Samsung Chromebook Series 3 Teardown
Time to grab the tools and open the case. Nothing fancy needed here, just a simple phillips screwdriver, a knife and a spudger.
Remove the 5 visible Phillips #0 screws.
Remove the 4 hidden screws under the rubber feet (one under each rubber foot). If you only partially pry up each foot enough to get to the screws, you can reuse the feet without having to re-glue them.
Disassemble this back piece, since it will ease a lot the prying of the bottom part
By doing this, you will avoid ending with couple of "clicks" broken, specially during the tear up
If you have the 3G model, be sure to remove the SIM card from this slot before going any further.
With the under case set aside, we now have an open case and a preview of the components to come
Remove the 6 battery screws then carefully pry the battery connector straight up to remove it.
Battery removed, it's now time to remove the screen and pull the main board
Disconnect the 2 antennae lines from the main board
Disconnect the screen cable
Remove the 5 screws holding the main board
Probably a good idea to disconnect the remaining 4 cables as well
Keyboard and trackpad ribbon cables
CMOS Battery Cable
We now have a main board with the heatsink attached
Remove the 3 screws and tape
Top of the main board
Samsung Exynos 5250 AEON main proc
SanDisk SDIN7DU2-16G NAND Flash
4 x ELPIDA J2108EDBG-GN-F (4 more on the rear)
MAX 77686 EWE 1237
TPS65090 TI 291
"Servo" dev/debug interface.
Connector for 3G daughterboard.
The Embedded Controller, according to Google's documentation is STM32F100R8, although it is marked as "32F100B6"
Trusted Platform Module, Infineon SLB9635
Not much more on the rear but the rest of RAM
Not teardown relevant per se, but these are beautiful traces
By removing this flexible metal ring sticker, you disable the Write Protect of the bootloader's flash.
This risks making the device unbootable, therefore bricking the device beyond repair. Of course, there are basically no other modifications that can be made to the interior of a Samsung Chromeboook 3 anyways.
It's teardown time again, and this time the poor gadget under iFixit's menacing spudger is the Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook, one of Google's follow-ups to the rather poorly-received Cr-48 Chromebook.
Before we get inside, it's worth mentioning that Samsung has fixed the two big problems with the original. The trackpad now works properly (can it really have been so hard to get right? It's not like trackpads are new tech) and the battery life is now a good long 8 hours. It is also a little faster thanks to its Atom N570 processor, and – according to iFixit CEO Kyle "The Can-Opener" Wiens – looks a lot better. I'm a sucker for clunky, utilitarian design, so I actually prefer the old one.
Then we dive inside the device. It's possible to disassemble the whole thing with the spudger, a plastic opening tool, and a Phillips number 1 screwdriver.
The Series 5 is put together a lot like a vanilla netbook, with standard slot-in parts for things like Wi-Fi and 3G WWAN. The 16GB SanDisk SSD is also a standard plug-in module, so it should be possible to upgrade if you want to. In the pictures above, you can see the insides of both the new Chromebook and the original Cr48 for comparison.
Ifixit gives the Series 5 3G Chromebook a Repairability Score of 6 out of 10. Not bad. Be sure to check out the full teardown, complete with "huge" photographs of each step.
Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook Teardown [iFixit. thanks, Kyle!]
iFixit tears the chrome off of a Samsung Chromebook
The excellent gadget repair experts at iFixit have torn apart a brand new Samsung Series 5 Chromebook to see what makes it tick, and they have published detailed hardware specifications and photographs of the system's internals.
The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is a laptop that's powered by Google's Linux-based Chrome OS—the first Chrome OS product that will be available to regular consumers. It was unveiled last month at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco during a keynote session and is expected to retail for $429.
The folks at iFixit say that the Samsung Chromebook has much in common with Google's Cr-48 prototype, but that the new system is slimmer and better-designed. The hardware includes a 1.66GHz dual-core Atom N570 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 16GB SanDisk SSD. They were able to disassemble the laptop with a spudger, plastic opening tool, and a Philips #1 screwdriver.
