If you're clumsy with your electronics, you might want to think twice about buying Amazon's superb new 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX. If you break the front glass or damage its innards, you're going to have one heck of a time repairing it.
The teardown experts over at iFixit recently got their hands on Amazon's latest addition to the Kindle Fire family, and from a fixability perspective, this low-priced stunner stinks. Overall, the Kindle Fire HDX scored a miserable 3 out of 10 on iFixit's reparability scale.
Amazon's list of DIY sins are in line with the latest trends among electronics makers: Fusing parts together and using all kinds of adhesive to keep the device components in place. The Fire HDX's battery, for example, uses a strong adhesive, iFixit says, and you have to remove the entire motherboard just to replace the power pack.
Speaking of the motherboard, it's hard to replace. The LCD display is also fused to the tablet's front glass--so if you break one display component, you have to replace both thereby jacking up the repair cost.
It doesn't matter, except for when it does
Few of us are probably going to bother fiddling around with the guts of our tablets should any problems arise. Nevertheless, it's still good information to have in case you ever need to drag your tablet into a local electronics repair shop for repairs, especially if you need to fix your device as quickly as possible.
Back when I had an iPhone 3GS days, for example, I had to replace its front screen twice at my local fix-it shop. Thanks to Apple's production methods at the time, I only had to replace the glass, as the LCD wasn't fused to the front. That made fixing the device much cheaper. Like prospective Kindle Fire HDX owners, current iPhone 5s owners aren't so lucky.
Aside from its disappointing reparability score, iFixit didn't find any tidbits hidden inside the Fire HDX that were particularly exciting, which isn't surprising given that Amazon's Fire lineup is about offering commodity devices that tie seamlessly into the online retailer's ecosystem, rather than technological superiority.
The $229 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is available for pre-order now and starts shipping on Friday, October 18. Check out TechHive's review of Amazon's latest (and greatest) tablet for all the nitty-gritty details.