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Teardown highlights:

  • Unlike the iPad 2, no heatgun is necessary to access the PlayBook’s innards. All it took was a simple plastic opening tool and some prying.
  • Once inside, we were a little surprised to see that the guts of the PlayBook were actually housed in the display assembly, not the rear case like most other tablets. That’s unfortunate from a repairability standpoint, since simple repairs — like replacing the battery — require the motherboard to be removed.
  • Thankfully, all screws holding the motherboard in place were of the good ol’fashioned Phillips #00 variety, so you won’t need any hard-to-pronounce screwdriver to remove them.
  • A small magnetic dock connector for charging on the bottom edge of the PlayBook is reminiscent of one of our favorite features of Apple’s laptops — the MagSafe connector.
  • The PlayBook has a 20 watt-hour battery, which is a bit smaller than the iPad 2’s 25 watt-hour unit. Of course, that doesn’t  mean the PlayBook will get worse battery life, considering it has a significantly smaller screen than the iPad 2.
  • The cameras are pretty hefty: its 3 megapixel front-facing camera crushes the iPad 2’s VGA camera, and the rear-facing camera has a 5 MP sensor which shoots 1080p video.
  • One drawback is that the cameras and control buttons are all attached to one assembly, making replacing the power button or volume control pretty costly.
  • We noticed that there are no less than 8 chips in the PlayBook belonging to Texas Instruments, which is sure to translate to a decent amount of dollars going to TI with every PlayBook purchase.

    For more of the teardown and pictures, visit iFixit.