Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is out and the team from iFixit have managed to get their hands on one in order to carry out a detailed teardown of the new tablet.
The biggest highlight from the teardown is how noticing how much Qualcomm silicon there is inside the Kindle Fire HDX. Almost all the major components are a win for the company:
- Snapdragon 800 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU
- Qualcomm PM8841 Power Management IC
- Qualcomm PM8941 Power Management IC
- Qualcomm WCD9320 Audio Codec
- Qualcomm Atheros QCA6234XH Integrated Dual-Band 2x2 802.11n + Bluetooth 4.0
That high-end Snapdragon 800 processor at the heart of the Kindle Fire HDX is a clear indication that Amazon is serious about capturing the high-performance end of the tablet market with a very competitively priced offering that will not only put pressure on the Android players, but it could also put pressure on Apple's iPad and iPad mini.
The battery charging circuit is supplied by Summit Microelectronics, but this is another win for Qualcomm since the company is itself owned by Qualcomm.
Qualcomm only leaves slim pickings for the rest of the component manufacturers. The 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM was manufactured by Samsung, with the 16GB of NAND flash comes from Toshiba, and the touchscreen controller supplied by Synaptics.
But when it comes to reparability, the Kindle Fire HDX doesn't score very highly. The iFixit team gave it a 3 out of 10 (where 10 is the easiest to repair), the worst yet for any Kindle device. Not only is the battery firmly glued into the device, but the motherboard is tricky to replace, and the LCD is fused to the front glass, so you'll need to replace both components in the event of a cracked screen.
To put that another way, the Kindle Fire HDX is a great tablet, until it breaks.