After disassembling the laptop, they assigned it a 6 out of 10 "repairability" score. The Chromebook lost points because the RAM is soldered to the motherboard and the battery can't be replaced without opening the case. They also commented that the "mostly-plastic construction" felt "a little cheap." They noted, however, that the screen was easy to remove and most of the components—including the SSD—can be replaced easily.
"Our analysis revealed that the Series 5 is a well-polished version of the rather imperfect Cr-48 prototype Chromebook," iFixit's Kyle Wiens told us in an e-mail. "The Series 5 fixes the major shortfalls of the Cr-48 and adds the polish necessary to strike lust into the heart of a broad consumer base: sleek looks, 8+ hours of battery life, and optimized performance."
It sounds like Google's Chrome OS is launching on a pretty decent piece of hardware. We will likely receive our Samsung Chromebook—promised at Google I/O—soon, so you can look forward to our upcoming review.
So recently, I decided to take apart my first Chromebook–the Acer Chromebook CB3-431.
The main concern during this teardown was over the fact that the battery within it had swollen to such a size the that body had deformed and the screen could no longer close.
See what happened in the video below.
Watched it all the way through?
So, in the end, the task was safely completed. However, there is more to this story that was only discovered after the video.
If you watch closely, you’ll notice that the battery’s circuitry is separate from the AC power plug-in.
What’s that mean?
It means that this Acer Chromebook doesn’t need its internal battery to operate. After closing it back up, I plugged it in and it booted right up. Granted, it is useless as a portable without the battery but as I was no longer using it as one, no great loss.
Nevertheless, I did look up replacement batteries and it appears I can get one–or at least a close-enough model. It isn’t in the budget right now but they run no more than $50. (the battery model shows up in the video)
Want to see more?
Hit the “Vlog” option in the site navigation to see videos like the one in this post from the OmicronNeon Talks channel on YouTube.
Chromebooks are a natural fit for schools. Entire classrooms can be outfitted with capable computers at a relatively low cost, and Chrome OS offers a secure environment that’s easy to manage at scale. It’s no wonder Chromebooks are becoming more popular in K-12 schools.
But not just any Chromebook will do. Children are one of the most destructive forces on Earth, so Chromebooks for schools have to be tough enough to withstand daily abuse. Because occasional damage is inevitable, they also have to be easy to repair. These considerations drove the development of the education-oriented ASUS C202 Chromebook. We beefed up the chassis to survive the rigors of the classroom, and the entire system can be disassembled for repair in less than 10 minutes.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the C202 Chromebook is how solid it feels. The body is sturdy, with minimal flex and plenty of padding. Thick rubber bumpers are nano-bonded to the corners and edges to absorb impacts, putting the C202’s drop tolerance at the head of the class. It can survive falls up to 120 cm when dropped on the bottom and up to 80 cm on multiple sides.
While the ability to bounce back from a tumble is important, it’s even better to avoid accidents in the first place. The C202 has a textured exterior to provide a sure grip, minimizing the chances of it slipping through your fingers. There’s also a raised rubber rest on the bottom that makes it easier for smaller hands to grasp and carry the machine securely.
Despite being surrounded by an armored exterior, the internals are readily accessible. Phillips screws hold everything together, allowing a complete teardown with a single, standard screwdriver. The only other thing you’ll need is a prying tool, a common requirement for disassembling modern electronics devices. If one isn’t available, a thin ruler will do.
Surgery starts with the removal of 10 screws from the bottom panel. Two of them are hiding under removable plugs in the raised rubber rest. Once the screws are out, you flip the chassis right side up and open the lid to expose the keyboard, touchpad, and palm rest. Those three pop off as a single piece—just run the prying tool around the perimeter of the main body to separate the input module.
The keyboard is backed by a metal plate and Mylar sheet that prevent liquids from leaking into the internals. This spill-resistant design can handle up to 66 ml of liquid, a little more than half a juice box, so it’s OK if schoolwork overlaps with snack time. Cleaning up after a spill is as simple as flipping the C202 Chromebook upside down to and letting the keyboard drain. You can wipe the exterior clean after that.
