays that show only minor differences compared to the previous generation. Next, the digitiser panel is separated from the display using a suction tool, followed by disconnecting the LCD panel from the underneath logic board.
iFixit's findings reveal the iPad (2018) has the same NXP 8461A1 Touch ID chip as the previous version, suggesting similar performance on the fingerprint sensor. The teardown also notes that Apple has yet again not improved on the Lightning connector that was found to require an advanced level of soldering to replace even in previous generations.
The logic board on the latest iteration of the iPad contains an Apple A10 Fusion SoC (found on iPhone 7), 2GB LPDDR4 SDRAM, two Broadcom touch screen controllers (found on 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models), and Apple's proprietary integrated circuit. The logic board also has a Toshiba 32GB flash memory stick, a USI Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth module, an NXP NFC controller, and a Cirrus Logic audio codec. Finally, the report states that the iPad (2018) has borrowed the 8827mAh A1484 battery from its predecessor.
Concluding the teardown, iFixit says that the LCD display and a replaceable cover glass make repairs easier and less expensive, while "a solid barrier of very strong adhesive" makes repairs and reworks - especially battery replacement - a challenging task. Thus, the iPad (2018) gets an overall repairability score of 2 out of 10.