Why does everyone moan that you can't get such a thing open?
My car is bloody hard to repair but do I moan?
Do people moan that their TV, Microwave, Dishwashers are hard to open and repair? nope. They're appliances just like an iPad is.
It's no wonder why the iPad mini assemblers at Foxconn rioted – its innards are fiendishly complex and tightly packed. Well, to be honest, we don't really know if the iPad mini's complexity contributed to those Chinese workers dissatisfaction, but if what the tool-parts-and-repair folks at iFixit discovered when they …
I think you would be pretty pissed off if your car needed a new wheel and you couldn't replace it. TV's and such are probably repaired by people who enjoy doing that kind of stuff, computer geeks really should get turned on by being able to replace component X when it decides to give up the ghost rather than throw away a £400 object because a £20 thingy inside threw a bit of a wobbly.
Dishwashers and TV's (as well as washing machines and fridges etc.) are usually repaired by a bloke called Bob who can take out a faulty part and replace it (unless it's not economical to do so), small appliances like microwaves are possibly not economically (or safety) viable to be taken apart to replace some stuff.
Right so how many people would replace a defective turbocharger - you might open the bonnet to check the oil or top up the washer fluid but for over 99% of people that's as far as it goes. All these devices (and it's not just Apple) can be repaired by someone who knows what they are doing and has the right tools - i.e. same as your local car garage.
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"Right so how many people would replace a defective turbocharger "?
That's not really the point, is it? Most people do not repair their own cars, so the question is, "how easy is it for a competent mechanic to replace a defective turbocharger?"
By the very nature of El Reg, a good proportion of readers will have both the interest and the competence to service their own computing equipment and replace some parts, but this is a lot less (or even at all) possible with iKit.
And seeing that someone mentioned cars, this IS a gripe I have with cars. My dad's old car, pop open the bonnet and all the innards were there, I could see every components and know what it did. Pretty much every screw was a standard flat or Philips (cross), and every nut or bolt was a standard hexagon. Modern car engines are packaged much more tightly and use all sort of esoteric screw and bolt heads just so that you have to take it to a garage to do teh simplest servicing. And that's not even mentioning the electronics...
> Right so how many people would replace a defective turbocharger
I would. As would most of my mates.
> top up the washer fluid but for over 99% of people that's as far as it goes
No. that's as far as it goes for people who've never been in the situation where, if they don't fix it, nobody else will.
Most things are easily fixed if you've a mind to do so. Apple kit is exceptional, in that it is very hard to get into it to fix.
TVs, microwave (ovens) and dishwashers are a doodle to open and repair with a standard set of screwdrivers and a multimeter. It may not be worth the hassle since the cost of the replacement part may exceed the cost of buying a new unit, but still technically extremely easy. There is actually a whole lot of semi-charity businesses that specialize in collecting "dead"/outdated appliances, getting them repaired by unskilled, minimally-trained ex-prisonners, ex-hobos or disabled people, and selling the repaired units at low cost. Their "catalogs" usually include TVs, microwave ovens, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, vacuum cleaners, and the like. They get around the issue of the cost of replacement parts by taking working parts out of dead units to fix the less-dead ones. Any minimally-trained hobo provided with a screwdriver, a multimeter and a soldering iron can do it (and yes, the result is dependable; that's how I got all my appliances when I was a student).
That is also how I get the lab's rather more high-tech equipment going in these times of scarce funding (but that takes a "bit" more knowledge than what is needed to repair a dishwasher).
There is a significant overlap between the "Save-Mother-Gaya" category of people and the "If it's 3 years old it goes to the bin" category of people, and a lot of the overlap is comprised of Apple apologists.
What was your point again?
"TVs, microwave (ovens) and dishwashers are a doodle to open and repair with a standard set of screwdrivers and a multimeter."
There you have it. I suspect most people do not even own a multimeter / know what one is - let alone a soldering iron and the required skills.
Apple apologists - it's hardly 'only' Apple and in reality their stuff tends to be supported / lasts longer anyway.
"getting them repaired by unskilled, minimally-trained ex-prisonners, ex-hobos or disabled people"
It's interesting that you think disabled people fit into this little stereotype of hobos and ex-prisoners, Pierre.
"It's interesting that you think disabled people fit into this little stereotype of hobos and ex-prisoners, Pierre."
