Apple recently refreshed its iPad Pro line with faster hardware and new features, and while many things are different, one thing remains the same—they are difficult to crack open and repair, should the need arise. That’s par for course these days and not endemic to Apple, of course. The latest generation iPad Pro is just another example of how DIY repairs are not really feasible for the average consumer, as indicated by a teardown of the tablet.
As they often do, the folks at iFixit got their hands on the new gadget and promptly stripped it naked, taking apart the tablet until the premium designed device was reduced to a pile of parts on a table. And as usual, they encountered plenty of adhesive along the way. “We loved the experience of cutting through all the glue to open our first iPad, and it has never gotten old,” the repair gurus sarcastically stated.
Specialized tools come in handy for cracking open tablets and phones. In this case, the best course of action is to heat the edges, insert a plastic pick, and kind of slice through the glue, all the while using a suction cup accessory to lift the glass panel off the chassis. The extra thin bezels on the newest iPad Pro models make the experience “more harrowing than usual.”
One thing to note about the process of opening up the iPad Pro—the area around the Apple Pencil (stylus) charging area is a little thicker, which makes prying a little more difficult. Once removed, the real fun begins.
If there is ever a reason to open an iPad Pro, it would probably be to replace the battery. Last year’s models got rid of the stretch-release battery tabs, but they’re back in the latest iteration. There are six U-shaped strips this time around, each one with two tabs, “giving fixers a second chance should one of them break.”
“Maybe we pegged this iPad all wrong. It was painful to open, but these adhesive strips pull out buttery smooth—but the smooth stops there. A huge patch of super-goop runs all the way down the left side. Sigh. Time to break out the pry tools. We were left speechless. Why would Apple do this? We could only hypothesize that the adhesive is there for ‘rigidity reinforcement’,” iFixIt notes.
The rest of the teardown is fairly typical of any modern gadget. A delicate touch and patience are both required. When all was said and done, the iPad Pro earned a lethargic 3 out of 10 ‘Repairability’ score, with kudos for including a modular USB-C port that can be independently replaced and scowls for the “gobs of adhesive” that hold almost everything in place.