Tablets

Cracking Open the Acer Iconia Tab (A500)

Cracking Open the Acer Iconia Tab A500: Motherboard with EMI shields - Top

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

21 comments
vanibal1
vanibal1

I broke my iconia tab a500 5 mp rear camera and I can??t get an spare from this. I came from Argentina. Do you know any supplier? because the local acer representatives does not respond for this. Thanks a lot.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys moderator

The 'Discussion' forum is for matters of general discussion, not specific problems in search of a solution. The 'Water Cooler' is for non-technical discussions. You can submit a question to 'Q&A' here: http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/questions/post?tag=mantle_skin;content There are TR members who specifically seek out problems in need of a solution. Although there is some overlap between the forums, you'll find more of those members in 'Q&A' than in 'Discussions' or 'Water Cooler'. Be sure to use the voting buttons to provide your feedback. Voting a '+' does not necessarily mean that a given response contained the complete solution to your problem, but that it served to guide you toward it. This is intended to serve as an aid to those who may in the future have a problem similar to yours. If they have a ready source of reference available, perhaps won't need to repeat questions previously asked and answered. If a post did contain the solution to your problem, you can also close the question by marking the helpful post as "The Answer". .

mohamedhamaroy
mohamedhamaroy

I have a problem to charge inside the devise because the system is damaged so I need to make alternative charging outside so I need to know every wire of those seven (2 red , 2 black, 1 yellow , one green and one white ) and which I should use as positive and negative. pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez help me!!!!!!!!!

Mitsuspeed
Mitsuspeed

what kind of power button is used on the motherboard and where can i source one of these ?

CorryWanMagoo
CorryWanMagoo

I dropped my A500 and it bounced on it's thin edge down a carpeted stairway. Ouch. After that, the 5MP rear facing camera refused to focus and displayed a number of "dust motes" whenever the camera app was launched. Upon removal of the camera module I found that one of the two solder joints holding the lens assembly against the IC board was broken. Even with my "coldest" soldering iron I managed to cook the IC board. Ouch. Again. Does anyone know the make/model/part number for the 5MP camera module? TIA

Krustyzeclown
Krustyzeclown

I just wanted to thank you for posting online these images. It helped me to turn my tablet back to life yesterday (LCD broken). I confirm that it is quite easy to dissasemble this tablet...up to the point of removing the LCD ! For those who would like to do it: don't, unless you are prepared to damage it (in my case it was already broken...). The LCD is fixed to the chassis (and digitizer) by four parts of duct tape that REALLY stick to it. I spent 15 minutes trying to separate the two, listening to scary noises (creaking plastic...). I managed to do it in the end, but broke 2 clips during the operation. Anyway, the tablet could be reassembled (the 2 broken clips do not seem to be that important) and is now back to life. THANKS !

Cabji
Cabji

The LCD used in the A500 is a Optronics B101EW05. Is this just the LCD model or is that model number including the digitizer for the touch screen also?

r-holdford
r-holdford

Thanks for the teardown report. I just got one of these and was really curious to know what's inside but wasn't prepared to open my own as it's still under warrranty. I do these kinds of things for work but am not quite able to bring myself to do it to my OWN stuff while it's still this new! I second the comment about the power cord; it's way short.

h44z
h44z

Hi, can someone tell me the dimensions of the 3G Modem "placeholder"? Is there enough space to put a small 3G stick in it? (without case my stick is about 5 millimeters thick, with a small 2 port USB hub it should be no problem to get the device workin) greets Chris

wintev
wintev

it is a pity about the speaker it says something about the quality controll in the factory if that slipped through

RR Flyer
RR Flyer

I wonder if it might be possible in future "Cracking Open" features to list the current cost of each component identified in the device, with a total cost of materials displayed at the end.

GrizzlyOne
GrizzlyOne

I don't know what they were thinking but this is the shortest power cord I've ever seen in any product hands down. I have no idea what they were thinking. I ended up having to by a replacement on Ebay from China.

MacNewton
MacNewton

Good images! One thing that I can't see is the ESD static strap. Do you use one when you open up and work on each system?

Krustyzeclown
Krustyzeclown

I ordered a new LCD on a chinese website, using the B101EW05 part number. The digitizer is not included (as you can read below, the digitizer is duct-taped to the LCD on one side, and to the chassis on the other side). I did not disassemble the digitizer, but i strongly suspect that it is a difficult operation. I took pictures of the tablet, once the LCD has been removed, if you're interested.

droidflix
droidflix

What has been said about the speakers? I am using a rooted A500 with a custom rom and I also flashed a audio patch and these speakers are loud and clear to the point everyone in the room can watch a movie or listen to music. Thanks James

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler moderator

I would like to included such pricing information, but unfortunately its difficult for someone without contacts in the manufacturing sector to get accurate component pricing data. IHS iSuppli (http://www.isuppli.com/) sometimes puts out a "bill of materials" for high value devices, but they also specialize in market research, which gives them access to component pricing. Here's iSuppli's breakdown of the iPhone 4 (http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/iPhone-4-Carries-Bill-of-Materials-of-187-51-According-to-iSuppli.aspx)

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler moderator

The power cord and adapter included with the Iconia Tab definitely leaves a lot to be desired.

blairm
blairm

where on ebay did u find the power cord?

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler moderator

I usually don't, but that's because I'm working on equipment that I'm prepared to break. I always disassemble devices in a way that I hope lets me put them back together. In fact, I've only "broken" two devices--an iPod Touch and the Nintendo 3DS. That said, I would always were an antistatic wrist strap or use an antistatic mat if I was working on a customer's device. And as coincidence would have it, I placed an antistatic mat on my work surface this morning.

bjorn.watland
bjorn.watland

You'll notice in the tear down, that this particular model shipped with a damaged speaker.

droidflix
droidflix

Will you point out in which picture you can see where you could put a wireless card? Thanks and by the way great article and pics.