I do not think (too tiresome). These outfit are litterally staffed by minimally-trained ex-prisonners, ex-hobos or disabled people. They even make a big fuss about it. That is their very raison d'être.
It's interesting that you think I meant otherwise, Lexxy.
Lithium polymer batteries have got a life of about three years, and their capacity drops each year. It takes about 5 minutes to replace a car battery, a minute to replace the battery on a remote control, and five minutes to replace the battery on a Blackberry or Samsung phone, including the power down and power up. Not so on an iDevice.
The battery is designed to be hard to replace and, in the case of this iPad mini, very obviously so. This gives iPhones and the like a three year life.
One reason that Blackberry gets a negative perception is that there are still so many ancient BBs soldiering on. I've just passed on to an OAP a 2006 Nokia phone in excellent condition and more than adequate for her needs, having been able to get a new replacement battery for it for £3.
Samsung tablets and phones have easily swappable batteries. The new Asus Padfone and the Blackberry Playbook can easily have batteries replaced with a simple tool. There is simply no excuse for requiring a complete dismantle - including glue - just to replace a battery.
It would be possible for Apple to use lithium iron batteries which are safer, if slightly larger, and have a realistic 5 to 7 year life, so don't tell me this isn't built in obsolescence.
I've repaired my fridge, dishwasher, wifes car, tv, and a control board on the boiler after the plumber told us what part it was but basically refused to come back for a week to actually fit it after letting us do the leg work of getting old of it.
(Anon as working on boilers, with when your just replacing an eletronic coponent with molex type connectors is forbidden).
My wife tells me that your Chinese translation of "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" is okay for the first part, but the second part has the rough sense of "I am not going to pick up this item or take up this thing anymore". Ha ha, lost in translation. Glad that Google maps are more reliable.
The other issue is that the speakers have to be far enough away in order to be stereo. Sure two speakers are required but if they are too close, you can't tell the difference between the right and the left channel. If you have two speaker straight in front of you, could you tell the left and right channel? It would sound the same as a mono speaker in the same place.
Like the speakers in the Transformer Prime are separate channels, but are next to each other and on the back, so any stereo separation is completely lost.
Both PlayBook and Galaxy Tab have speakers on the front, Kindle fire has speakers on the sides. All are well separated.
My guess is, they won't. I don't have a horse in this sorry excuse for a steeple-chase, but Apple started that with their steady "the specs don't matter, we offer better user experience" stance* that they episodically spice up with "our specs are actually better than the competition's"**.
When the "leader" in the field engages in baseless banter, downright libel, and generalized bamboozlment (Apple vs Samsung anyone?***), you can't really blame the upcomers for trying a watered-down version of the same.
With the latest row of failed patent lawsuits all around the world including an upcoming major slap in the US, traditionnally its stronghold, Apple's new clothes seem more and more see-through to the rest of the industry, and I doubt that Amazon will ever back down even if the original claim proves false.
* which may make sense, for a category of users I wish I could avoid. As for me I like to make my own "user experience", thank you very much.
** demonstrably wrong most of the time but you can't blame slimy marketting people for being slimy: that's what they are paid for. True for Apple's as for anyone else's.
*** not to mention the cherry-picked comparisons with a 5-month-old competitor product when launching a new gizmo... hello iPhone5, so you're saying you're kinda sorta better than an Galaxy S3 in some ways -most of which are design-based, some would say "slavishly" inspired by the "far more popular" S3-, and that's your main selling point, 5 month late in a year-based release market? Way to innovate.
The iPad doesn't have any spark plugs! But seriously, its covered by at least a two year guarantee as a condition of being sold in the EU, and the only 'repairs' that can realistically be made to this class of device are swapping out dead components for new ones... you'd have to be very skilful to repair an issue on the main PCB, and good luck getting hold of a spare CPU.
I'd be interested in seeing how many of these things do fail between years 2 and 4 of use, just so an even handed cost / benefit analysis can be made of allowing the enthusiastic repairman have a go.
> I did not run the numbers and I do not own a 911 (unfortunately)
> but 45 minutes to drop the engine seems pretty sharp
The 911 is heavily influenced by its Beetle heritage. There are extra supports, but the main mount to the gearbox, is similar, I believe.
I used to be able to do a clutch replacement on a Beetle in about 35 minutes...
And where's the GPS in MS Surface RT..?
"Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 are included, but not GPS or mobile broadband – two omissions which have caused disappointment among some potential early adopters."
