PM gadget expert Anthony Verducci loves to mod Apple gadgets (check out his underwater iPod Touch video boombox). But before he could make any original hacks to the new iPad, he had to take the machine apart. Here's the Seniorhelpline iPad tear-down.
1. My shiny new iPad. Whenever some new electronic device comes out, I take it apart. It doesn't matter if it has been done by others, I need to do it myself. Don't try this at home—unless you're not opposed to having an iPad that's partially held together by duct tape.
2. First, I went to my local dollar store and picked up some clear shelf paper to protect the outside of unit from scratches and nicks during the operation.
3. Even being really careful with my hobby putty knife, I was denting, scratching and tearing up the soft metal of the iPad's backing, especially around the corners. The iPad is much harder to get into than iPods and iPhones are, and its back is far easier to damage.
4. I turned a refrigerator suction cup into a handle to help pry the glass off without marring it. Just detaching the glass using the putty knife wasn't enough—pulling on the cups kept it from snapping back into place.
5. Once the glass was loose enough, I used two larger plastic putty knives to go around the edge of the iPad and managed to separate the glass completely.
6. Even taking care, I couldn't avoid breaking many of the metal clips that hold the glass into place. These clips are Apple's way of making it nearly impossible to reassemble a hacked iPad.
7. The wires that connect the LED to the logic board have virtually no slack. I had to use tweezers to separate the wires from the body of the iPad without breaking them.
8. I used a Torx screwdriver to remove the logic board.
9. Once you're in, the rest of the disassembly is straightforward. Here's the logic board with its protective covering.
10. The front of the logic board.
11. The back of the logic board.
12. To the left is Apple's proprietary 30-pin connector; in the center is the chip that provides iPad's Wi-Fi.
13. The iPad's internal speakers.
14. The entire back of the iPad is a massive battery pack, the biggest contribution to the gadget's 1.5-pound weight.
Again, don't try this at home. After spending 3 hours ripping the machine apart, I spent the next hour-and-a-half trying to undo the damage. It's in working order now, but the many clips I broke taking it apart have been replaced with duct tape.
Now that I know what's inside the iPad, I know what I want to add to it (a USB port, camera and SD-card reader). As for the exterior, I'm thinking of making a portable wall mount and some protective gear.