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Saturday, April 03, 2010, 07:45 am PT (10:45 am ET)

iPad teardown reveals a 'gorgeous,' symmetrical interior

Soon after its release on Saturday, iFixit began their teardown of Apple's new iPad, and discovered a hidden symmetry inside that the solutions provider said is "there for aesthetics alone." The peek inside also revealed that both the NAND flash and custom Apple A4 processor were manufactured by Samsung.

Calling the machine "gorgeous" when disassembled, iFixit said the device uses more epoxy to secure chips to the board than they've ever seen before.

"This indicates that it is designed to be even more rugged than their laptops," they said. The company noted that taking off the display of the iPad may break off some tabs.

As was revealed in photos release by the FCC on Friday, a majority of the inside of the iPad is taken up by its lithium-ion battery. The battery isn't soldered onto the motherboard, which means replacement is possible if a battery goes bad.

But in a change from the FCC photos, Toshiba does not provide the flash memory for the production units. The model obtained by iFixit has its NAND flash from Samsung.

iPad teardown 1


Also "markedly" different, they said, is the logic board, which reveals that Apple's A4 processor is likely being manufactured by Samsung. The DRAM was created in January while the processor die was created in the first week of February.

iPad teardown 2


The teardown found that the display assembly and rear case each weigh 350 grams, giving the device 50-50 weight distribution. The display includes a marking referencing a patent from Honeywell.

The logic board was made by AT&S, which is noteworthy because the company said they haven't seen Apple's printed circuit board manufacturers brand their boards. Also unique, the main board is secured with T3 Torx screws with a bit smaller than Apple has ever used.

iPad teardown 4


The teardown also found that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth card, which is the same as is found in the third-generation iPod touch, is integrated into the dock connector cable. The iPad also has a speaker assembly that was found to be larger than expected.

For more details and photos, see the full step-by-step teardown at iFixit.