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As our gadgets get thinner, the notion of tearing one apart for a do-it-yourself repair seems close to madness.

Case in point, the iPad Air, Apple’s shockingly thin and light new tablet. Weighing in at 1 pound and with a thickness of 7.55 millimeters, the iPad Air is closer in size and weight to last year’s svelte iPad Mini than it is to the previous big iPad.

And with that massive reduction in size and weight comes a nightmare of a repair job. The iPad Air got a repairability score of 2 out of 10 from the folks at iFixit, the same as last year’s big iPad. (Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t go fetch a score of 1.)

iFixit points to the Air’s stubborn to remove battery as one of the biggest issues: “Gobs, gobs, and goblins of adhesive hold everything in place. This is the most difficult battery removal procedure we’ve seen in an iPad.”

Intriguingly, the teardown also gives us a glimpe at just how power efficient the iPad Air is: It packs in a 32.9 WHr battery, while last year’s iPad had a 43 WHr battery. Despite the 25 percent drop in battery size, Apple claims the Air gets the same battery life as its predecessor.

Among other DIY repair knocks, iFixit points out that the iPad Air’s front panel is glued to the rest of the device (just like previous iPads), which makes it easier to crack the glass screen by accident. The site also took issue with the foam sticky tape that Apple used to adhere the LCD to the iPad’s front panel, which also makes it easier to break.

The big lesson? If your iPad Air breaks, get it fixed at the Apple store.


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