In addition to protecting the underlying hardware, the metal plate offers a stiff foundation for the keyboard itself. Combined with the best-in-class two millimeters of key travel, this reinforcement makes typing feel solid and precise, without the vague mushiness that often plagues the keyboard on inexpensive notebooks. Students can type with speed and confidence.
Disconnecting the ribbons for the keyboard and touchpad detaches the input module completely from the system. The touchpad can also be separated from that piece by removing three more screws. We designed the C202 Chromebook to be as modular as possible, so that individual components can be replaced independently of one another. Technicians can avoid having to swap out perfectly good parts, making repairs more efficient and cost-effective. You know the saying: if it ain’t broke…
Removing the input module gives us an unobstructed view of the guts of the system. The next step is extracting the thermal plate in the upper right corner. Part of the C202’s passive cooling design, this piece helps the machine run it complete silence—and without any moving parts. There’s no need to worry about fans degrading or becoming noisier over time.
The ribbon cable for the I/O daughter card needs to be detached before the thermal plate is taken out. After that, you can remove the four screws holding the plate in place.
The next component to come out is the battery. With 28Wh on tap, it delivers 10 hours of battery life in Chromium’s power_LoadTest. A single charge gives the C202 enough juice to get through an entire school day.
To remove the battery, simply detach the cable connecting it to the motherboard, then unscrew the six Phillips heads anchoring it to the chassis.
The C202 Chromebook’s modular design splits the motherboard in two; the main board sits on the left, while a smaller I/O daughter card resides on the right. The daughter card contains the power jack along with one of the two USB 3.0 ports. Students often trip over power cords, resulting in damage to the associated jack, so we put the power connector on a separate module to facilitate easy replacement.
In addition to making the power jack easier to replace, we made it harder to damage. The portals in the chassis are reinforced to absorb the lateral forces generated by cords tugged at awkward angles.
Maintaining the modular theme, the wireless card is a separate piece. It pops out easily after removing a single screw and detaching the leads for the 2×2 antenna. The dual-band module supports the latest 802.11ac standard, ensuring fast connectivity without any cable clutter. Support for Bluetooth 4.2 is also included, letting you connect wireless peripherals with ease.
Removing the motherboard is similarly straightforward, just with a few more steps. Six screws hold the board in place, and the display and speaker cables need to be detached before it can be lifted from the shell.
The brains of the C202 Chromebook houses an Intel Celeron N3060 processor with dual Braswell cores clocked up to 2.48GHz. The chip has enough punch to deliver a good experience in ChromeOS, especially when paired with 4GB of RAM. A configuration with 2GB of memory is also available.
Both models integrate 16GB of solid-state storage that can tolerate much rougher handling than traditional hard drives. That’s plenty of capacity for the cloud-based operating system, and the integrated SD slot allows more storage to be added in seconds.
The memory card slot lives on the left side of the chassis along with the second USB port and the analog audio jack. An HDMI output is included, as well, letting the C202 power projectors, televisions, and auxiliary displays with a single cable.
At this point, the C202 Chromebook’s dual speakers pop out without any tools. Separating the screen from the chassis is no more complicated than removing a few screws from the hinge.
The hinge runs almost the full width of the frame, making it more resistant to twisting forces. It also has 180° of freedom, allowing the C202 to lie completely flat. The extended tilt range prevents damage from the screen being pushed back too far. And students can collaborate more easily when the system is flattened out.
While the C202 Chromebook’s ability to survive falls, spills, and rough handling is certainly impressive, the ease with which it can be taken apart is arguably more important. The entire machine can be torn down over recess using only standard tools, and the modular design ensures only components that are actually damaged need to be replaced. Those attributes make the C202 simpler to service and cheaper to maintain over the long run, a perfect combination for schools.
Geoff GasiorSours: https://edgeup.asus.com/2016/the-asus-c202-chromebook-teardown/
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