Surprising lack of complaints about this in the comments...
If you plump for the wifi model is GPS really an issue - sure would be nice to have but almost all of these will spend their time at home / work where there is wifi - hardly outside where there often is not? I mean if you are sitting in starbucks you know where you are so GPS has almost no value - if you are up a hill you would not have internet anyway so probably no mapping. Unless you bought specific mapping software in which case you would probably have bought the specific model WITH GPS (and 4G).
Wrong, you can enable WiFi Access Point on some 3G/4G phones, and there are portable WiFi/3G/EV-DO routers powered by pair of 18650 batteries for example.
I for one am certainly tired having to maintain and regularly pay for several SIM, microSIM and R-UIM cards in every goddamn device, and I think I only need one in my phone, which I ought to exchange for WiFi AP capable model long time ago
Actually, a Blackberry Playbook has GPS and if you are at all interested in astronomy it works very well with planetarium applications. And then there are downloadable map applications. Why do I want to pay for a phone contract if I can download maps at home.
Yes, they are iSheep.
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Not if each speaker is separately amped (for efficiency as said elsewhere here), but just using a single common DAC. The easiest way to settle it is to play a piece of test audio...
To be honest, it's hard to imagine why they'd do that as they've already got a two channel headphone amp, which needs a two channel DAC, but given the size and cost constraints, it's one of the things that they could have compromised on...
Yes, you'd try to arrange the speakers such the sound comes out sideways, not just towards the listener - so that the left hand sound bounces off nearby objects on the left, making it sound as though the speaker is further in that direction than it actually is.
Laptops often blatantly use this trick, by sending the sound sideways and downwards, away from the listener, so that it bounces off the desk its sitting on.
Most of these screws look several times bigger than what you usually have to cope with when taking a camera appart. Not to mention watches.
Before you ask, yes, I do own a dissection microscopes for these purposed; my sight is not what it used to be -mostly due to, well dealing with small screws and their murine counterparts- and old dissection microscopes can often be spared a grim end in the skip in my line of work.
As for the sneezing issue: a few strong magnets are indeed useful as temporary strorage docks for the little fuckers.
What's the point of having two speakers on the iPad, given that it can be held in portrait or landscape? I'm sure a little background music will sound better with 2 speakers when reading an iBook in portrait, but it'll be useless when you rotate the thing 90 degrees to watch a movie.
I always thought this was one reason why Apple never bothered to put more than 1 speaker in it anyway, given the 4-way orientation possibility.
I think the point is being missed on the ability to repair.
If Apple moulded the screen/components to the casing as was suggested in the article, then there would be no-one else other than Apple who would be able to "repair" the device.
The cheaper sole trader repair shops would disappear and Apple would be able to charge what they like and provide whatever level of service they like too.
This obviously doesn't just apply to Apple.
I can see this happening in the future with all the equipment manufacturers where they seal the devices to make them unrepairable by not just Jo Public, but your small business techie too (easyish to do with Tablets, smartphones, etc)
Having 2 speakers does not a stereo make. The channels on stereo carry seperate audio information to allow the listener to hear the sounds coming from different places. A "3d" effect for the ears so to speak.
You can simply duplicate the mono information adn send it down two channels but that is not stereo sound. It is mono over two speakers.
I do not know if the device is mono or not but your assertion that two speakers == stereo is false.
All well manufactured items should be designed with replacement, repair and upgrade in mind. It doesn't matter whether it's a washing machine, vacuum cleaner, electrical heater, car or consumer electronic device.
Good vendors, like say Hoover, have a really excellent design standards - there stuff is easy to take apart, well laid out and they have affordable, accessible spares department. (No I don't work for them, I've just fixed a lot of white goods, and some are absolute bastards to work on due to poor servicing design). Guess what - every time I want a new appliance, I look for that brand, cos I know either I or a trained engineer can repair it cost effectively.
Now I'm not suggesting everyone will have the tools or skills to replace or upgrade their latest e-tablet or e-video/music player, but the components which wear out before the usable lifetime of the device - like the battery - should not require an engineering degree and a clean-room to swap it out.
This is what pisses people off with Apple products - it would take no effort at all to make the battery a slide-out /push-in-to-fit component, without affecting the functionality or appearance of the device, yet they bury the thing inside. This is a cynical ploy to have their product expire well before the end of its useful life, to force you to buy a full replacement.
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